Tuesday, November 1, 2011

PHO245 student gets crash course in tackle football, but she's ok

PHO245 student Becci Okenka is nearly tackled on the sidelines while covering the Whitmer football game Oct. 28.
(Photo courtesy of a friend)
      I've been shooting sports for the Toledo Blade for 16 years now. That's a lot of basketballs, footballs, volleyballs, golf balls, baseballs and players that could have caused me harm.
      I've only had minor incidents. One time I was shooting a profile of a high school pitcher. I told him to throw directly at the catcher so I could capture the ball zooming right at me. I was confident the catcher would, you know, catch it. He didn't. The ball hit my fingers and I thought they were crushed.
     Another time I was standing behind the pitcher during a charity softball game. Again, I had faith the pitcher would field the ball to protect me. He didn't. I had the biggest bruise on my thigh.
      Sports shooters are always at risk for getting injured or killed because we are so close to the action, where anything can happen.
      I don't think Becci Okenka, a current PHO245 student, realized this when she went to the Whitmer football game Friday to shoot her sports assignment for this class. She said she was on the sidelines shooting the action, totally focused on the ball as it soared through the air, when it landed on her forehead! To make matters worse, she was nearly run over by two football players who were chasing down the ball.
     Fortunately, she and her camera weren't injured, though I bet her pride is a bit bruised.
     Getting run over during games or being nailed by a ball is a fairly common occurrence, and it could happen to anyone. However, I think I neglected to mention this little fact during the sports lecture. Sorry that you had to learn the hazards of the sports photography the hard way, Becci.
     Even though she was shaken up a bit, she still managed to complete her assignment! To see her photos from the game, go to her blog: http://rebeccaokenka.blogspot.com/.

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