Greetings and salutations, I hope this finds you all well, and I hope things are going well for everyone, as the year winds down. Things have been stop-start for me in the midst of football season, which is always the busiest time of the year for me. This past weekend, I covered Rice’s home game against the Army Black Knights. Shooting football is always fun, but not when the weather is inclement. And the weather this past Saturday was wet, or as I call it, two-of-every-animal-bad.
Between Friday night and Sunday night, the city of Houston (and all of Southeast Texas) was drenched from the remnants of Hurricane Patricia as perpetual bands of rain lashed all over town. And unfortunately, Rice Stadium was not spared from the deluge. As the game started, even as Rice jumped out to a 14-0 lead, the rain was showering the stadium, but it was as least tolerable. And yes, I took precautions beforehand, dressing for the precipitation and making sure my camera equipment was well-protected. Things held up until the start of the second half when the rain came down harder and harder. At some point in the third quarter, the sky just opened up and it started pouring hard, VERY HARD. The rain was so vicious that I could barely see the action on the field, let alone shoot it. And my main camera was nearly useless as water droplets completely covered the front element, making shooting very difficult. As the quarter progressed, I constantly dried off the front element to at least get shots in focus, but the driving rain made that difficult.
Oh yea, back to the game proper, Rice stretched their lead to 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but Army fought back to tie the slosh-fest with just two minutes and thirteen seconds left, right as the rain started to let up. On Rice’s subsequent possession, they drove 63 yards in 93 seconds, just as another strong line of storms passed over the stadium. Amidst the inappropriately placed heavy rain bands, Rice scored the game winning touchdown with 24 seconds left, winning the contest, 38-31. It was a great win for Rice, a truly memorably one, but it was simply the most miserably football game I’ve ever shot. I’ve shot games in extreme heat and cold and been reasonably fine, but never in rain that consistently fierce. And yes, every single part of my person and gear was completely soaked afterwards. But it was another memory created in a very long year, a year that has been a rollercoaster in many ways. Sometimes life involves doing things you don’t want to and doing things in VERY harrowing conditions. All you can do is push through and fight it out, even if you’re drenched into the stone age in the process.
Well, with all that said, thank you for your time and for reading my blog once again. I hope to have another entry online by mid-December if not sooner. Thank you for the support, and until next time, fare thee well.
All images copyright 2015 Erik Williams/Rice Sports Information