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The real loss-Michael Bush

September 5, 2006 by Mark Cornelison  
Filed under Mark Cornelison

In my job I get to create covers each year for the College and High School special sections.  It has become a challenge each year on what to do with players to keep it fresh and make it all look cool. I usually get an idea of what the player is about and then let my imagination take over and it has served me pretty well the past few years. This year was special because on the docket was Louisvlle’s Michael Bush and Brian Brohm. Going into the shoot I knew Bush was going to be our cover because we were writing about Rafael Little for UK and Bush for U of L.  But how can I  NOT shoot Brian Brohm each year. I figure if I had not shot him this year he would have  an amazing season and go pro and my opportunities would be over. Anyway, back to Mike Bush. Class act. Respectful. Willing. Great to work with. This year was no exception. I even played the fan role and had the guys sign a football for me. I think I will start a collection of signatures from all the players I shoot from here on.
Going into the cover I kept  a few things  in mind. First off, I tend to shoot these covers dark and dramatic so in an effort to show a different side I went the daylight route.Still throwing in some lights to juice it up a bit but overall much lighter than normal. Not quite sure I like it as much but hey, it was an effort to do something different. I am not the kind to shoot these covers in a playful and animated way. I think these players work hard and I try to show the tough side for the most part. I want to shoot them in a way that they would be proud of. I recently heard a comment that Rafael Little said his cover was "Tight"! That is what I want.

Michael Bush was a top Heisman candidate on one of the high powered offenses in college football. When he broke out for his 48 yard touchdown in the first quarter against UK I remember thinking to myself he is off to a great start. This could be a 200 yard game.

Truth is he had 100+ in the first half so it was not really a reach for my prediction, but it was a prediction that would not be realized. At the half, me and David Stephenson went up to transmit photos back to the paper. Trying franticly to get a bunch sent before the half was over so the early deadlines could be met. I had a little more to send than David so he headed back down to the field for the second half. I heard the crowd cheer as the second half started so I hurried and started to make my way back to the field. As I approached the steps leading to the field I passed Courier-Journal photographer Pat McDonogh who said quickly as he passed "they just took Bush off the field". I did not know what that meant. I hurried down to the field just in time to get the bad news. I was devastated and hurt. In most cases we shoot games every year and there is not alot of emotional attachment but because I know Michael, have worked with him, and know where his future is heading (NFL) it hurt more. I refocused on the game and did my best to not think too much about it but it was all anyone on the sideline wanted to talk about. The only thing that comforted me the least little bit was knowing he could red shirt and still play next year. It seems so far away right now even to me so I can’t imagine how far away it seems to him. All the best to Michael for a quick and complete recovery. See you at next years cover shoot!

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