I shot my first Super Bowl ( Super Bowl XXIII ) on Jan, 22, 1989 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, FL for the Orlando Sentinel when I was a 28 years old. Over 20 years later, and I'm back in Miami for Super Bowl XLIV, this time working for Sports Illustrated.
In 1989 , 49'ers Joe Montana was throwing to Jerry Rice, and the Bengals were doing the 'Icky' shuffle . There were no digital camera's to capture those momemts, just old school film cameras. In 2010, Drew Brees battled against Peyton Manning, for an exciting shootout . In '89, rioting on the streets of Miami's Liberty City had broken out a few nights before the game, and in 2010, sniper teams from the FBI and Miami Dade Police Dept., were stationed up high in the stadium as a precaution against any terrorist threats. Some things in Miami never change, but I love Miami , and it's a great location for the Super Bowl.
As part of the SI team of 12 photographers and editors , I was assigned a special position high in the endzone (shooting with a wide lens, and also a 600mm lens ) to try and get something unique from the game. SI Director of Photography Steve Fine, and I walked up to my position ( which was standing right next to one of the Miami-Dade snipers ) before the game to scope it out, and we loved the angle.
I ended up with a two-page opening 'Leading Off ' in the magazine that week, from the opening play of the second half. Trailing 10-6 at half, the Saints shocked the Colts by starting the third quarter with an onside kick, which they recovered., and the rest of the game is Saints history. My photograph of this play (which reminded me of the vibrating tabletop football game my brothers and I played in the 70's ) is what made it into the magazine.
It was great shooting my 8th Super Bowl, but being a part of the Sports Illustrated photo team with legends Walter Iooss, Jr. and Heinz Kluetmeier ( as well as Fine, Bonenfant, Choat, Bruty, Biever, Bergman, Iacano, Juliano, McDonough, Miller, Rasco, Rosato, Strohmeyer, Tielemans ) made it so much more memorable. And a special 'Shout Out' to our great 'runners', we couldn't do it without you all.
Can't wait for Dallas in 2011 !