Ah, nothing like football media day to bring out elfin joy in all the media relations staff. That’s office manager Erin Penning and assistant media relations director and graphic designer Beau White trying out for the KU production of High School Musical.
While coach Mark Mangino holds forth in the football complex’s auditorium with the print and television media, the local photographers are all sweating away on the newly installed Field Turf surface in Memorial Stadium with members the media relations staff at their sides moving things along as quickly as possible.
This is a necessary evil. No one really likes this day. The coaches and staff want players out of the heat as fast as possible. Players are tired from the morning practice and want out of the heat even faster.
For the photographers, it is always a challenge to be creative in a very short time, and the photos are rarely as creative as hoped. I wish there was something profound to be said about the day. There isn’t other than, these are my friends. I’ve known most for a long time. I don’t see them much in the summer. Today we all say hello again. They deserve a mention and a quick photo.
For me, this is grind it out work. My job today is to shoot very simple group photos of all the various position groups and group shots of players from the various big recruiting states and cities. I spend a lot of time on a tall ladder shouting down to players to sit on turf, take knees and stand up tall. It never ceases to amaze me that young athletes, much less than half my age, act as though taking a knee is the most difficult and painful task known to mankind.
With Beau’s help, my task has become a controlled science. Get those kickers and long snappers set up fast. A burst from the motor drive. Now, let me have the quarterback group. On and on we go. Things go quickly. Time for me to get out of the heat.
For Media Day photos of the gang, click here.