Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Hard Rock Stadium on Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Prior to COVID-19, I would prepare to rush the field for a dunking of the winning coach or a quarterback celebration near the end of the National Championship, but things were different for this season as no one was allowed to rush the field. For that reason, I positioned myself near the middle of the field in the end zone to keep an eye on Alabama’s Coach Saban in hopes that his players would dunk him. As they all rushed the field to celebrate, Coach Saban was dunked while surrounded by many of his players and staff so it wasn’t visible from my position. I kept a close eye on the action happening and suddenly, I noticed he was lifted in the air and all I could see was him laughing and celebrating. Although I wasn’t able to be right there up close, it was a great moment to see and capture him enjoying his team and victory joyfully.
— Kevin C. Cox
Quarterback Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers congratulates wide receiver Antonio Brown after a touchdown during the 1st quarter of the game against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on Jan. 9, 2021, in Landover, Maryland.
Photographing NFL games without normal sideline access has proved to be very challenging this season, and with the playoffs beginning last week, it has put an enormous amount of pressure to make sure we are in the right place. During this game, I was covering the game from the operational zone – otherwise known as the first row of the stands. This makes for having a strategic game plan of knowing when to get to the other end of the field. Even when you’re in the right place, the play can go the other way. In this case, Antonio Brown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scoring a 36-yard touchdown. Being across the field, the picture wasn’t as compelling as I’d like, but the faces and interaction between Brown and teammate Tom Brady made it one of those story-telling images of the game.
— Patrick Smith
A surfer is seen as Jon Rahm of Spain stands on the 11th green during the final round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course on Jan. 10, 2021, in Kapalua, Hawaii.
It was the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions and I had not shot much on the back nine. During the other days of the tournament, there were dozens of surfers out in the bay, so I was hoping to get a few nice frames with them at some point. When I got to the 11th hole, to my disappointment, there was only a few surfers in the water. I saw Jon Rahm and his caddie talking on the green and was just going for a nice scenic of them. A surfer suddenly entered the frame and I started shooting focuses on him. Luck was on my side when he got between them making a left turn and stayed right in between them for several frames. I was concerned I may have lost focus but was thrilled when I saw the end result.
— Gregory Shamus
Jean-Gabriel Pageau celebrates a first period goal by Brock Nelson against Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 14, 2021, in New York City.
The always hyped “Battle for New York” fizzled for the New York Rangers, as the New York Islanders recorded a 4-0 shutout on opening night. What was probably better for the home team, was that the loss happened in front of zero fans in the building. In this frame, Brock Nelson opened the game scoring at 2:33 of the first period, and the Islanders never looked back. Foreground player is Jean-Gabriel Pageau who is in my personal Hall of Fame for his goal celebrations.
— Bruce Bennett
Brandon Tanev of the Pittsburgh Penguins checks Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers into the boards during the second period at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 13, 2021, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Lightning watch the banner being raised celebrating winning the Stanley Cup for the 2019-20 NHL season during a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on opening night of the 2020-21 NHL season at Amalie Arena on Jan. 13, 2021, in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors goes up for a shot on Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers at Chase Center on Jan. 12, 2021, in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Johnny Juzang of the UCLA Bruins reacts to a foul during the second half of the NCAAB game against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center on Jan. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Arizona. The Bruins defeated the Wildcats 81-76. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat kneel during the playing of the national anthem prior to the game at American Airlines Arena on January 6, 2021, in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Najee Harris of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes for a 26-yard touchdown during the second quarter ahead of Josh Proctor of the Ohio State Buckeyes of the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Hard Rock Stadium on Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Cornerback Marcus Peters of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates following an interception during the fourth quarter of their AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on Jan. 10, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Karl Joseph, B.J. Goodson and Adrian Clayborn of the Cleveland Browns dive for a loose ball during the first half of the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Jan. 10, 2021, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Justin Thomas of the United States plays a shot from a bunker on the 13th hole during the second round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course on Jan. 8, 2021, in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Keeper Marco Hiller of 1860 München safes the ball after getting injured during the Liga match between Bayern Muenchen II and TSV 1860 Muenchen at Stadion an der Grünwalder Straße on Jan. 9, 2021, in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for DFB)
Cori (Coco) Gauff of the United States in action against Ulrikke Eikeri of Norway during her Women’s Singles match on Day Two of the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open at Zayed Sports City on Jan. 7, 2021, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Harry Cobden riding Master Tommytucker smash through the last fence but remain upright to win The Ladbrokes Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton Park Racecourse on Jan. 9, 2021, in Sunbury, England. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, owners along with the paying public will not be allowed to attend the meeting. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
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