06
Feb

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
Was fortunate enough to shoot my ninth career Super Bowl this weekend in Houston where the world witnessed the most incredible and improbably comeback in Super Bowl history. Continue on to see all my favorite photos from Super Bowl LI

When you arrive at the stadium at 11am for a 5:30pm game you have a lot of time to kill. After relaxing and annoying my bosses in the USA Today photo workroom I would head to the bus entrance beneath the stadium to shoot the Patriots team bus arrivals.

Security was incredibly strict so I wasn’t able to produce much from the arrivals but I at least got the two most important people on the team.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 10,000iso, f2.8, 1/320th, Manual
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick arrives before Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 10,000iso, f2.8, 1/250th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady arrives before Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Three hours before the game was to begin I walked around the field to see if there was anything worth shooting.

Thats when I noticed halftime performer Lady Gaga was hanging out on the field with family and friends.

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 3200iso, f4, 1/1250th, Manual
Recording artist Lady Gaga throws a football on the field before Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In all the Super Bowls Ive done I have never seen the halftime act hanging out on the field before the game.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual
Recording artist Lady Gaga walks on the field before Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
Movie actor Mark Wahlberg before Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick head out onto the field for warmups before Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual
Recording artist Usher before Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I really liked the below photo as Tom Brady and his teammates take the field for the big game.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) leads his team to the field against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

President Bush was on hand for the coin toss.

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 4000iso, f4, 1/1600th, Manual
President George H.W. Bush is introduced before Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Time for the game!

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 4000iso, f4, 1/1250th, Manual
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelmann is tackled by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins (32) in the first quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 4000iso, f4, 1/1250th, Manual
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelmann is tackled by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins (32) in the first quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 4000iso, f4, 1/1250th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) gets away from New England Patriots free safety Duron Harmon (30) and outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich (50) in the first quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Sure wish I was on the other side of the field for the below play!

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f3.2, 1/1600th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) leaps through the air to score a touchdown against the New England Patriots in the second quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f3.2, 1/1600th, Manual
New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23) breaks up a pass to Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (81) in the second quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 5000iso, f4, 1/1600th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts against the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 5000iso, f4, 1/1600th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley (44) knocks the ball loose from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass as Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley (44) defends in the first quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f3.2, 1/1600th, Manual
New England Patriots running back James White (28) runs the ball against the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) reacts after a New England Patriots first down during the second quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) celebrates with teammates after recovering a fumble against the New England Patriots in the second quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (81) scores a touchdown against the New England Patriots in the second quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (81) celebrates with wide receiver Julio Jones (11) after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots in the second quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

At the half the Falcons would hold a 21-3 lead.  The largest deficit a Super Bowl winner has ever overcome was 10 points.

Then it was time for the halftime show featuring Lady Gaga

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/2500th, Manual
Recording artist Lady Gaga performs at halftime during Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual
Recording artist Lady Gaga performs at halftime during Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual
Recording artist Lady Gaga performs at halftime during Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/8000th, Manual
Recording artist Lady Gaga performs at halftime during Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/8000th, Manual
Recording artist Lady Gaga performs at halftime during Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
Recording artist Lady Gaga performs at halftime during Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual
Recording artist Lady Gaga performs at halftime during Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After clearing all the stage equipment from the field it was time for the second half of the blowout game to begin.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels prior to the start of the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/2500th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) scores a touchdown past New England Patriots outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich (50) to make the score 28-3 in the third quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

