The Color of Passion by Dan Orlowitz

by Dan Orlowitz, Head of Photography for Football Tribe

 One of the most fascinating things about football to me is the visual culture - the scenes, colors, and iconography that make it one of the most vivid sports in the world. Whether it's a picturesque stadium view, an iconic uniform, or a well-planned fan choreography, what happens around the pitch is often as beautiful as what happens in those 90 minutes between the first and last whistles.

 It was this color that first drew me to club football in 2007, when less than five months after moving to Japan I attended my first J.League match. It was something that I, an American used to baseball and American football, had never really experienced before.

 But I was immediately hooked, even though the day ended in a loss against eventual champions (and future three-peaters) Kashima Antlers.

 Eventually, after many seasons of shooting from the stands, I found my way onto the pitch shooting for several websites and publications.  And over 10 years after that first game, I was pitch-side at Saitama Stadium late last year for the second leg of the AFC Champions League Final between Urawa Reds and Al Hilal. As the players marched out, nearly 60,000 supporters executed a card display that traveled across the entire stadium.

 It's a display that fans of few clubs across Asia could hope to pull off. And it was only appropriate that following Rafael Silva's game-winner, which clinched Urawa's second continental title, fans held up their cards a second time, singing out into the cold November air.

 Without the fans, the colors and the passion, it's just a game. But with that passion, it can become so much more.

Feel the Passion


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