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|| News Item: Posted 2005-05-31

Ode To Jube: 'I really don't see any reason to bring a wide zoom for jube any more.'
By Bob Leverone, Sporting News

Photo by Bob Leverone / Sporting News

Photo by Bob Leverone / Sporting News

St. Louis Cardinals Mark McGwire hugs son Matthew McGwire after hitting home run 61 on Sept. 7, 1998, in St. Louis.
(Editor's note: Sports Shooter asked several photographers their take on jube photos, those images we made at the end of games that demanding editors go bonkers over but lately are more contrived, choreographed situations played for the TV cameras. What's it really like at the end of "the big game" and how did it get this way?)

It HAS become horrible and I've come to think that if you don't get anything DURING the game, then you won't get much after. TV has paid for this and now controls it completely. Look what happened at the Super Bowl post-game. CBS and the NCAA are just following suit.

I remember my first Final Four in Seattle, we were allowed to run the court at the buzzer when Michigan beat Seton Hall. As the years have gone by, CBS has pushed us back to the court apron as well as kept us "in our spots" for a whole minute before we get to move along that apron.

I really don't see any reason to bring a wide zoom for jube any more. I don't expect anything from the post-game any more and I just see it getting worse for us. TV pays the bills and now the leagues are letting them write the rules.

I remember being at the Spectrum in Philly for the U. Kentucky-Duke NCAA regional when Grant Hill threw that 3/4 court pass to Christian Laettner for one of the most memorable reacts in college basketball. The media rep for the tourney met with a group of photographers during the practice day to discuss post-game jube and how to best keep the floor clean for a few moments. I'm guessing it was the first time TV tried to exert their will, but I can't prove it. I actually thought it might be good to try-giving everyone a chance for a clean frame or two instead of fighting.

Anyways, the photographers assembled there agreed to stay off the court for 30 seconds and until the photo marshall said "GO" so that we could all get that clean look with a long lens. Again, this was the first time I was ever in a discussion like this and I thought it would be a good idea. I agreed to the plan as did everyone else there and the first two games went fine, setting up the final on Saturday.

We all huddled on that Saturday to review the plan and we ALL agreed to it. At this point any one of us could have squashed it and said he wasn't staying put.

So, Grant makes the pass, Christian hits the shot and from the time it took me to drop my 105mm Nikkor to go for the 300mm, the ass next to me took off down the court after Christian. And that's all I could see for about 30 seconds in my 300mm-this guys ass.

He was in every one of those impromptu meetings and was one of those pushing the plan to stay put. He will remain nameless and knows who he is. I wasn't the only one wanting to kill him that night. I did get the shot coming off Christian's fingertips and he did run away from me after the shot was good, but this one photographer, working for the country's largest wire service, who will remain nameless, ruined things that weekend.

My point is that we are poorly organized when it comes to these things and that one person can ruin it for everyone. We seem to be our own worst enemy ... often. I don't expect post game jube will ever be good for still photographers again. We are a controllable group now. That control will continue.

Related Links:
Leverone's member page

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