Wednesday, October 17, 2012

USA vs. Guatemala World Cup Qualifier

There is something about a World Cup qualifying soccer game; where the winner goes on, and the loser goes home, that brings out the passions of all fans in attendance.  At Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City on Tuesday night the passion of the USA fans was on full display for all of the world to see.
Before the game, USA fans marched to Livestrong ready for the game...
...and grabbing a beer at a tailgate outside their favorite restaurant .
Inside, as the sun went down over an unusually warm October day in Kansas City the USA fans, flags and scarfs in hand, were ready to cheer on their team.
The supporters section, led by American Outlaws fans, got the fans into the game immediately.
 ...but a shock counter attack goal by Guatemala put the USA down early and fear about their World Cup dreams crept into the fans at the game.
But the USA quickly responded and the fans went wild.
The fans urged on the team to score more goals.
And after the USA fans celebrating their third goal...
...behind an amazing first half display by Clint Dempsey, all the USA fans were celebrating and breathing a sigh of relief that their Brazil dreams were alive.
In the second half the fans kept up the cheers...
...and celebrated their victory after the final whistle.
Some fans exchanged hi-fives with the USMNT teammates...
...and then continued their celebration outside the stands.
It was a spirited display by the USA Men's team and in particular its fans who gave the team what it needed most: a loud, pro-USA crowd.

I can't wait for the next round of qualifying for the USA Men's National Team.  I'm sure there will be more ups and downs, but with the USA fans cheering on the team the whole way I know it will be quite an adventure.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

San Francisco Giants Win Game 2 of NLCS

Got a first row seat to watch Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants even up their NLCS playoff series at one game a piece Monday night at AT&T park in San Francisco. 
Early on things looked a bit dicey for the Giants after their second baseman Scutaro was taken out by a slide from the Cardinals Matt Holliday.
Although he looked severely injured, Scutaro stayed in the game.
And the Giants answered right away with Angel Pagan's lead off home run... give the Giants a 1-0 lead.
But the Cardinals came back to bat.
And although a loud and vocal crowd...
got a double from starting Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter to tie the game up at 1-1.
But after that Vogelsong got locked in and stated mowing down the Cardinals batters.
Including the Cardinals Yadir Molina striking out.
The Giants fans were waiting for a big inning...
...and got it in the 4th when Belt scored to open up a lead.
The fans were going crazy...
...especially after Scutaro got some payback scoring 3 runs on a hit.
From there the Giants played tough D.
Kept the pressure up with their "MVP" Buster Posey at bat.
And even got a double from starter Ryan Vogelsong...
Unfortunately he wasn't able to score...
...but after pitching 7 innings he got a standing ovation.
There was some controversy in the 8th when it looked like the Giants Gregor Blanco was tagged out after roaming too far on a fly ball to the outfield.
But the first base umpire Bill Miller called him safe..
Much to the disagreement of Cardinals coach Mike Matheney.
But after conferring with the other umpires the play stood.
It didn't matter much cause Sergio Romo came in the 9th.
And threw strikes.
And celebrated the win with his catcher.
The Giants tied the series up 1-1.
And the series moves to St. Louis.  Got a feeling this is going to be a great series!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Blue Angels Practice over San Francisco

Although I've lived in SF for years I've actually never gone out before and photographed the Blue Angels performance over the SF Bay on Fleet Week.  Yesterday I ended up photographing the practice run for the Blue Angels for the Marin IJ.  It was pretty amazing to behold.
Part of the trickiness of photographing the Blue Angels is its hard to tell where they are coming from.  I grabbed this shot after they flew by 40 minutes late from when they were supposed to start.
I tried to get photos of the planes with recognizable buildings in the bay. Sometimes the planes were really far away...
...and sometimes they were right overhead.
...before disappearing behind some houses or fog.
I wasn't the only one out there with a camera in hand taking in the show.
And as they finished up their last rehearsal run I could only imagine what the final performance will be like!

To view all the photographs from the day please click on the Marin IJ article.