I have to admit I miss shooting Friday night high school football at Lampson Stadium in Kennewick, Fran Rish Stadium in Richland and Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco. This has always been one of my favorite parts of being a photojournalist. All the trappings of the event are comforting, the energy of the crowd, the noise of the student section and bands, the smell of cooler nights and the concession stands.
I miss drama of the game about to play out and the roar of the crowd as opposing teams take the field, building the anticipation. I love the unwritten script about to play itself out. Having the best seat in the house, the sidelines, does not suck. Anticipating what's about to happen on third and long and being right as the play comes to you and you nail the play and joking around with the refs after a goofy play. Love it.
But the days of getting to the game early and staying until the last down became a luxury, a thing of the past. In the new age of immediate electronic media gratification and early deadlines I'd shoot at least two games a night for the paper, usually across town, shoot one or two quarters then hustle back to the office to "whack 'em and stack 'em," and get two galleries and at least four photos worked up with captions for the web and the next day's paper. The pace became increasingly stressful and mind numbing and although the readers never seemed to notice, I felt the content my work began to suffer.
I also miss the hilarious banter of the sports staff as they shagged phone calls, laid out pages and wrote stories on deadline back at the office. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the sports department has the hardest working people in the business.
So I miss it, I'll have to find an angle to get back on the field again.