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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2011-08-31

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
“I was pleased I had something emotional that was more anger than frustration.”

By David Eulitt, The Kansas City Star

Photo by David Eulitt, The Kansas City Star

Photo by David Eulitt, The Kansas City Star

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel had words with center Casey Weigmann, left, after Cassel fumble led to a Broncos 75-yard touchdown return at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Co., on November 14, 2010.
“I was pleased I had something emotional that was more anger than frustration.”

Let's face it, the Chiefs just don't play well in Denver. Perhaps it's the thin air, the hostile environment or all those funky stripes on the uniforms of the Broncos, but almost every year, Denver has Kansas City's number in Colorado. This isn't my favorite photo of the 2010 season but it a storytelling image of the demoralizing 49-29 loss by Kansas City in November.

Rarely do teams get totally blown out in the NFL, but midway through the SECOND quarter, the Chiefs found themselves on the wrong end of a 35-0 score. Since my only task is to cover the Chiefs on road games, I need to keep an eye on the bench for something symbolic of the game.

I made this frame after quarterback Matt Cassel fumbled in the Chiefs' red zone after being sacked and the Broncos ran the recovery back for a 75-yard touchdown return.

After photographing the backs of Broncos players running away from me, I moved immediately towards the reaction of the Chiefs players that had dug themselves a massive hole. Generally, Cassel is pretty composed but he has a fiery side. At the back corner of the yellow box of the Chiefs' bench, I watched Cassel storm off the field and make a beeline to the team's center, Casey Wiegmann, for a heated argument over what I presumed was a missed block on the sack. I was pretty surprised seeing the fire coming out of Cassel's eyes, I hadn't seen that from him before in previous games.

Quite frankly, when the team you're covering is down 35 points with 6 minutes left in the first half, your storytelling images are pretty much over for the day. All the Denver touchdowns looked fine and I had those to send in but it's more difficult to show a bad loss than a good win. There are only so many dejection shots you can submit, so I was pleased I had something emotional that was more anger than frustration.

Since you cannot shoot from directly behind the bench in the NFL (unless you're the team photographer), I found the spot at the very back and side of the bench area to shoot this with my bailout camera, a Canon EOS 1D Mark IIn, ISO 500, 1/4000 at f/2.8, with a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 zoom. I cropped in to highlight Cassel's expression and in RAW mode, I pulled up some shadow detail to balance with the white uniforms.


(David Eulitt is a staff photographer, at the Kansas City Star. You can see his work at his Sports Shooter member page:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/members.html?id=103 )


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