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The Goddess of Victory: Part I

Back when I was schleppng shoes at Niketown Portland (was the summer of ’95), I can say I never felt further away from my dream of being a photographer.

I couldn’t see how working retail would translate into a successful career in photojournalism. It didn’t, though it did motivate me to figure shit out.

Well, it’s been a lucky 13 years since I last sold a pair of Air Pegasus. Today I was back working for Nike – but as a photographer.

(Not only did I not have to fold up T-shirts, but can I add that the pay is better?? Though Nike does have crazy good health insurance for its peeps.)

The Nike World Campus is hosting a fun, 7-On-7, no contact football tournament of top h.s. football programs from across the States. Schools from Houston, E. St. Louis and Tampa, among others, were in the house.

I got the gig because of a referral from Mr. Rooter the Shooter, who needed a second rooter, er, shooter.

My sleek, sexy black Honda Civic that ALL my friends covet was bought largely with cash from the last time I worked with Dan at the Nike campus four years ago, shooting an endless soccer tournament. (Pietsch rounded out the Three Amigos.)

I’m back to lovin‘ the swoosh!

Of course, this morning, I thought we were going to photograph European football, thanks to a confused Mr. Root. With a tournament coming up soon in Manchester, he’s got soccer on the brain.

I was actually happier shooting football for some reason. Maybe because it’s easier to predict.

Or maybe because football is not boring like soccer.

Something about the refs today caught my eye. Not sure what it is other than that at college games, they’re often secluded during their down time.

During one of the breaks in action, members of one team raced across the field, jumping and screaming like J-Lo was making a cameo appearance.

Even better: LBJ.

LeBron was there on campus for a photo shoot. That would have been an interesting – but stressful photo assignment. I was quite happy doing HS FB and working on my farmer’s tan.

The setting of the tournament, while competitive, is pretty laid-back. Because the way the game is played, I even spent much of the time shooting ON the field – as in the middle of the fucking field.

Can’t wait to shoot Ducks games the same way this fall!

I have random thoughts I want to add. But for now, I’m fried and have an early morn with more football on the horizon. Perhaps with the next post from Nikeland

P.S. Know what’s scary? I still remember my Nike employee number:


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