This play was the pivotal moment in pretty big upset in Super Bowl 42. The New England Patriots were undefeated and the Giants were prohibitive underdogs. The play itself went on for an eternity.
I was positioned in the end zone, which the Giants were driving towards. Eli Manning scrambled around forever and avoided being sacked several times. When Manning released the pass I followed the ball as best I could as David Tyree trapped it against his helmet. Later, I looked at the back of the camera and knew I had something pretty good.
I'd like to say I had some premonition about the play but the truth is I did what photojournalists and sports photographers have done forever. I read the situation, reacted and made the photo. NFL Films has called the play the greatest in Super Bowl history and it was an amazing feeling to know I had captured it for posterity. If there’s a lesson to be learned it’s that you can never tell when or where something crazy good is going to happen. From a photographer's standpoint this photo has a lot going for it…a key play in a really important sporting event. Combine all those elements and you've got something that has made me proud of the image.
Damian grew up in Axtell, Kansas and graduated from Washburn University (Topeka, KS). Boston based, he has been producing portraiture, photojournalism, and sports for the editorial and commercial markets. He has worked at The Topeka Capital Journal and The Denver Post, as well as Sports Illustrated where his work has been featured on the cover over 60 times.
He has covered major sports events like the World Series, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the World Cup, The Stanley Cup, The Olympics and the past 27 Super Bowls.