Photographs by Simon Bruty | Sports Illustrated/The MMQB
After 11 hours of flight cancellations and delays, Sports Illustrated photographer Simon Bruty arrived in Milwaukee at 11 p.m. on Saturday to discover that the airline misrouted his luggage. That was going to be a problem. Bruty, assigned to cover Sunday’s NFC Wild Card game at Lambeau Field, desperately needed his suitcase, which was stuffed with winter clothes.
Bruty has covered bitterly cold games before (see: 2008 NFC Championship in Green Bay, where gametime temp was minus-1).
“When it gets cold like that, it’s just a question of, are you prepared,” Bruty said.
As long as there is no snow—as there was in the Week 14 whiteout between the Eagles and Lions—and he is wearing enough warm clothes, Bruty can shoot just fine. “[Colleague] Al Tielemans had it way worse in that Philly game because visibility was a problem,” Bruty said.
Luckily, Bruty’s luggage arrived Sunday morning. After a pit stop at the airport, followed by bundling up (three layers under his down jacket; hand warmers nestled in his gloves and boots) he “felt toasty” the entire game.
The only encumbrance was the weather’s toll on Bruty’s camera. Batteries tend to drain quickly in the cold. But Bruty, a 29-year veteran, kept spare batteries inside his jacket, alongside handwarmers for several seamless switches.
As for his favorite shot? Bruty doesn’t know; as of Monday afternoon he hadn’t yet seen his take. “When I was shooting I didn’t want to scroll through the camera because it would drain the battery,” he said. “And since then I’ve spent all my energy warming up.”
He’ll have to trust us on this one: The pictures turned out pretty well.