Greetings and salutations, I hope this finds everyone well. Been a while since my last entry, but it’s been hard finding the words after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in late August. While I was fortunately enough to not personally be affected, the suffering that others went through and have gone through was not lost on me. I certainly hope that everyone who has been affected by this is on the road to recovery.
Anyways, with October here, football season is in full swing among other things, and I’ve been hitting all over town shooting the Houston Texans, Rice University and the University of Houston. One of the games I’ve shot was the 2017 Bayou Bucket game between Rice and UH, and while the game was essentially over by halftime, it did bring back memories of the 2007 Bayou Bucket game between the Cougars and Owls, which was played 10 years ago today. It was a game that I will remember fondly for a myriad of reasons.
A quick summation: On a sunny Saturday afternoon at old Robertson Stadium, the Houston Cougars and Rice Owls battled each other in a game that saw nearly 1,200 yards of combined offense and 15 touchdowns between the two teams. Houston jumped out to a 28-14 lead at the end of the first quarter, only to see Rice battle back across the second and third quarters, scoring 34 of the game’s next 41 points. The Owls held a 48-35 lead heading into the final quarter only to see the Cougars roar back, both literally and figuratively, scoring 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win, 56-48. (Oh, and for Cougar football buffs, it should come as no surprise that the comeback win was led by the legendary Case Keenum, but I digress LOL) For anyone watching the game in the stands, it was a heart-stopping affair with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster ride. But for me shooting the game, it was unlike anything I had experienced in my young career, at the time. (Oh a quick side note, it also was memorable because I covered the entire game while dealing with a sinus infection that left me bed-ridden the day before. )
Back in 2007, I was still trying to make a name for myself and was unsure of a real direction and purpose in photography. While certain jobs were enjoyable, I had no clue if this was something I wanted to do, long-term, and on a higher level. But this game was such a spark for me, a spark that changed my entire outlook and purpose going forward. Shooting that game and getting the images that I did, it convinced me that this is something I wanted to do long-term. And that desire got into me, like a highly addictive substance.
I’ve always regarded this game as the greatest college football game I’ve ever covered thus far, and a whole decade later, it still rings true for me. It wasn’t just an intense and memorable game, it was the game that led me to be a devotee to photography and set me on the path to where I am now. I do wish it wasn’t as expensive as narcotics at times, but that’s a rant for another day. Point is, just stay true to your hopes and goals, no matter the roads they lead to. It may take a decade to get to where you want, but keep walking the path and you WILL get there.
With that, I thank you for your attention and support. I hope to have another entry ready by November. Thank you for your time, and fare thee well. One last note, this blog entry is dedicated to my late grandfather, Connell Linson, Sr. Without your gratitude, kindness and generosity, I wouldn’t have become the professional I am now, and days like that sunny October day a decade ago wouldn’t have been possible.
All images copyright 2007 Erik Williams