Super Bowl Redux
Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
Photographing Super Bowl XLVI
Celtics v Lakers, Borg v McEnroe, India v Pakistan, Ali v Frazier, Red Sox v Yankees.
There are sports matches and there are match-ups that up the ante because of a bitter rivalry.
There’s nothing fiercer than a Boston-New York contest.
For decades, Boston played the underdog while the ghost of Babe Ruth conspired with latter day Big Apple legends like Bucky Dent and Mookie Wilson to leave New England in tears.
After the Patriots won their first Super Bowl in 2001, the Red Sox finally snapped their NY curse. Championships seemed to flow to the region (three Super Bowls, two World Series championships) until heavily favored New England met the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII in 2008.
The spoiler was New York Giants receiver David Tyree, who leapt into the air and snagged the ball with one hand and pinned it against his helmet in a remarkable 32 yard reception from quarterback Eli Manning in the final two minutes to set up a win for the underdog Giants.
On Sunday I’ll be photographing the teams again as they meet for a rematch in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
With apologies to another of those Bronx Bomber legends, it’s déjà vu all over again. Once again the Giants and Manning are the underdogs. Once again they reached the Super Bowl with a game-winning kick from Lawrence Tynes.
It’s always more exciting to shoot sports when the stakes are high, or there is some kind of historical significance.
New England quarterback Tom Brady has movie star looks, and is married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen. He has already announced plans for a victory party, and if he leads the team to a win, they will have won four out of five Super Bowls in 11 years.
Reuters photographers Jim Young and Jeff Haynes are already in Indianapolis to capture the immense build-up to the most-watched sporting event on the North American calendar.
The rest of the Reuters team will join them later in the week, hoping for a close-fought game and photos that transcend the hype.
Photo: Gary Hershorn (L-R), Jeff Haynes and me lying in confetti after Super Bowl XLVI (thanks to Doug Mills of NY Times for the photo)
Reuters Global Editor for Sports Pictures Gary Hershorn will be leading the coverage. We’ll once again be using our successful Reuters proprietary software, Paneikon, to transmit our photos around the world within minutes.