January 14, 2012

NFL: Niners defeat Saints 36-32

WHAT a crazy game!!

Headed over to Candlestick Park for the 49ers playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.

This game has been all the buzz with talk of how Alex Smith would prove against an "elite" quarterback like Drew Brees and even the video cameras were closely covering... no pressure!

Such a big game they had acts including Sean Kingston at halftime.

And Future performing "Tony Montana" throughout the game.

The game got off to an exicting start with niners making key turnovers and scores.

Including an early score by Vernon Davis for the catch and run.

Then leaped over photographer line to celebrate with fans.

Before going to celebrate with Coach Jim Harbaugh

Niners fans were going crazy!!

Saints fans not enjoying the game quite as much.

Despite a 17 point deficit, Saints weren't easy to shake as they put up their own points.

And with Drew Brees at quarterback, always gotta watch your back.

With 4:02 left in the game Drew Brees connected with Darren Sproles for a 44 yard touchdown. And the crowd was in shock!

I was worried niners wouldn't have enough time to even the score - until Vernon Davis caught the long pass along the sideline.

Then with 2:11 to go - Alex Smith ran for a 28 yard touchdown thanks in part to great blocking by Joe Staley.

I couldn't believe it! Was so happy for Alex Smith and impressed with his composure on the drive and score.

But if anyone can make a comeback it would be Drew Brees.

He threw a 66 yard pass to Jimmy Graham which he ran for a touchdown with 1:37 left in the game.

But after another long ball to Vernon and with 9 seconds left, Alex Smith threw a 14 yard pass to tight end superstar Vernon Davis one more time for the win!

After celebrating with teammates, Vernon fell to the ground, overwhelmed with emotion.

Niners quickly stopped the kickoff return and Saints didn't have enough time to put together a drive as Niners won their first playoff game since 2003!

Final score, the 49ers defeated the Saints 36-32 and are headed to the NFC title game!

Alex Smith didn't have a perfect game....

But he took risks, didn't lose the ball and most importantly, won the game!

This was such an amazing game, as they say "instant classic" and I am so glad I had the opportunity to not only see it live but photograph this bit of football history!!

Who's got it better than us? No Body!!!!

On a random note: A Zac Efron look-a-like was hanging around the photo area under the stadium where we set our gear and grab food. I was trying to explain the similarities to other photographers but, turns out, most sports photographers don't follow the High School Musical alum, go figure! But when I got home, saw it was actually Zac Efron himself! The girly-girl in me is a bit excited about my proximity to the handsome celebrity but also a bit embarrassed that the entire time he was standing near me I was stuffing my face with fajitas and talking about the poop in the nearby porta potties. I don't think he'll be asking around "who was that really cool female photographer?"... but that's ok, he's a Saints fan ;-)


  1. Amazing photos Kelley! It was such a ridiculously good game! Everyone was holding their breath the last 20 seconds! I couldn't believe they would pull it off! Everyone at Buffalo Wild Wings was so ecstatic! It was crazy! Thanks for the story! I agree with you about Zac Efron! What a hottie! :)

  2. Wow Kelley, Great work as usual! That place must have been electric as the clock ran down. Glad you were there to capture it.

  3. Epic game and crystal clear, beautiful shots Kelley! Loved the celebrations after the last 2 TDs and Anthony Dixon posing for you after the game. And the Zac Efron story is great. Kelley Cox = Gamer!!!

  4. Thanks guys! Was a great to witness and even better to photograph! I can only imagine how crazy everyone was going at Buffalo Wild Wings, and talking to my dad, I think a lot of people watching at home were going crazy too! haha What an epic game indeed! =)