This past weekend I traveled to Chicago with the Ravens to cover their game against the Bears. I had never been to Chicago before, and unfortunately I didn’t have much time to really enjoy the city. However, from what little I saw, it was pretty awesome.
In addition to some truly unique architecture, Chicago also had something else unique to offer me…some crazy weather!
Only minutes into the 1st quarter of the game, it started to rain, the wind began to blow and with reports of a tornado in proximity to the stadium, we found ourselves forced to evacuate the field. The ensuing two hour delay provided me an unusual opportunity to see what players would do during such a situation. As it turns out, nothing too exciting! They passed the time by watching game film, stretching, eating, listening to music and some even playing video games.
Eventually the weather passed and we were welcomed back to the field with sunshine and blue skies. However those conditions didn’t last for too long. Shortly after, the skies once again darkened, the rain picked up and the wind…oh the wind. We spoke to one of the Bears field crew members and they confirmed that the wind gusts on the field reached 60 mph!
Shooting in wind like that was something I have never experienced before. Forget holding a 400mm lens steady. It literally felt like someone was pushing on the side of the lens as some sort of practical joke to prevent me from lining up my shots. On two occasions, from a kneeling position I was actually nearly blown over, only stopping myself from face planting in the mud by putting my hand down to catch myself.
For the second week in a row the Ravens ended up in overtime and unfortunately this time it didn’t go there way. Despite the loss, this was an experience I won’t soon forget.
“The Windy City” definitely lived up to its name.