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Best Seat in the House

Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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January 1, 2008 12:51 PM

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.

Posted by Rod Mar

Seahawks at Atlanta, final game of the regular season.

Neither team was playing for much. Seattle already had won the division and guaranteed themselves a playoff game. Atlanta, who lost their star quarterback to jail and their head coach back to the college ranks, was playing out the string.

Now, THAT'S a recipe for good times.

After 15 weeks of finding compelling action images from one of the most visual sports around, this game could be illustrated in three storytelling images.

THE GOOD:

If you're a Seahawks fan, seeing stars Bobby Engram, Deion Branch and Walter Jones joking on the sidelines, OUT OF HARM'S WAY, was probably the best sight of a day in which Seattle fell to Atlanta, 44-41. Coach Mike Holmgren wisely rested some of his best players, either giving them more time to heal from injuries or protecting them from potential harm:



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/400 sec., f2.8)

THE BAD:

Seattle's quarterback Matt Hasselbeck injured his right (throwing) wrist, and had it wrapped for protection. Both he and coach Mike Holmgren downplayed the severity of the injury, and it looks as if Hasselbeck will be close to full strength for this week's playoff game against Washington. Holmgren nearly found himself the goat of the season had Hasselbeck gotten seriously hurt in a meaningless game. Hasselbeck is having a career year, and everything the Seahawks do on offense is predicated on having him in charge:



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200mm f2.8 lens @ 165mm, ISO 1600, 1/400 sec., f2.8)

THE UGLY:

The Georgia Dome in Atlanta was barely half-full at kickoff. This is a weird occurrence for an NFL game, as most of them are sold out. The crowd was also strangely quiet. As my job is to tell the story of the game in photos, I thought this one set the scene pretty well:



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200mm f2.8 lens @ 70mm, ISO 1600, 1/400 sec., f2.8)


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