That would be the last score by the Falcons as the Patriots would quickly heat up.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich (50) flies in for a tackle on Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman in the third quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola (80) runs the ball against Atlanta Falcons cornerback C.J. Goodwin (29) in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola (80) catches a touchdown pass against Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins (32) in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f3.2, 1/1600th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) in the huddle with his team against the New England Patriots in the third quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 4000iso, f4, 1/1250th, Manual
New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis (33) cannot hold onto the ball against Atlanta Falcons cornerback C.J. Goodwin (29) during the third quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) runs the ball against Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) in the third quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 5000iso, f4, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (19) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins (32) in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 5000iso, f4, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 5000iso, f4, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) is unable to catch a pass against Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brian Poole (34) in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Late in the fourth quarter the Patriots would score a touchdown and have to go for two points to tie the game.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola (80) scores on a two point conversion to tie the game late in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola (80) scores on a two point conversion to tie the game against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Brady was pumped up after the incredible comeback to tie the game after being down by 25 points in the third quarter.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates the game-tying two-point conversion against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons would have 57 seconds left to try and drive down the field to get within field goal range to attempt a game winner.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is pressured by New England Patriots outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy (53) in the third quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) catches a pass as he pushes off the helmet of New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan (26) in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Julio Jones would make an incredible catch on the sidelines.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) catches a pass against New England Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe (25) in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx mk2, 400mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) catches a pass against New England Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe (25) in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons would be unable to score and we would see the first ever overtime game in Super Bowl history!

The Patriots would win the toss and quickly drive down the field.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. (44) breaks up a pass intended for New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett (88) during over time during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Much like the winning play in the College Football Championship coming to my corner, the same would happen with the Super Bowl.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots running back James White (28) scores the game winning touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in overtime during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
New England Patriots running back James White (28) scores the game winning touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in overtime during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 16-35mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/3200th, Manual
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) shakes hands with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) after Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The post game media scrum was very physical, I was taking hits as well as doling them out in a fight for position near Tom Brady.

Canon 1Dx, 16-35mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with running back LeGarrette Blount (29) after beating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 16-35mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/2500th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) on the field after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After the scrum on the field we would move to the other end of the field for the trophy presentation with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft talks to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick celebrates after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

And here are the shots that will be used for generations as Tom Brady received the Vince Lombardi trophy for the fifth time in his career.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
Four time Super Bowl champion Terry Bradshaw (left) hands the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the first quarterback to win five, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After the trophy ceremony was wrapping up I made my way beneath the stadium outside the Patriots locker room entrance to shoot players celebrating inside.

Sometimes security lets the still photographers into the locker room and other times they don’t allow access.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 8000iso, f2.8, 1/320th, Manual
New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola heads towards the locker room with girlfriend, former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Luckily this time they would let a few of us in.

Canon 1Dx, 16-35mm, 10,000iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft hands out victory cigars to the players in the locker room after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the locker room I would stake out a position next to Tom Brady’s locker.

Canon 1Dx, 16-35mm, 10,000iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates in the locker room with wide receiver Chris Hogan (15) after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Brady would go from being super happy to upset when he realized that his game jersey was missing.

Canon 1Dx, 16-35mm, 10,000iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady realizes that his game jersey is missing from the locker room. It really surprised me that minutes after experiencing the euphoria of winning a record fifth Super Bowl in incredible fashion how sad he was about the jersey being gone. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Canon 1Dx, 16-35mm, 10,000iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual
New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23) celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy in the locker room after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Right after shooting this photo the player would turn and the Lombardi trophy would nail me in the jaw.  It hurt but was a very first world problem!

Next years game in Minnesota is going to have a hard time being as exciting as this one was but I can’t wait to be there to see!

To see some of my previous Super Bowl blogs check the below links

2016 Super Bowl Panthers vs Broncos

2015 Super Bowl Seahawks vs Patriots

2014 Super Bowl Broncos vs Seahawks

2013 Super Bowl Patriots vs Giants

2012 Super Bowl 49ers vs Ravens

2011 Super Bowl Steelers vs Packers

Next up the NHRA season kicks off in Pomona, California.

 


 
Posted in Bowl Game, Football, NFL, Sports, Super Bowl, Texas, USA Today   Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Check out my Facebook page devoted my photography where I routinely share my favorite photos from each shoot as well as favorite photos from the past. Click the below banner to check it out. Be sure to "like" the page so you can be kept up to date on all the events I am doing!