If you know me at all, you know that I spent the first half of my life in Philly. Yes, born and raised in the City of Brotherly Love. Yes, I love cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, and Tastykakes.
And I bleed green.....Eagles green. Always have; always will. No matter where I live, I will always be an Eagles fan. I spent almost 20 years in Maryland, the land of the Ravens, and I tried to like them, but I just didn't have that connection. The other team for that area is the Washington Redskins. There's no way I was going to support them; they play in the NFC East against the Eagles.
When I came to North Florida, though, I did get into the Jaguars. I really do like them. Even though they've had their problems over the past few years, I've become a fan. And they don't compete with the Eagles very often.
Saturday night was one of those times. The Eagles came to Everbank. Yeah, it wasn't that big a deal for most because it was preseason. But for me, it was great. I hadn't seen the Eagles live in a LONG time. But this time, I got to see them up close and personal from the sidelines. For the other 8 games that I'll get to shoot this season, I'll be all teal; for this night, I was all green!
Don't think I didn't take some flack for it. My friends made their comments. One tried to get me to close that tan vest they make you wear so no one would see my Eagles shirt. Even one of the cops working security said to me, "I almost didn't recognize you with that nasty shirt on." When Michael Vick got sacked on the opening drive, I got tapped on the back by a smiling Jim Messer who asked me, "Did you get that sack?" Well, yes, yes Jim, I did....
Jason Babin nailed Vick on that one and he had nowhere to go.
The game was tight pretty much the whole way. I was pleasantly surprised. Heck, it didn't matter to me who actually won because no matter who was the winner, they were still my team. I was trying to cover both teams, but I really wanted shots of my Eagles. And it was tough. Both Eagles QB's get the ball off so quick that it was a challenge to try to get a good shot of them.
There were a lot of good moments in this game. The Jags have improved immensely over the last time I got to shoot them. I think by the time the season comes around in two weeks, that improvement is going to be evident to everyone. Here are some of my favorite shots from the game.....
And, of course, it wouldn't be right if I wasn't almost run over by a ball carrier....twice. The first time, I got this shot; the second time I got out of the way a bit quicker.
My friend, Kevin Eskew posted this image of me after I'd gotten out of the way for the second one....I believe it's a snap of his TV screen.
As everyone was leaving the field, Michael Vick was being interviewed by ESPN in the middle of the field. So, I ran over to see if I could get a couple of him. I only had time to fire off two and this was the second one.
I had a great time that night. On the same field with two of my favorite teams. It doesn't get much better than that. Of course there are more pix. If you'd like to see more of my photos of the action, check out my website. As always, please feel free to comment on any of it. Stay tuned as the season gets underway in two weeks!