|Photos by Rob Sharfenaker|
|The sideline was the place to be at Cleveland Browns Stadium for the home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sharfenaker, a Grove City resident, got to take pictures from the sidelines after winning a Canon sweepstakes. Pictured above, Tim Carter a wide receiver for the Browns gets ready to warm-up before the big game. Sharfenaker’s photos can be viewed on the Browns’ Web site. Prior to the game, some of the players signed autographs for fan in the Dawg Pound. Below Antwan Peek, a linebacker, gives his fans something to remember.|
A Grove City man got up close and personal with his favorite football team.
At the Cleveland Browns’ season opener on Sept. 9, Rob Sharfenaker, 34, had the opportunity of a lifetime – to shoot photographs from the sidelines when the Browns played the Pittsburgh Steelers as part of the Canon "Shoot Like a Pro" Sweepstakes.
Throughout the season, Canon will select approximately 80 winners from ten NFL teams. Each team will host a winner at each of their eight home games throughout the season.
Sharfenaker said he entered the contest through the Browns’ Web site just a few weeks ago. He had submitted some of his photography work and was selected.
"It was a lot of fun," Sharfenaker said. "I was all over the field right up close."
Sharfenaker has been a Browns’ fan all his life. He is a season ticket holder at Cleveland Browns Stadium but his latest trip offered a much closer view than his usual upper-deck seat.
"It was certainly a different vantage point," he commented. "On the sidelines you can really see just how big the players are."
The Grove City man got to take photos alongside the Cleveland Browns team photographer, John Reid who offered pointers on shooting action shots.
"He was great," Sharfenaker said. "He gave me some suggestions then just told me to shoot and have a good time. Being a sports fan, I already had an idea of what I wanted to do."
Not only is Sharfenaker a sports fan, he considers himself an amateur photographer. He takes his camera along with him to the games. He also takes many photos of his children.
In addition to shooting from the sidelines, the fan received four tickets to the game.
"The tickets were great. I already had them but the seats I won were about 19 rows from the field – a much better seat than what I’m used to," he noted.
He also won a Canon EOS Rebel XTi camera kit, a camera he nearly bought before winning the contest.
Sharfenaker’s photos will be on display on the Cleveland Browns Web site. Fans of the New York Giants, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins can attempt to "Shoot Like a Pro" by logging onto their teams official Web site.
During the home opener, Cleveland lost to Pittsburgh 34-7.