Best Fan Shots of 2011

Greg Smith, Ramblings and Rants

I’ve been a regular on ‘NFL Turning Point’ this season and I’ve read many of the tweets written about it.   The one above sparked my latest project.

I have researched and compiled my favorite fan shots NFL Films captured so far during the 2011 season.

I broke the shots down into 8 categories – Pregame, Tribute, Costume/Prop, Kids, Anger/Dejection, Anticipation/Celebration, Interaction, and Sound.

I picked a winner in every category, which is the concluding shot in each sequence.

The write-ups give a brief description of the runner-up and the winner, and the name of the cameraman who captured the shots.

Enjoy.

Pregame

Fans sight-seeing, tail-gaiting, etc.

Runner-Up:  Subway Cheese-Head – opening shot of sequence… father and son on train traveling to MetLife stadium for the Week 13 Jets/Packers game…  Captured by Charlie Askew.

Winner:  Unitas Toe – final shot of sequence… Ravens fans touch the bronze toe of the Johnny Unitas statue outside of M&T Bank Stadium…  I love how the foot is center stage and hands are reaching in to touch it… The shot speaks to how superstitious fans are and how beloved Unitas still is in Baltimore… Captured by Rob Parker.

Tribute

These are mostly shots from the Week 1 9/11 Tribute, with a couple others sprinkled in.

Runner-Up:   Philly Flyover – second shot of sequence… one of the best flyover shots I’ve seen.  Captured in the upper deck of Lincoln Financial Field by Charlie Askew.

Winner:  Tears for 9/11 – final shot of sequence… Emotional fan at the end of an emotional anthem… This shot sums up how we all feel, but especially how New Yorkers feel, about 9/11… It is poignant, steady, and shot by an NFL Films Hall of Famer… Captured by Hank McElwee Week 1 at MetLife Stadium.

Costume/Prop

These shots are intended to be goofy and add humor to our projects.

Runner-Up:  Luv Da Feet – second-to-last shot of sequence… two Eagles fans heckling Rex Ryan with a clever, albeit ridiculous, costume… Captured Week 15 by Bob Angelo.

Winner:  Carolina Blue Man – final shot of sequence… These two guys are clearly looking for attention and they’re getting it… I can’t help but laugh when I watch them… Captured Week 13 in Tampa by Dennis Black.

Kids

The wonder and joy of youth captured in slow motion.

Runner-Up:  Little Patriots – second-to-last shot of sequence… two young, wide-eyed fans gaze in appreciation at their awesome team… Captured by Brad Smith.

Winner:  Camera Girl – final shot of sequence – a girl notices we are shooting her and turns her camera in our direction… It’s a shot that wouldn’t make many of our shows, but for some reason it struck me… Aren’t we all just trying to capture the moment?  Captured by Drew Matyas.

Anger/Dejection

These are great storytelling shots for our editors.  Capturing the heartache of losing fans is an important job for our cameramen.  Many of the best shots are ones where winning fans are cheering and losing fans are dejected.

Runner-Up:   Sad Pack – second-to-last shot of sequence – when the Giants scored late in the 4th Quarter in Week 13, New York fans were ecstatic, but the man in the Rodgers jersey was crushed… He had the last laugh though, as Green Bay went on to win… Captured by Charlie Askew.

Winner:  No!  No!  No! – final shot of sequence – this Jets fan took exception to a ruling that didn’t go in New York’s favor… The shot shows the passion of NFL fans and how they hang on every call… Captured by Drew Matyas.

Anticipation/Celebration

I grouped these two together because it made for a better segment… Fans get amped for a big play and then revel when their team succeeds.

Runner-Up:  Raven Rejoice – fourth-to-last shot of sequence – a female Ravens fan in the upper deck goes bonkers as her binoculars dangle around her neck… The shot proves that at a football game, EVERYONE gets pumped up … Captured by Charlie Askew.

Winner:  Giant Celebration – final shot of sequence – another female fan, this time in New York, is thrilled after her Giants tied the Packers late in the 4th Quarter… Too bad for her they couldn’t hold on against Aaron Rodgers… Captured by Ben Johnson.

Interaction w/ Players, Coaches, etc

Leaping into the crowd, signing autographs, handing out souvenirs… Fans can get close to their favorite player on a Sunday afternoon.

Runner-Up:  Keller Boost – fifth shot of sequence – captured from across the field after Santonio Holmes scored against the Bills in Week 12… One of the many reasons Donald Marx is an amazing cameraman is that he can make something out of nothing… He was in the opposite corner of the end zone from this touchdown but was still able to capture a great moment… Seeing Dustin Keller lifting Holmes up to get a pat on the back from his fans is pretty awesome… Captured by Donald Marx.

Winner:   Cam Kid – final shot of sequence – Here is another reason Donald Marx is amazing… When he is in the right position, he nails it every time… as you’ll see, many Panthers fans have received touchdown footballs this year, but this is the best shot… The emotion from the young boy who receives the ball is spectacular, as is the emotion from the boy who misses out… Captured by Donald Marx, Week 7 against Washington.

Sound

I sprinkled a few sound shots into the other segments, but this is the majority… Fans chatting, chanting, cheering, and churning out dance moves.

Runner-Up:  You Oughtta Be Coach – first shot of sequence – Crystal clear conversation between two Buccaneers fans regarding a game situation in the Week 3 Falcons game… Captured by Jim Jorden.

Winner:  Dance!  Dance!  Dance! – final shot of sequence – it’s a long shot, which is what makes it so great… Every time Dave Malek searches for another dancing fan to shoot, he finds one… I love how long he stayed rolling on this phenomenal scene at Lambeau Field… Check out the guy at the end… LOVE IT… Captured by Dave Malek, in Green Bay’s Week 14 blowout of the Raiders.

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