Hot and Bothered in San Diego: The Seahawks vs The Chargers

It was hot in San Diego. Unseasonably hot.  Blazing hot. This game, which on paper seemed to overwhelmingly favor the defending Super Bowl Champions, was really not all that competitive. I mean as the game progressed, it appeared that the Seahawks were being outplayed, out-muscled and out-executed, if that is a word.  They just weren’t really in it after the second quarter and I think it was due to the heat because the Seahawks played like I felt…lifeless.

[Update: Per ESPN it was 118 degrees on the field.]

Final Score: Chargers – 30, Seahawks – 21.

Hot and bothered.  I mentioned the heat.  Now the “bother”.   I was looking forward to this game.  It was a day game.  It was against the defending Super Bowl Champions and I was hoping to get some great shots of the Charger Girls in a mid afternoon game setting.  When I arrived at my seats, my old nemesis was there again…the big, black mobile stage.  The stage that I wrote about in the past.  Anyway, not to rehash this issue, which you can read about it here, this was a bad thing.  Essentially, preventing our section from seeing half of the game.  Thus, the “bothered” portion of the title.

My apologies to the first two lines (Angela’s and Natalie’s ) as I did not get the type of images that I would have liked, but I did my best and managed to get a few keepers during the day.

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I guess that’s how it’s gonna be sometimes.  If there’s going to be a field performance with a stage, it’s going to be located in my section.

We begin our regular coverage of the Charger Girls with the Captains: Angela M., Natalie, Katelyn and Clarisse.

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Our Charger Girl of the Day is one of the more popular Charger Girls and has developed a loyal fan following.  And I count myself as one of them…introducing Shelbi.

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Some Outtakes from the Chargers vs Cardinals Game

The wonder of digital cameras is that while I used to shoot about 8 rolls during the film era, with digital photography I shoot about 1,300 images per game.  That’s a difference of about 1000 images.  You had to be quite deliberate taking specific photos during the film era, but not quite so discriminating these days.  You can just let ‘er rip during their dances.  As a consequence, there are many photos that go unused after discarding the obvious throwaway shots with those extraneous people in the background (which I hate with a passion) or uninteresting subject matter/awkward poses. So, here are the some of the leftovers from last weeks preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.

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I was very pleased to see that Angela M. was named a Line Captain this year because she is one of my favorite Charger Girls to photograph and being in the middle of the line ensures that I get a nice angle of her when she performs.

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Chargers and Cards Kick Up Their Heels In Preseason Finale

The Arizona Cardinals flew into town to play the Chargers in the preseason finale, a prelude to the season opening rematch in Phoenix next week.  Their were high kicks a plenty all game long…unfortunately, I’m not talking about the Charger Girls.   When the final gun sounded, both teams combined to kick seven field goals in a predictably dull game.  Without the starters playing for either team, that was the best that could be expected.

Final Score: San Diego Field Goalers – 12, Arizona Field Goalers – 9.

At least the Charger Girls were in mid season form.

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I have said this pretty much every year that I have written for this blog and I will say it again…the only thing good about preseason games are the Charger Girls. It’s just, plain bad football and we get to drive out on a Thursday night and pay full price, we season ticket holders, to watch some football played by guys that won’t be on the team in 48 hours.

The only redeeming aspect is the Charger Girls.  This game was my first chance to see the girls in their regular game day uniforms and that was worth the price of admission.

Okay, enough of the annual diatribe against preseason football…let’s get on with our regular coverage of the Absolutely Fabulous San Diego Charger Girls.  We begin with the Captains: Angela, Natalie, Katelyn and Clarisse.

