Ernie Banks or "Mr. Cub" as he was known in baseball loved the game. A quote that's always credited to him and is one of my favorites is "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame...Let's play two!" Sadly, Mr. Cub passed away at the end of January but his legacy and his love of the game will live on forever in Chicago and in baseball. I wanted to bring up Ernie Banks for a couple reasons. When I say Ernie Banks loved the game, I mean he really loved it. A while back a photographer once told me "If you need photography like you need to breathe, you'll make it." That's how Ernie Banks was when it came to baseball, he breathed the game. That sort of passion is something I always desire in my life and something I use to keep me motivated towards my goals. I also brought up Ernie Banks because I decided to go for two with pond hockey, so I shot the North American Pond Hockey Championships (NAPHC) the weekend after the USPHC (blog post here) took place.
While the USPHC is considered the grand daddy of all tournaments here in Minnesota, the NAPHC is a quaint little tournament that takes place on Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior, MN. Only 12 rinks are set up for this tournament weekend as this event doesn't have the pull the USPHC has. Still, the main thing I loved about this tournament is that it's a non-profit and all of the proceeds go to charity. Although this tournament lacks the team numbers, it doesn't lack the competitive edge which is all I care about on these weekends. One thing I will give credit to the NAPHC over the USPHC is that they have some pull, they were able to get Lou Nanne, former North Stars general manager, and Neal Broten, a Minnesota legend and one of my favorite players, to come to the tournament. Being able to shake their hands was the highlight of my weekend.
Full disclosure, I wasn't able to shoot Sunday but I got some decent stuff from Friday and Saturday!
Saturday was met with sadness. As I was leaving Friday I saw the paramedics coming onto the scene but I really didn't think much of it because I just figured someone took a nasty puck to the face. Unfortunately, Greg Riebe had collapsed then passed away shortly after from a heart attack. From what I was told, he led a healthy lifestyle, ran marathons, and was relatively young in his early 40s. To honor him, they closed off the rink and left a memorial in his memory.
Photos from Saturday's competition:
That's all for me, sorry for the short post. As always, the rest of my images can be found on Flickr. Things have been winding down for me since it's still Winter here but I have a lot of stuff planned for 2015 and what I'm going to shoot. Outside of paintball, I'll be shooting some golf, tennis, skateboarding, and possibly some soccer as well, it's all just a matter of the cards aligning for me. Right now the next thing on my schedule will be PSP Nashville, the 2nd stop on the paintball circuit. Also working on some GoPro footage I got when I was at the USPHC, I've just been swamped with work so things have taken a while to get out. See you next time!
Canon 1D Mark II
70-200mm f/2.8 L