Into the Arena

Deafening excitement, there was electricity in the air, colorful fans everywhere I looked, the smell of flame grilled burgers, this was it. The culmination of University of Miami’s undefeated season, one final test before The U was considered back for real.

Walking through the gates of the stadium, I was nervous with anticipation. The Hard Rock football Stadium is a sight to see, seating 45,000 fans, and well over that were tailgating in the parking lot. An arena, and fanbase of a massive scale, all there to support the University of Miami’s undefeated football team through another victory. This time, over Notre Dame.

All the seats in the stadium were filled, and people were still flooding in through the gates. As I walked into the press room, I knew it was going to be a great game. After chatting with some of the other media members, I decided it was time to take the field. There was no other feeling like it, walking through the entrance to the arena, to a stadium filled to the brim. Nerves, excitement, laughter, and a sense of place all filled the arena.

I was there to photograph the game, and create something memorable. Having never photographed a college football game this big I was nervous, luckily I had plenty of experience to pull from, from the other media photographers. Matt Murphy, sports photographer for the University of Miami, gave some great advice. “Be patient, let the game come to you.” said Murphy. “It goes by quick, but all you really need are three or four photos to make the game worth it”

So wait I did. I took my time, and enjoyed the energy on the field. As I walked around people shouted out to me, threw the U up with their hands, and beckoned for me to take their photo.

Eventually I ended up in the South end zone, against the back wall, waiting for a big play to come my way. I sat there and waited, and waited, and waited. For much of the third quarter nothing seemed to come my way.

Then finally if by a stroke of luck, Notre Dame threw an interception that was picked off by Trajan Bandy, and ran 65 yards into the corner of the end zone that I was sitting in. My jaw dropped in disbelief, it was at that moment that I realized we were back to our football prowess, and I had finally gotten the photo I was waiting for.

The rest of the night was spectacular to witness. The Miami Hurricanes finished with an impressive 41-8 victory over Notre Dame, sending fans into one of the most eclectic, feel good nights of the year.

Orange Umbrella