Well, it looks like the AJ80 era here in Houston has come to an end. According to the NFL rumor mill, the Houston Texans and Andre Johnson have agreed to part ways. Johnson spent 12 years with the team and is undeniably the greatest player in the franchise's 13 year history. Even with quarterbacks like David Carr, Matt Schuab, Case Keenum and Ryan Fitzpatrick (sorry guys), he was able to amass 1,000+ receptions, 13,000+ yards and 60+ touchdowns. HOF? I think so.
I took this photograph of him shortly after a 2014 regular season game against the Baltimore Ravens. It was the game 4 days before Christmas and I was actually there to take portraits of all the Christmas-costumed Texans fans. My assistant and I roamed around the famed Blue Lot and the concourses on every level, for hours, asking strangers if we could take their pictures. Toward the end of the game, we headed down to the field and the bowels of the stadium where I noticed a huge Texans logo painted on the wall. It was right along the path where the team leaves the field and heads to the locker room. The hall was dark but I had this ring flash connected to my camera so I thought I would try my luck. I practiced a few frames on a passing security guard, then the punter, then Mike Vrabel. I got shots of owner Bob McNair, coach Bill O'Brien, Brian Cushing and Arian Foster. I even got a shot of fan favorite and probably the second best player in franchise history JJ Watt...but that picture was trash. My favorite of the small series of images was this shot of Andre Johnson. I snapped it as he walked to the locker room to shouts of "What up 'Dre!"and other pleasantries from nearby, lucky fans. It's not perfect, but I like it. Shout out to the great 80.