Wednesday, February 09, 2011

What a day for the Green Bay Packers

Day 2 of 2 in Green Bay covering a great celebration of the Green Bay Packers win at Super Bowl XLV. The Packers hosted a big shindig at Lambeau Field, but I had tons of time to shoot other stuff before it started.

The sun rises over Green Bay, Wis., the home of Super Bowl XLV champion Green Bay Packers, Tuesday morning, Feb. 8, 2011.

Green Bay Packers-styled formal wear sits in a display window at DuBois, a store on Military Avenue in Green Bay, Tuesday morning. (ed's note: You really can't make this stuff up. Only in Green Bay.)

Michael "Doc" Doyle, a tattoo artist with Doc's Tattoo in Medford, Wis., spray paints "Welcome to Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood" on a giant pile of plowed snow in front of Lambeau Field along South Oneida Street prior to "Return to Titletown," a celebration of the Green Bay Packers’ victory in Super Bowl XLV, in Green Bay, Tuesday afternoon.

A new flag flies above Lambeau Field, now.

Fans cheer as the Green Bay Packers are introduced at "Return to Titletown."

Green Bay Packers Brandon Jackson emerges from the tunnel.

Fans reach out to shake the hand of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the start of "Return to Titletown."

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson handle the Lombardi Trophy in the tunnel before being introduced at "Return to Titletown."

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy emerges from the tunnel with the Lombardi Trophy at "Return to Titletown."

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy addresses fans while interviewed by Wayne Larrivee during "Return to Titletown."

Green Bay Packers Charles Woodson touches the Lombardi trophy just one more time during "Return to Titletown."

From left, Green Bay Packers Nick Collins, co-emcee Larry McCarren, Charles Woodson, Dom Capers and Clay Matthews acknowledge the fans during "Return to Titletown."

Green Bay Packers Donald Driver, next to teammate Jordy Nelson, waves to fans.

Now begins the Aaron Rodgers show...

Green Bay Packers quarterback puts on the belt while speaking to the fans.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers waves to fans.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hoists the Lombardi Trophy in the air after addressing the fans.

Green Bay Packers A.J. Hawk takes victory lap with his teammates at the conclusion of "Return to Titletown."

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, right, and cornerback Charles Woodson, left, shake hands with fans on their way out of Lambeau Field.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Victorious Green Bay Packers return to Wisconsin

Welcome home, world champion Green Bay Packers! I'm in frigid Green Bay for two days covering the team's homecoming for the Wisconsin State Journal. It's fun being here. Even when you're a team that's won more than a dozen championships in its history, something like this doesn't happen that often.

Many are saying this is the story of the decade for Wisconsin. Exaggeration? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Bill Gonzales of Green Bay, Wis., yells out a cheer while waiting for the Green Bay Packers to return home to Lambeau Field from their Super Bowl XLV win, in Green Bay, Wis., Monday, Feb. 7, 2011.

A Green Bay Packers fan runs east on Lombardi Avenue with a Lombardi Trophy replica before the team arrived.

Green Bay Packers Donald Driver takes pictures of the thousands of fans who turned out to Lambeau Field and lined streets to offer the team a warm welcome home.

Green Bay Packers' Daryn Colledge yells out to fans as the busses roll in.

Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins hams it up with the fans after getting off his bus.

Green Bay Packers fans welcome back an injured Charles Woodson. Woodson broke his collarbone during the game.

Green Bay Packers fans sought higher ground on top of a CBS 58 live television truck in the Lambeau Field parking lot.

Green Bay Packers fans reach out to players as they disembark busses and walk into their Lambeau Field locker rooms.

Green Bay Packers players pumped up their fans while leaving Lambeau Field for their vehicles. An official celebration will take place tomorrow at Lambeau Field to celebrate the Packers' win.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Funeral of Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger

You never want to cover a funeral. But when you have to, you just pray for the clarity of mind to capture the images that will tell the story... to show your community how much people loved the deceased, and the incredible respects rendered by his or her colleagues.

