Note to readers: This series features the behind the photograph stories of images from the past year. These are not always my best photos but they are photos that have some meaning to me. Of course, sometimes that meaning is simply the photo was one of my best images.
Every time I look at this photo all I can think is, this is pure joy. Playing youth sports back in the day, I was part of a few teams to win league championships. It felt good, really good. However, I never stood on a stage like the BCS Championship. I find it hard to even imagine what that must have felt like.
I suppose there is an element of irony in this image too. Marquis Maze is the player in the center of the image. He was hurt in the first quarter and missed the rest of the game. That isn’t really the irony I was thinking of but I suppose it will do. He was a key player on offense all season and to be injured in the final game and have to watch, not able to have any impact on the outcome, would be far worse than being on the field with your mind focused on the task. Watching will drive you nuts. I suppose Marquis is feeling a little release of that tension in this image too.
The irony I was thinking of; however, goes back to the first game of the year. Marquis scored a touchdown during the game, I think they were playing Kent State, and he ran past me in the back of the end zone. When he turned to run back to the field, he flashed me a Number 1 sign. I don’t always have a second body with a short lens but that day I did and I got the photo. As far as I know, I was the only guy who got that shot. I mean, literally, the guy was three feet away, turned to me in a split second, flashed the number one and was gone. Maybe Marquis was having a prophetic moment!
At any rate, confetti flying makes some nice pictures and having his great expression, reaching out and basking in the glow of the moment, touches me somewhere in my dreams. I guess I have always dreamed of being in that moment. In my fantasy, it was a ticker tape parade through New York after winning the World Series. That’s not likely to happen so I live vicariously through Marquis Maze as he revels in a confetti shower and a national championship.