Friday, September 5, 2014

Back to Football

By Andy Lopusnak,
September 5, 2014

The NFL brands its kickoff weekend as BACK TO FOOTBALL, but I’ve been in football mode for months now. This summer, I had the opportunity to do photo shoots with 14 of the 32 NFL teams for CBS Sports’ Thursday Night Football coverage. Sadly, I cannot share any of the images until after they air on the TNF broadcasts. If you want to see them, then I suggest watching CBS/NFL Network on Thursdays starting in Week Two.

I used the extra funds to upgrade my camera equipment and have officially gone full frame, as well as switching my main camera from Canon to Sony. I’ll be posting soon a blog on why I made the switch, but until then BACK TO FOOTBALL. In addition to the photo shoots, I again shot Arena Football games for However, with my hectic schedule with basketball and life, I only covered three San Jose SaberCats games this year, which is my fewest Arena games in a season since 1991 (not including the 2009 year without the AFL).

Though my regular season kicks off this Sunday in Kansas City as the Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans, I’ve did three New York Jets preseason games (at Cincy, home vs. the Giants and at Philly). The three Jets games have propelled the Gang Green to 33 games I’ve covered in my now 15th season with CBS Sports, which is the most of any team. Tied for second most with 32 games are the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans.

The 2014 NFL season brings me to a new crew as the on-site graphics statistician. If you’re watching games with Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon calling all the action, then you’ll be seeing my football Rain Man skills at work. For five weeks this fall, I will be also doing some college football games, including the Notre Dame-Navy game at FedEx Field, the day after Thanksgiving game Arkansas-Mizzou game in Columbia and the Mountain West Championship game (hopefully either Boise State or Hawaii host so I can cross off another state capitol building).

I’ve been assigned my first four weeks and in addition to this Sunday in KC; I will be covering the Atlanta-Cincy, KC-Miami and Tennessee-Indy games in September. I have Week Five circled with the possibility of crossing off another stadium in my quest for a time lapse in all of them. That week, Jacksonville hosts Pittsburgh, San Diego hosts the NY Jets and San Francisco hosts the Chiefs in the brand-new Levi’s Stadium. It’s a CBS double-header weekend with the other games being Cleveland at Tennessee, Houston at Dallas and Baltimore at Indianapolis. I’m pulling for the 49ers; but would be very happy with Jacksonville or San Diego.

The other weekends that I could possibly get these elusive quartet of stadiums would be:

WEEK 8 (10/26): Miami at Jacksonville; Oakland at Cleveland
WEEK 12 (11/16): Houston at Cleveland; Oakland at San Diego
WEEK 13 (11/23): Washington at San Francisco
WEEK 15 (12/14): Cincinnati at Cleveland; Denver at San Diego
WEEK 16 (12/20): San Diego at San Francisco

In addition, I’m pulling for games in Tampa Bay (Week SIX vs Baltimore and/or Week 13 vs Cincinnati) and New England (Week 15 vs. Miami and/or Week 17 vs. Buffalo) because I only have night time lapses for those teams (plus the Bucs have a new logo). For Week Six, I will be doing an early afternoon college game and hope that I can make it to Tampa the next morning.

Since my last post in January, I’ve added some more US Presidential final resting places to my collection and now I have 22 of the 44 presidents. When I’m in Indy next, I’ll be adding Benjamin Harrison. After that, it may be until basketball season before I add another since the remaining ones aren’t very close to the NFL cities. Same goes for the state capitol buildings.  

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