I covered one Super Bowl. Let me clarify. I covered the referee crew who officiated one Super Bowl. 1987. Big Blue won, led by the wondrous Phil Simms, who chose to have the best day of his career in the biggest game of his life.
I had a contract with SI, and as I’ve always said, they sort of tolerated me, even though I couldn’t shoot action worth a lick. I mean, in those days of manual focus, there were photogs on the SI crew with names like Kluetmeier, Frakes, Biever, Iooss, et al. These guys had radar, sonar, telepathy, astral projection and the team’s playbook in their head. Me, not so much.
I shot the banner pic here with literally less than a minute to kickoff. I had made arrangements with the refs to gather at the end zone, so I could bang off a group shot. I stepped onto the field, with my assistant toting a 4×6′ Chimera soft box atop a monopod, which was fitted with Speedotron head that had been Frankenstein’ed into accommodating (and even firing, occasionally) four Norman flash tubes. These were in turn linked via cables to four 200B battery packs, hanging from the unfortunate assistant’s shoulders. Thankfully, it was not raining or I mighta pulled a King Ralph on these guys.
I was firing it, stupidly, with a Hawk radio remote, which was just a notch above a garage door remote in terms of range and efficiency. Of course my colleagues on the sidelines all found my discomfiture amusing and were shouting at me as I popped off 10 or so frames, “It’s not working! Flash ain’t firing!” They of course left the “asshole” unspoken, floating in the air, not articulated but very powerfully translated.
SI killed the story. Enjoy the Super Bowl everybody!