Road Trip: An Arizona Overnighter

I like visiting Arizona.  The drive from Los Angeles is relaxing and not too long.  The people are nice.  The venues and professional sports teams are more fan friendly (e.g. camera policy).  And the cheerleaders are hot.  It makes for a nice overnight trip.

My good friend Max, our Arizona Correspondent, invited me out to catch the Raiders game.  Now, I was out at UOP Stadium in April to cover the 2010 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders auditions and I was in awe at the facility.  It’s an amazing venue and I wanted to see what it was like when packed with cheering fans, so I quickly accepted Max’s generous offer.

When the Raiders come to town, it’s always a bit of a freak show with all the bizarrely dressed Raiders fans. It makes for a great photo and Max ventured among them to take a few shots of these colorful individuals.  I used to be a Raiders season ticket holder, so it was nothing new for me.  As Max worked the crowd, I went in early to try to avoid heat stroke.  It was very hot and I was not accustomed to such blazing and intense heat. It reminded me of that scene in The Chronicles of Riddick, where Vin Diesel’s character is trying to escape the intense solar storms on the prison planet Crematoria.  Arizona in the summer time is an inferno without the flames.  But they have a cool new stadium that’s a must see.

As I entered the stadium, I was immediately hit with a rush of chilled air.  It was quite refreshing and my senses were overloaded with the sights and sounds of all the fans in attendance.  Visually speaking, UOP Stadium is brilliant.  The outer facade with its metallic silver skin resembles a coiled snake.  And the inside seating areas and inner concourse are well designed for functionality and aesthetics.  It’s a beautiful stadium inside and out.

But when the game started, one design issue became apparent.  The acoustics were terrible.  Perhaps that was due to all the raucous noise the Raiders and Cardinal fans were making as their team’s fortunes ebb and flowed.  It was as loud as I have ever heard at a sporting event.  As for the game, it was surprisingly suspenseful, a back and forth affair right until the very end.  Raider kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed his third field goal of the day to seal the win for the Cardinals, 24 – 23.

And for those people interested, I was able to snap a few photographs of the beautiful Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders.  Like UOP Stadium, the ACC are a must see too.




Let me say that even indoors with air conditioning blasting on full, it seemed a tad warm.  Perhaps it was just me suffering the lingering effects of the heat, but I think it can get quite warm inside, especially with all those rabid Raider and Cardinal fans cheering their team.  I must say that the sight lines in the stadium are great and aside from the hardcore fans standing up all game long, you can get a decent view of the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders because there doesn’t seem to be as many people (photographers, sound men, game officials, and NFL types) along the sidelines.  So, I was fortunate to get the type of photographs that I like….clean backgrounds.

So, let’s begin our coverage of the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders by introducing my Cheerleader of the Day, Amanda.





I am not as familiar with this squad as I am with my home squad, the Charger Girls, so if I incorrectly identify a few Cardinals Cheerleaders, my apologies.  Here are a few photographs of Michelle, Tatum, Vanessa, Brianna, Alexis, Andrea, and Dionna.








And we continue our coverage of the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders with some photos of Emily, Hailee, Kristi, Tamar, Allie, Brittany, and Nicole.








And let’s conclude our coverage with Laura, Kristen P., Kristen B., Ashley, Taryn, and Chelsea.







Driving out to Arizona is a great road trip.  The drive is nice and I get to listen to my audio books.  I get a chance to catch up with Max, our Arizona Correspondent, and watch a Cardinals game in UOP stadium.   And the best reason of all…I get to photograph the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders!  Not a bad trip for an overnighter.   Now, if someone can just do something about that heat.

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