Alabama took it to the Florida Gators Saturday in the SEC Championship game dominating from opening kick to flying confetti winning 32-13. The win put Alabama into the BCS Championship facing Texas out in Pasadena. Bama fans are giddy. I suppose that athletics director Mal Moore is now thoroughly vindicated in his hiring of Nick Saban. This is what Saban was brought to Alabama for. I have not heard a single Alabama fan complaining that he was not part of the “Alabama family.”
So Bama fans are now packing for California. I can only hope that my editor will come tell me to do the same before too long. I am not holding my breath but I do have my fingers crossed! You just never know. Everyone is tightening up the purse strings right now but I certainly hope we open ours a tiny bit. I just don’t know if there will ever be another chance to cover a national championship game during my career. Here’s hoping!
The SEC Championship was held in the Georgia Dome. Not my favorite place after last year’s SEC title game where I had a lens stolen. All my gear survived this time and I understand that I got plenty of face time on national TV. Sweet! My brother kept texting me telling me he was seeing me on the tube. The cameras love me!
Covering the game was very challenging. The sidelines were absolutely packed with working media. And you always had to dodge the network guy in the lift that patrols behind the benches. He has a great perch but you have to run around and ahead of the cart when the play moves down the field. A whole herd of photographers has to run from one end of the bench are to the other, that is a 50 yard sprint at minimum, while trying to avoid being run over by the guy driving the TV cart. Fun times. When you mix that all too frequent little jog in with the pre-game beef stew the result is a little bit unsettling. I kept my eye out for a garbage can so I wouldn’t soil the lovely, fake, green grass in the Georgia Dome. Fortunately, the need never came up.
I also found it a bit taxing in the post game to keep up with 21 year old kids in prime physical condition. Here I am 46 and hauling around two bodies and three lenses and a monopod which I dared not lay aside all while chasing Mark Ingram and company around the field trying to get in focus shots of the jubilation. Did I mention that there were several dozen other media doing the same thing. To use the word melee might be an understatement.
I have included a rather large slide show of images for you to check out. Hope you enjoy it. I prayed pretty hard before the game to be in the right place and it seemed to have worked out pretty well. When the paper puts an investment of confidence in me to send me to cover a big event I always do spend a bit of time praying over the job. I want the paper to receive a full return on the investment they are making plus I want to do a really good job for me too. The scripture says that whatever our hands find to do we are to do with all our might not as working for men but as unto the Lord. When He blesses me I like to give Him credit. You don’t generally see a photo credit saying “Photo by God.” And save the Tebow jokes. I know I just threw you guys a softball!
Feel free to email me any questions you may have about covering big games or big events. I would love to hear from you and I will try to answer in a timely manner or do a blog post in answer to the questions.
Photos copyright Gary Cosby Jr., The Decatur Daily. These photos are intended for the viewing pleasure of this audience and are not for sale or reproduction in any way that might make the NCAA or its member institutions feel grumpy. Just a little humor guys. The photos really are only for viewing so play nice. The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.