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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 1999-08-30

Titans To Put Bibs On Sideline Shooters
By Robert Hanashiro

Billy Suratt passes along to Sports Shooter that the Tennessee Titans (formerly Oilers) are requiring sideline shooters to wear bibs this season.

The Titans Media Policy states:

Photo by
"PHOTOGRAPHERS: Beginning this season, photographers who are credentialed for sideline access will be required to wear a special vest. Vests will be issued on a season-long and game-by-game basis. Visiting photographers must return the vests after the game to security. Sideline access for NFL games is limited to photographers on assignment for a recognized news organization or sports publication. No one except network television personnel and authorized game personnel will be admitted to the field without a camera. All field photographers must remain outside the bench areas and outside the yellow border surrounding the playing field."

While photo bibs are not unusual at some bowl games (including the Super Bowl), Olympic and international soccer events, this is the first we've heard of this being used for regular season NFL games.

A check with West Coast NFL teams and the league office confirms that the Titans will be requiring photographers to wear color-coded vests. But it seems they will be the only to doing so.

SI's Peter Miller summed up most photographers feelings when he told me he doesn't have a philosophical problem with the "vest concept" but if they allow everyone, even the dreaded P-Ws (Sports Shooter-talk for "photo-weenies" ... hack potographer or civilians using point-and-shoots) to have access to vest, what does it accomplish?

Another thought is this: why does a team like the Titans, a small-market with not a lot of media outlets unlike the 49ers or Giants/Jets, feel the need to "bib up" photographers?



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