Sideline Experience – CFL Labor Day Classic By: Brenda Carson
It was 2 hours before the Labor Day Classic was about to begin, when I first walked into the clubhouse. There were officials bustling about and a harried yet fully in control receptionist called out, "Global….CTV…TSN!" as she held up handfuls of media passes. I immediately felt I had stepped into another world.
After meeting with Jamie, a volunteer assigned to me, I was signed in and the rules and etiquette of shooting on the sidelines of a major league game were explained to me. Soon I was on the sidelines watching the stands fill with excited fans as I waited for the game to begin.
Cheerleaders soon filled the field and the crowd's excitement intensified, as did mine. From a huge air filled Stampeder helmet shaped tent, the rugged and ready Calgary teamed ran onto the field amid cheers and screaming. The Edmonton players followed to a slightly less enthusiastic roar. It was apparent whose turf it was!
From that point on most of the games was experienced through the camera lens. I am a Canon girl all the way, so I had my trusty 5DMkII with the light and quick 400mm F 5.6 prime on one shoulder and the fast Canon 1dMkIII with a 70-200mm F 2.8 on the other.
During the first quarter, I narrowly escaped injury as a huge Edmonton player with a Calgary player attached came flying over the sideline in what appeared to be an illegal tackle. As I was squatting down low at the time, enjoying the different perspective I was getting, I only had time to grab the other camera that was sitting on the ground beside me and roll out of the way! My heart was pounding but I truly felt in the thick of things! I later found out that the clip was played several times over during half time on TSN as they discussed whether the illegal tackle had been on purpose or not, much to the delight of my parents who were watching the game from home! In the end the tackle was deemed legal.
The game continued as did the high level of energy in the stadium. The game was a close and fierce battle with the Stampeders pervailing in the end with a score of 31 to 30! All to soon my experience was over but never to be forgotten!
Thanks to The Camera Store and the CFL officials that made this all possible! Special thanks to the hand that drew my name as the winner! I truly enjoyed and appreciated every moment!