Who said it never rains in Southern California? Well it certainly did last Sunday…and I am sure the visiting Miami Dolphins were well accustomed to that, but for me and 28 Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders, it was a surreal experience.
So, what are those spots you see in some of those photos above? To Southern Californians, they’re more precious than gold…it’s mana from heaven…rain drops. Now rain wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I found out I was going to shoot the Dolphins game, but its what I got. And I must say it made for some interesting photographs and the Rams Cheerleaders seemed to take it all in stride and had a great time out there. I know I did.
It’s been almost two decades since I was last at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. I was a Raiders season ticket holder back then, so coming back to shoot this game brought back some fond memories…and the realization why the Rams need a new crib. It’s a venerable old stadium, but it’s outdated and the amenities are insufficient for a modern game. While waiting for the kickoff, several photographers huddled in a cramped area near the west end zone. We were dodging the rain. I remember that space being used by the Raiders band back in the 90’s, but it has since been converted to a media room for photographers and their editors to work. It has the advantage to being very close to the field and the WIFI was good, but…well you know.
Last week, the Miami Dolphins played the Chargers in San Diego and I think they remained in Southern California to play the Rams this Sunday. Another week, and another opportunity for both teams. In fact, it was a rather momentous game for the home town Rams as Jared Goff was starting for the first time in his NFL career. Goff was the number one overall pick in the NFL draft and Rams fans have been eagerly awaiting his debut. I mean you don’t select a player #1 overall, pay him all that money to let him ride the pine. No, you got to play him and see what he can do.
And for his first NFL start, Goff did okay, throwing for 134 yards and more importantly zero interceptions. The Rams led the visiting Dolphins for most of the game, taking a 10 point lead deep into the fourth quarter. I made the mistake of assuming the game was in the bag with about six minutes to go because up until that point, the Dolphins had only passed for about 70 yards and the Fins hadn’t really threatened to score. But in their final two possessions of the game, the visitors put together two sustained drives and scored 14 points to steal victory away from the Rams. And a steal it was because up until that time, the Dolphins only managed to cross mid-field twice…twice in 54 minutes of game play.
Well, I did manage to snap a few game photos and the last one below was from the pass play that won the game for the Dolphins.
Yeah, back in the day I used to shoot other things than cheerleaders…but cheerleaders are all that I shoot today. So on with the show!
How did that mascot Clint…er…Rampage get in that photo? I first met Clint a few years ago while covering the 2012 St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders auditions. He was kind enough to sign a Rampage bobble head for a friend of mine…and he’s been showing up in my photos ever since.
I think these girls are laughing in the photo above because they enjoy getting rained upon…a rarity in Southern California. Rain? What’s that?
There wasn’t a lot of room to shoot where I was located, at the south west sideline, so I relocated to the south east sideline for the remainder of the game…better shooting over there.
When I wrote about the Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders final auditions a few months ago, I commented that this squad was like the old rock and roll supergroups of the 1980’s, groups composed of established members of other renown bands. That was not mere hyperbole. This first team of Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders is, indeed, the supergroup of professional cheerleading being composed of former cheerleaders from the Laker Girls, Clippers Spirit, Charger Girls, Baltimore Ravens, the Kings Ice Crew, the Ontario Fury and a host of other semi-pro teams as well as dancers from UCLA and USC. It’s all that one would expect and a whole lot more…and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with them…rain and all.
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My thanks to Director Keely Fimbres-Bledsoe and the media relations team of the Los Angeles Rams for allowing me to cover their amazing squad of cheerleaders.