Honestly, I expected to feel unwelcome yesterday... there are many funerals journalists cover where those attending don't understand why we are there. I think part of feeling unwelcome is knowing that you truly feel uncomfortable being there.. that you think others can smell it on you.. that they can read it on your face.. and that that will translate into how others consequently might treat you.

This time was different. After I had been at the church for a while before the funeral, one of Sgt. Baitinger's sisters approached me and asked me who I was with. We chatted for a little while, rather emotionally. Before leaving me to return to her family, she managed to say through tears, "Thank you for being here to tell the story."

Folks, if there's ever one thing you can say to a journalist that will stun them, even choke them up, and maybe make them feel okay... that's it.

Thank you, Baitingers and Wisconsin police community for letting me be with you. I hope I did your story justice.

Dep. Jason Brockway of the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department Honor Guard approaches the front of church during visitation before a funeral Mass for Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger at St. Bernard Catholic Parish in Middleton, Wis., Friday afternoon, Feb. 4, 2011. Baitinger, who worked for the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Police Department and was a Middleton, Wis., native, was killed in the line of duty on Monday, Jan. 24.

A black mourning band covers the badge of Middleton Police chief Brad Keil before the funeral Mass.

Madison Police Department patrol officer Alexandra Nieves consoles Madison Police Department detective Dave Miller during visitation hours prior to the funeral Mass. Miller said he knew Baitinger from when Baitinger worked for the Dane County Sheriff's Office and Miller for the Middleton Police Department.

Police from around the state of Wisconsin turned out by the dozen to attend Sgt. Baitinger's funeral.

Paige Baitinger, the wife of Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger, is consoled by her brother Lorne Gayzagian as Msgr. Douglas Dushak incenses the remains of her husband.

Paige Baitinger holds a necklace close to her during the funeral Mass for her husband.

Police department honor guards from around the state of Wisconsin lined up to offer a final salute at the conclusion of the funeral Mass.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Snowpocalypse, Day 3

A snow fight ensues between University of Wisconsin-Madison students gathered on Bascom Hill on the Madison, Wis., campus Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 2, 2011. Classes were canceled after close to a foot of snow blanketed much of southern Wisconsin.

Faced with fluffy snow that wouldn't pack well into snowballs, a partaker in the snow fight improvises by using a lunch tray to throw snow.

A semi-aerial view of the fight, looking down Bascom Hill towards downtown and the Capitol.

Rhys Paulson, a freshman at University of Wisconsin-Madison, recoils after being pelted with snow multiple times during the snow fight.

And here's a pretty cool video I produced from all of this:

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Snowpocalypse, Day 2

A motorist drives east through drifting snow on County Highway M, east of County Highway PB near Verona, Wis., Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011.

A pedestrian walks west on University Avenue past the Best Western InnTowner hotel in Madison, Tuesday.

Lisa Kisling of Madison takes advantage of fresh snowfall to do some cross-country skiing in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum in Madison, Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Snowpocalypse, Day 1

Lots of snow on the way to the Midwest. To be sure, this will be a three-day media circus for all journalists this week.

Friends Kevin Breyne-Grace, 10, left, and Lou Squitieri, 10, center, watch friend Robert Saltzman, 11, sled down a luge-like track constructed over the past week in a backyard on North Baldwin Street in Madison, Wis., Monday afternoon, Jan. 31, 2011.

Breyne-Grace helps clear snow from a neighbor's driveway, Monday.

Ross McVey runs his snow thrower to clear his driveway on Woodgate Road in Middleton, Wis., Monday afternoon.

Glow Pack Glow

Pretty creative headline from the copy desk on this one. Love it...

The dome of the Wisconsin Capitol building in Madison, Wis., was illuminated green and gold Monday evening, Jan. 31, 2011, in celebration of the Green Bay Packers playing in Super Bowl XLV next Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas.