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43rd Annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Photo Contest Winner Announced

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04/20/2011
"Thrill and Agony" by Mary Schwalm of The Eagle-Tribune
Photographer Mary Schwalm of The Eagle-Tribune located in North Andover, MA is the winner of the Dave Boss Award of Excellence for her entry in the 43rd Annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Photo Contest. Her photo titled “Thrill and Agony" was deemed the Photograph of the Year for the 2010 National Football League season. Schwalm is the first female to earn this honor.

The color action image captures New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez high-stepping into the end zone for a late, go-ahead touchdown against the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 19, 2010 at Gillette Stadium. Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields can be seen kneeling in defeat in the background.

The New York Times Sports Picture Editor, Brad Smith, describes judging the photo contest>>>
The prestigious contest, sponsored by Canon, U.S.A., Inc., the official camera of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is open to professional photographers ordinarily on assignment to cover NFL games. Photos taken during the 2010 NFL season, that included Super Bowl XLV and the 2011 Pro Bowl, were eligible.

Schwalm’s entry was the first place winner in the Action category while K.C. Alfred of The San Diego Union-Tribune placed first in the Feature category. Alfred’s image titled “Shadows" depicts Chargers tight ends Randy McMichael and Antonio Gates, and wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu with hands joined while washed in a soft blue light as they prepared to enter the field. The shot was taken before the Chargers game versus the Houston Texans on Nov. 7, 2010 at Reliant Stadium.

Judging was conducted at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on April 8 by a panel of prominent photo editors and photographers. The judges included Ben Liebenberg, Lead Photographer/ Photo Editor, National Football League; John Reid, III, Cleveland Browns Team Photographer; Brad Smith, Sports Picture Editor, The New York Times; Jim Surber, Senior Photo Editor, ESPN The Magazine; and Tony Tomsic, a nationally acclaimed freelance photographer who has shot every Super Bowl to date.

Schwalm will be officially honored at the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable, part of the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011. The 10-day, 18-event celebration is highlighted by the induction of the Class of 2011 – Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders, and Shannon Sharpe – on Saturday, Aug. 6. The Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams are scheduled to kick off the 2011 preseason in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game the following day.

NFL.com talks with each of the award-winning photographers from our 43rd Annual Photo Contest. Find out the story behind the photo>>>

See the winners:

Action | Feature

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