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The 2014 Ladies of Ontario Fury Dance Team Auditions

This past Saturday, the Ontario Fury of the MASL held their auditions for their 2014 dance team, the Ladies of Ontario Fury.  Last year was their inaugural season and I can testify that their dance team made an audacious debut.  The squad is under the direction of Lynae de Leon, a former Clippers Spirit dancer, and she has a gift for developing local dance talent and training them for higher level professional sports dance teams.  This past year alone, several of her former dancers have gone on to making the Charger Girls and the Clippers Spirit and making the finals for the 49ers Gold Rush, the Golden State Warrior Girls and Seattle Sea Gals.

I was excited to see what would come of these auditions and to anticipate the great things to come with this new squad.  A new season brings a new beginning and a renewal.  Gone were a few veterans, so that there were some openings available for a few talented candidates.  But the competition would be fierce.

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So things began with the perfunctory selfie by returning veteran Michelle C.

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Girls and selfies go together like root beer and vanilla ice cream…don’t you agree?

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The Sun Also Rises: The 2014 Phoenix Suns Dancers Auditions

This past Saturday, the Phoenix Suns held their preliminary auditions for their dance team at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Over a hundred girls tried out for roughly 18 positions.  With 13 veterans trying out again, in reality the 100 hopefuls were essentially auditioning for five open slots, give or take an unexpected vacancy or two.

It was clear that the returning veterans were clearly a cut above the majority of those trying out.  A season’s worth of rehearsing and performing was evident in their technique, showmanship and ability to learn the audition routine quickly.  From this person’s perspective, there was a clear difference between the veterans and the other girls at this audition.

That is not to say that there weren’t any qualified candidates in attendance.  In fact, I saw many girls who had previously tried out for the Suns Dancers or the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders and many of them were quite talented and good looking.  But with only a handful of openings in any given year, many talented dancers go wanting.

But I am getting ahead of myself…

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The Charger Girls’ Salute to the Military

It’s football season again!  Well…pre-season football and you know what that means.  The Dallas Cowboys drove down from their training camp in Oxnard to battle the Chargers’ second teamers in a titanic battle of the bench warmers.  On this night, the Chargers second team bested the Cowboys second team, 27 – 7.  At least the Cowboys found their back up QB of the future in Brandon Weedon, who was an efficient 13 of 17 for 107 yards and a TD.

If the football was less than stellar, the Charger Girls were simply breathtaking in their military inspired uniforms, a tribute to the servicemen and servicewomen who have sacrificed so much for this country.

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San Diego is a military town, the Navy and Marine Corps in particular, and each year the Chargers honor them with their Salute to the Military night.  As you can tell, the main feature of this night is the Charger Girls wearing special military themed uniforms, which is a nice way to honor our men and women in uniform.

This game was our first look at the 2014 Charger Girls in action and this is a year of change for the squad with 14 rookies making up half the team.  But before we get to the newbies, let’s begin with 2014 Captains: Angela M., Natalie, Katelyn and Clarisse.

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Did I mention that there were a lot of rookies on this year’s team?  And one of them was our first Charger Girl of the Day for 2014…introducing Bridget J.

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2014 P-R-O Convention All Star: Houston Texans Cheerleader Caitlyn

I first saw our final honoree at last year’s P-R-O Convention and she made quite an impression.  She was a rookie, but she owned the floor and was anything but a wall flower.  To say she had a presence was an understatement and you could tell that she would stand out amongst a crowd of talented professional cheerleaders…let’s just say she had a certain charisma about her.

Fast forward to this year and her sophomore campaign and my impression of her changed little.  They say that you want to stand out at auditions, and those that do are likely the ones that people in the last row of the stadium will be watching on game day.  Well, I was up front at P-R-O and I was watching her.

Our final 2014 P-R-O Convention All Star hails from the Houston Texans Cheerleaders…introducing Caitlyn.

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This concludes our coverage of the 2014 P-R-O Convention, the premier professional dance convention.  300+ hundred cheerleaders, 7000 images, and endless hours of post processing…all to present to you, the very best cheerleaders from professional sports, the thirty three 2014 P-R-O Convention All Stars.

Only 11 more months until we begin this process all over again!

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