There are ways to open a football season and then there is the way the Miami Hurricanes opened their 2016 season; with a bang. A beating was a nice way to say what the FAMU Rattlers experienced when they faced the Miami Hurricanes, but a 70-3 score sounds a lot worse than a beating. It was a great way to open the new Hard Rock Stadium as well as the new era under new head coach Mark Richt.
The new head coach and the new stadium wasn’t the only thing new for me this season. Years past I had lanyards giving me access and now I have a bright, neon vest with a number and the “U” plastered on both sides. The new stadium, along with their 4 huge screens in the corners of the stadium, also presented new lighting situations. With a partial roof, the lighting is no longer 90% natural and 10% artificial, so it was an adjustment trying to figure out ISO and angles to shoot. With a new head coach comes new warmups and practice scenarios for me to learn.
With a final score of 70-3, you can bet it was a lot of action on the Miami Hurricanes side. A lot of touchdowns and a lot of celebrations to photograph. While the talk of the pregame was Heisman hopeful, Brad Kaaya, the rest of the team, especially the running backs, stole the show. The weapons the Miami Hurricanes have made it tricky at times to try to anticipate where the ball was going.
The real big surprise so far of the new 2016 season was the presence of Luther Campbell aka Uncle Luke on the sidelines for the first time in 20 years. Luther was investigated back in the late 80’s, early 90’s for giving players money for big plays and he was eventually stopped going to games whether it was his choice or not. I was on the FAMU side photographing the game and someone caught my attention and I look up to see Uncle Luke. I asked if I could photograph him knowing his history with the Canes and he obliged. Afterwards he told me that photo would be worth millions as he hadn’t stepped in the field in 20 years. We spoke for a few minutes before I had to turn my attention back to the game. I won’t lie it was awesome to see him at the game. Uncle Luke’s music was very prevalent in my teenage years.
Hopefully the rest of the 2016 season is as successful for the Hurricanes as the first game was, but I know better. I can’t wait to spend my 5th season on the sidelines photographing. Every year it just gets better and I’m always happy to find myself on the sidelines shooting the games for the Sports Brothers. Here is to game 1 of many for me.
To purchase prints from this game or from past seasons, please visit my online store.