Photographers' Blog

Hernandez: From Patriot to suspect

Fall River, Massachusetts

By Brian Snyder

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was in court again yesterday, charged with murder in the death of his friend and semi professional football player Odin Lloyd and facing a maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty.

Hernandez was questioned by the judge in the case during his October 9 pre-trial hearing. When asked his profession, Hernandez replied: “I played football.”

In court, its hard not to marvel at how quickly Hernandez went from this to this:

And this to this:

There’s a parallel reaction in the public as well, with fans returning his jerseys after his arrest and wearing them outside the courthouse:

Super Bowl Redux

By Lucy Nicholson

Celtics v Lakers, Borg v McEnroe, India v Pakistan, Ali v Frazier, Red Sox v Yankees

There are sports matches and there are match-ups that up the ante because of a bitter rivalry.

There’s nothing fiercer than a Boston-New York contest.

For decades, Boston played the underdog while the ghost of Babe Ruth conspired with latter day Big Apple legends like Bucky Dent and Mookie Wilson to leave New England in tears.

The Tebow phenom

By Rick Wilking

Do a Google search on this new celebrity and there are 299,000,000 results. Brad Pitt? No, he only has 187 million. I’m talking about the newest phenom in the world of sports – Tim Tebow.

Being a Denver-based photographer where Tebow plays starting quarterback for the Broncos has kept me in the vortex of the Tebow storm. Going back to his first start late last season and then training camp in August, we’ve been focusing on his young career. Would he start this year or would he not was the hot topic back in late summer. Kyle Orton was eventually chosen as starter but when the team went 1–4 Tebow got the nod and Orton was out. Then the fun really began.

Tebow was a superstar in college at the University of Florida (first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, won not one but two NCAA National Football Championships) but how would he do in the big leagues? He was a first round draft pick in the NFL meaning many had high hopes for him to succeed. But the NFL game is so much different than college there’s no guarantee a player will repeat. Scrambling around on the field can only go so far in the NFL before getting tackled repeatedly by much bigger and faster players will destroy you.
Being a rookie in the league with a great pedigree means extra attention to start with but then add this element: religion. I don’t think a sports writer out there can remember any athlete starting most press conferences with “First and foremost I have to thank my lord and savior, Jesus Christ.”

Inside an NFL Locker Room

By Jason Reed, Larry Downing and Molly Riley

Hey football fans… imagine walking past the solid steel doors guarding the locker room outside one of the National Football League’s most treasured teams and standing inside watching 60 professional athletes preparing to take the spotlight in front of 70,000 expecting Baltimore fans.

Talk about fantasy football coming true; that ultimate “back stage pass” was given to Reuters’ photographers Jason Reed, Larry Downing and Molly Riley from the Baltimore Ravens as an early Christmas present last December, extending them complete photographic access of their cheerleaders during the production of an in-depth multimedia project by Reuters entitled, “Ravens Rule the Skies.”

(Image courtesy of Shawn Hubbard)

Three unobstructed first class seats inside Cinderella’s wonderland watching “girly girls” primp and polish their image into higher splendor while transforming themselves into NFL cheerleaders. All with total access!

Getting the game-winning touchdown

Reuters photographer Brian Snyder is seen at center in his position at the Super Bowl. (Photo by Jeff Snyder)

When Reuters photographers cover a major event like the Super Bowl, each photographer is assigned a specific position on the field. Reuters places a photographer in each corner of the end zones to cover the action, touchdowns and reaction occurring in front of them. We have one photographer on each sideline, moving with the play and concentrating on the quarterbacks, sacks and their reactions. In Tampa for Super Bowl XLIII there were two photographers way overhead in the upper part of the stands, covering both the action and making wide pictures to show the whole scene. I was assigned a position in the first row of the seats in one of the endzones (center in the photo above) — high enough to provide cleaner backgrounds while avoiding being blocked by the security personnel and NFL film crews on the sidelines, but low enough to see the players’ faces and not just the tops of their helmets.

When you boil it down, you are responsible for making the pictures of the action that happens in the portion of the field that you are assigned to cover. For most of the game, all of the action went away from me; the touchdowns and sacks took place mostly on the other end of the field. When the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald scored the go ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter, I could see none of it. The Reuters photographers on the other end of the field – Gary Hershorn, Shaun Best and Hans Deryk – made great images of that touchdown. Had the Cardinals held on to win, their photographs would have been the ones on the front pages and sports pages of newspapers everywhere.

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