Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chasing a dream

"Towson University senior linebacker Brian Bradford practices various drills he and about 10 other teammates will be tested on during the 2008 NFL Pro Day, which will be held at Johnny Unitas Stadium, Wednesday, March 12. According to NFLdraftscout.com, Bradford is rated number 67 out of 238 outside linebackers."

I'll be honest, I am not really looking forward to Wednesday morning. Not because I have to wake up early for an assignment, but because it will most likely be a long day.

Monday afternoon I hung out with two of the Towson University NFL hopefuls, Brian Bradford and Eric Clark, as they trained for the upcoming 2008 NFL Pro Day.

Towerlight colleague, soon to be Towson graduate and new b reporter, Matt Vensel is basing his story is more or less about Bradford, but I will still be covering the entire event.

Last year, I shot the event for the first time focusing on now Towson alumnus and now New Orleans Saints tackle, Jermon Bushrod. The one-day event is much like the NFL Scouting Combine, but to a lesser degree.

At the NFL Combine, over three hundred of the top college football players are invited to participate in the four-day opportunity to try out for the NFL. Personnel from all 32 NFL teams evaluate the nation's best college football players in preparation for the NFL Draft in April.

Conversely, at Towson a only a handful of athletes show up to try and impress a select amount scouts. They are put through everything from being weighed and bench pressing, to running the 40-yard dash and other agility drills.

Although it's fun to try and make images of an event that is straight forward, last year I wasn't treated with any respect by those running the event. So that's why I am not looking forward to the assignment.

It was if they were more concerned on what the media was doing, rather than the players trying out and themselves.

Monday was perfect example that tomorrow will most likely be the same when a scout said bluntly, "I know you're not taking my picture," My response, "Nope." His reply, "Good, better not be."

I mean, come on. I am only doing my job, no one is forcing you to be out here.

Now, I am playing devils advocate and this year could be different, but I will always remember last years signature quote all the media remembers. The saying goes, which was directed toward me as I shot pictures from a distance with a 300mm lens of Bushrod stretching, "Hey photo guy, that's what the lens is for, back the hell up."

I'll be sure to update with the event, a possible 500th win and a big game that could bump the Towson women's lacrosse team into the Nations Top 20 list.

On a side note, I regret to inform that fellow Baltimore photog, Baltimore Sun staffer Chris Assaf's blog is done. Or as he said, "###." I don't know the reason (yet), but if it was over what we discussed on assignment a month ago or so, that's pretty lame. Hopefully Chris will continue to blog else where.

Until then, catch up on his wisdom, insight and photographs on his blog while it still occupies a place on the Web.


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