So I’m photographing the Jordan Beetdiggers vs. the Alta Hawks High School basketball in January 2005. And since I shoot dozens of basketball games every year, I’m looking for a new angle. The game is in the fourth quarter, going down to the wire. I climb up to the top of the bleachers for a good shot from above of players reacting to victory or defeat.

Alta pulls ahead in the final moments and snatches the win on Jordan’s home court. One of the star players for Jordan pulls his jersey over his head in disgust and I photograph his reaction with a long lens.

It’s a nice storytelling image and runs in the paper the next day. Normally, that’s when the story ends.

But a few days later I’m looking at that picture and a memory is triggered. I realize that I took a similar shot in 2004. With a few keystrokes I pull up my shot from the year before.

I can’t believe it. This January 2004 shot was also taken at Jordan High School. It was taken from the same spot, top of the bleachers. It was even the same situation, a close loss for the Jordan Beetdiggers. Even more bizarre- it’s the same kid!

I never heard from Nick Howard, the player behind the jersey. I wonder what he thought, seeing that photo of his frustrated self two years straight. Once was probably enough.

Nick, I hope you have a good sense of humor.

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