Packers at Seahawks – by Ric Tapia

Ric TapiaRic Tapia is a freelance professional sports photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. Ric graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelors of Arts in Industrial/Scientific Photography. After Brooks Ric was a photo editor for NFL.com and later FOXSports.com. Ric’s Cleints and publications include: Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NFL, The Sporting News, Golf Magazine, T.V. Guide, ESPN the Magazine, Colorado Avalanche, Upper Deck Images and many more.

Packers at Seahawks

The craziest NFL game I have ever photographed. After spending my Saturday in Los Angeles photographing the USC Trojans and then Sunday in San Diego photographing the Atlanta Falcons at the San Diego Chargers. It was off to photograph Monday Night Football with the Green Bay Packers at the Seattle Seahawks for NFL.com. Let’s fast forward to the final 10 seconds of the game. The score is Packers 12, Seahawks 7 and the Seahawks have the ball at their own 24-yard line. Russell Wilson, a rookie quarterback snaps the ball from the shotgun. Wilson runs around to avoid getting sacked and throws to the corner of the end zone.  I was set up along the side of the end zone so no matter what side he threw it to I wouldn’t be blocked. I was kneeling with my 400mm and my 16-35mm set to 35mm. I shot Wilson with the 400mm and followed him running around. As soon as he threw the ball I knew it was coming to my side. I lifted my 16-35mm that was already pre-focused on the field and started shooting. Instantly I knew I had something but I didn’t know what. Did he catch it, did he drop it, was it intercepted, was it a TOUCHDOWN? I knew that I needed to keep shooting because the reaction would be bigger than the play. As soon as I saw the referee signal touchdown, the game was over (or so I thought).

Packers at Seahawks

Packers at Seahawks

Multiple TV cameras came rushing towards the pile. I then got up and started shooting anything that moved. It was chaos. The head coach of the Seahawks, Pete Carroll came running down the sideline jumping for joy and hugged Wilson. All the player huddled around Golden Tate, he was the Seahawk that was credited with the catch. While this is happening the Green Bay players are yelling and arguing with the referees as they felt that their guy, M.D. Jennings had intercepted the ball.  Players from both teams are all over the field and I am focusing in on Golden Tate, Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll and any other Seahawks players celebrating. I am then told I need to leave the field, as the game has not officially ended. By this time most if not all of the Green Bay Packer players have left the field and returned to their locker room. Once everyone is back to their spots the Seahawks kick the extra point with little contest from the remaining Packers players. The game is finally over. Seahawk players are still celebrating and I photograph the moment. This was by far the craziest ending to an NFL game I have ever photographed. I was lucky to be in the right place to capture such chaos.

Packers at Seahawks

Packers at Seahawks

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