1/21 Gallery: Different, but the same

ttompkins@bradenton.comJanuary 21, 2013 

The appeal of football, to me, can be elusive.

It took years of shooting prep football before I finally turned to ask someone standing nearby "Who the heck is 'D' and why do they keep yelling at him?"

I know. Pathetic.

But I do appreciate the athletic skill and dedication of the players. Sometimes, I can even get the feel for a game and know what's happening, and yes, even get excited about it.

But the day I went to IMG to shoot international football players felt a bit different to me.

Coaches yelling in Swedish and Russian? It was like wearing plaid and checks together; jarring.

As I watched the players warm up, it seemed a bit different from what I'm used to. No endless lines of kids counting their jumping jacks aloud. These guys were quiet. Zen.

When I spotted these players stretching, it seemed that this image could illuminate the feeling of international football -- different, but the same.

It is, after all, football.

"Go 'D!'"

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