Wisconsin State Journal photographer Steve Apps wins big in Pro Football Hall of Fame contest

Wisconsin State Journal photographer Steve Apps is the winner of the Dave Boss Award of Excellence for his entry in the 40th Annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Photo Contest. His photo, titled “First Down,” was deemed the Photograph of the Year for the 2007 NFL Season.

The color feature image captures Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre signaling for a first down while shrouded with snow in the third quarter of the Packers’ 42-20 NFC Divisional Playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks on January 12, 2008 at Lambeau Field.

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 National Football League games. Photos taken during the 2007 NFL season, that included Super Bowl XLII and the 2008 Pro Bowl, were eligible.

Apps’ entry was the first place winner in the feature category while Donald Miralle, Jr. of Getty Images placed first in the action category. Miralle’s image titled “Hand Picked,” depicts San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie fully extended in mid-air while intercepting a Peyton Manning pass during a 23-31 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on November 11, 2007 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

Judging was conducted on April 4 by a panel of prominent photo editors and photographers. The judges included Mark Christian photo editor, Sporting News; Stella Kramer, Pulitzer Prize winning photo editor; John H. Reid, III, team photographer, Cleveland Browns; Brad Smith, sports picture editor, The New York Times; and Kevin Terrell, freelance photographer/photo editor.

Apps will be officially honored at the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable, part of the 2008 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, on August 3, 2008. The multi-day enshrinement celebration is highlighted by the induction of the Class of 2008, Fred Dean, Darrell Green, Art Monk, Emmitt Thomas, Andre Tippett, and Gary Zimmerman, on August 2, followed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game the next day. This year’s game showcases the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins.

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