Friday Night Lights!!! It's been 20-something years since I was excited for Friday night high school football, but I've been feeling it again this season!
No, I'm not re-living the glory days (too much)...I've been working with Section VI (New York State Football) for Thumbs Up Video, as a cameraman on televised games and scouting assignments. Growing up, I always thought that the camera crew at NFL games had one of the coolest jobs! So, I took this season's assignment as a chance to dip my toes a bit into the world of filming football. And I've LOVED it!!!
It must be in my blood because my Dad used to film ALL of my high school football games. For 4 years, he was out there with his old-school VHS camcorder (you know, the giant box-looking tape recorder), filming from the packed stands (not on a designated perch like me), and while holding the recorder on his shoulder looking through an eye-viewer! (without a fancy tripod and LCD screen, how'd he survive?!?!)
It's been a great experience that I've really enjoyed. I've been able to enjoy some nice long drives through some beautiful country while the weather is still pleasant (always good for creative brainstorming) and have visited some truly AMAZING high school fields and facilities from Lewiston to Allegany. Seeing as I am only filming on Friday nights (and the facilities need lights for night games to happen), the majority of the fields that I have seen are sporting new facilities from top to bottom, lights to field surface.
These kids have no idea how good that they have it!!! (and yes, I know that I sound like an angry old man...) I recall playing one season in high school on our home field that had been used for a carnival a few weeks before the season had began. There were tires marks 4-8 inches deep all over that field. And we played on and practiced on that thing all year. I would estimate that 75% of the team sprained an ankle on that damn field that year. (The unnamed WNY high school re-surfaced the entire field as soon as the season ended...Thanks assholes)
Anyways, fun times filming and I'd be down to do it again next season. I've learned some new techniques (always good), scratched that itch to film football games, and have enjoyed the long road trips. Not to mention inspiring the recollection of some pretty AMAZING nostalgic memories of my Friday nights 20-something years ago...