Are You Ready For Some Football?

As its kickoff Sunday in the NFL, I’ve posted some snaps of the Merseyside Nighthawks winning visit to the Gateshead Senators this summer.  Whilst not as keenly anticipated as tonight’s Cowboys Jets game, it was a bruising encounter which the scouscers won.  From my point of view, it was a bit odd to hear the quarterback calling the plays in a Liverpool accent.

American Football British Style

Rams quarterback looks for the hand off

I recently went to watch the Yorkshire Rams visit to the Gateshead Senators who play in the British American Football National League.  The Division 1 North game was won 12-0 by the visitors.  There was plenty of hard hitting and a relaxed atmosphere on the sidelines.

I’m pleased by the way most of the photos have turned out.  I used 400 speed film and took advantage of the good light, so most of my shots are at least 1000 shutter speed.  This means there’s very little blur on the action.  I also had the aperture at 4.5 which throws the background out of focus and helps to make the players stand out.  I got into some good spots for the pictures because I’ve got some good knowledge of the game, as in the above picture where I was pretty sure the QB was about to turn.  Last time I took pictures of this sport, it was the NFL and I was about one mile away from the field.  Closeness is a bonus of amateur sports.

No 8 is stopped during a punt return
The returner is downed
The Referee
Senators quarterback Chris Doyle drops back
and throws the ball
Back to pass again
Gateshead wide receiver #5 looks to the sideline for instructions
Time out

Super Sunday

In celebration of this year’s Superbowl, here are some images from the 2008 NFL game held at Wembley between the New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers.


The fans were in fine mood.  Unlike many sporting events, the crowd was unpartisan.  The ages of the London crowd went from school child to pensioner and the atmosphere was great.  There seemed to be shirts from every NFL team and lots of college, World League and Britball teams as well.

This is New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees taking the snap.

One of the issues with the UK broadcast of the Superbowl is the international commentary you often get.  As broadcasters believe that lots of new people who don’t know the rules will be watching, they use a dumbed down play by play which explains what’s going on.  The biggest game of the year and you get told what a forward pass is.  Can you imagine watching the FA Cup and the commentator tells you why the referee has a whistle?

Also, you tend to get ‘special guests.’  All year long, the TV company has coped with two men in the studio but now it feels the  need to bring in an ex player or two to change the atmosphere.  Even worse is the guest without football experience.  Don Johnson springs to mind as an example of a guest who spent four hours in the Sky Sports studio with only his experience of Miami Vice to see him through.