General Published on : 5/2/2019

National Football League photographer Jacob Gonzalez is the winner of the Dave Boss Award of Excellence for his entry in the 51st Annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Photo Contest. His photo titled “Eye on the Ball,” was selected by a panel of judges as the Photograph of the Year for the 2018 National Football League Season.

Gonzalez will be honored during the 2019 Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls which kicks off the NFL’s 100th Season.

The image (right) depicts San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle attempting to complete a catch against former Los Angeles Rams linebacker Mark Barron at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 30, 2018. He also earned an honorable mention in the feature category.

Gonzalez, who is a graduate of California Baptist University, began his career as an intern and freelance photographer with the L.A. Clippers in 2015. He joined the National Football League as a photographer covering the Rams and Los Angeles Chargers games in 2017.

“It’s really humbling. I knew it was a good picture, but I never knew it had a chance of winning. So, it was really cool to see the hard work to pay off from the season” - Jacob Gonzalez


The Hall of Fame’s prestigious contest is open to professional photographers on assignment to cover NFL games. Photos taken during the 2018 NFL season, that included Super Bowl LIII and the 2019 Pro Bowl, were eligible.

Gonzalez’s entry was the first-place winner in the action category while freelance photographer Shawn Hubbard

placed first in the feature category. His photo (left) “Lamar Looks Ready” shows Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson seated on the bench before the AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers at M&T Stadium in Baltimore on Jan. 6, 2019. Hubbard also had another one of his images earn honorable mention.

Contest judging was conducted at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in April by a panel of prominent photo editors and photographers. The judges included John Reid, III (Cleveland Browns Team Photographer), Ben Liebenberg (Director of Photography/Lead Photographer at the NFL), Karl Roser (Pittsburgh Steelers Team Photographer), Terrell Lloyd (San Francisco 49ers Team Photographer) and Steve Sanders, (Kansas City Chiefs Team Photographer).

Gonzalez will be officially honored at the Enshrinees Roundtable, part of the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls. The Class of 2019 will participate in the Enshrinees Roundtable on Sunday, Aug. 4, one day after being enshrined into the Hall of Fame.

Dave Boss Award of Excellence, 2018 (Photo of the Year) Action Winner – Jacob Gonzalez – National Football League




First Place – Shawn Hubbard, Freelance, “Lamar Looks Ready,” Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens, Jan. 6, 2019.


Second Place – Matt Starkey, Kansas City Chiefs, “Tunnel Vision,” Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders, Dec. 2, 2018.


Third Place – Rob Tringali, Rob Tringali Photography, “Daddy’s Little Girl,” New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams, Super Bowl LIII, Feb. 3, 2019.


Honorable Mention – Jacob Gonzalez, National Football League, “Johnson Coming Through,” Dallas Cowboys Los Angeles Rams, Jan. 12, 2019.


Honorable Mention – Shawn Hubbard, Freelance, “New Starter in the Spotlight,” Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens, Nov. 18, 2018.


Honorable Mention – Ryan Kang,, “Super Steeler,” Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers, Dec. 2, 2018.


Honorable Mention – Andrew Kenutis, Minnesota Vikings, “Stay Gold,” Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams, Sept. 29, 2018.


Honorable Mention – Joshua Lobel, National Football League, “Giants Among Us,” Tennessee Titans at New York Giants Dec. 15, 2018.


Honorable Mention – Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle, “Honoring Bob McNair,” Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans Nov. 26, 2018.


Honorable Mention – Dale Zanine, USA Today Sports Images, “Confetti Angel,” New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams, Super Bowl LIII, Feb. 3, 2019.



First Place – Jacob Gonzalez, National Football League, “Eye on the Ball,” San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams, December 30, 2018


Second Place – Rick Wilson, Jacksonville Jaguars, “Pow! Right in the Kisser,” Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs, Oct. 7, 2018


Third Place – Michael Zarrilli, Zarrilli Photo, “Watch Your Back,” Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints, Nov. 4, 2018


Honorable Mention – Joshua Bessex, The Tacoma News Tribune, “Classic Larry Catch,” Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks, Dec. 30, 2018.


Honorable Mention – Jim Davis, The Boston Globe, “Out of Luck,” Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots, Oct. 4, 2018.


Honorable Mention – Peter Diana, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, untitled, Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns, Sept. 9, 2018.


Honorable Mention – Ben Dickmann, Miami Dolphins, “Miracle,” New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins Dec. 09, 2018.


Honorable Mention – Ryan Meyer, NFL, “Air Mahomes,” Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns, Nov. 4, 2018.


Honorable Mention – John Sleezer, The Kansas City Star, “Kickoff Ballet,” Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs Dec. 9, 2018.


Honorable Mention – Rick Wilson, Jacksonville Jaguars, “Eyes on the Prize,” New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars, Sept. 30, 2018.