HOUSTON - As a sports videographer, I’ve had a front row seat to a lot of awesome moments, from Super Bowls to the World Series.
And there are certain moments I will never forget. First on that list is being in the Astros clubhouse moments after the team clinched a spot in the playoffs and advanced in the postseason.
You have seen the wild scenes inside the clubhouse: champagne and beer being sprayed everywhere, players dumping the bubbly on each other and cigar smoke filling the air.
As a videographer, I have an obligation to capture these moments for our viewers as if you are there in the clubhouse with us. My goal is to get in the middle of the action, if that means I’m getting doused, so be it. In fact, that’s the best part. You smell, you are sticky, you are wet but who cares?
In a potential clinching game, I come prepared for a very wet celebration. Protecting the camera is top priority. I have rain gear I use to cover ever inch of the camera. I use sandwich bags to cover my microphone. I used to come decked out head to toe in rain gear, but it doesn’t really matter, you are going to get soaked. Now I just bring a change of clothes.
My favorite clubhouse celebration came in 2015. The Astros clinched a Wild Card spot in Arizona. The game ends, the clubhouse opens. As I walk in, there is plastic wrap over everything in the clubhouse, the lockers, the TVs, everything.
We come through the plastic and there is AJ Hinch congratulating the players on advancing. Next thing you know, he says one final word and it’s on. The music is cranked, players are shaking and spraying bottles, it’s chaos and it’s awesome.
The same scene played out two days later in New York when the Astros beat the Yankees in the Wild Card game.
The biggest celebration came in the smallest clubhouse back in 2017 in Los Angeles after winning the World Series. Times had changed a bit. No longer were the local media getting in the clubhouse at the same time the first cork was popped. Television rights holders get the first few minutes of the action now a days. But when we did get in, there was no shortage of celebration. It was packed in there. Literally, you couldn’t move without bumping into someone. It was a sea of humanity. Once again, we were all soaked but no one complained.
Each time I’ve been privileged enough to cover one of these celebrations, I’m always taken aback by the pure joy that resonates through the clubhouse. The players hug, they pose for pictures, they are on cloud nine as they live out their childhood dreams.
And even though, I’ve done absolutely nothing to contribute to these wins, it’s a thrill to be apart of the action, even if that means a wet drive home.
Alex Radow is a Sports Photographer/Producer for KPRC TV.
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