This was an extremely lucky thing I got to do. On their Facebook fan page, Mike's Camera one day put out a message saying they had 5 tickets at each of their 3 stores to go in 2 days and shoot the Broncos Training camp. Not just in the area where the fans were, but as a special Canon promotion. I saw the message late in the day, and didn't think anything more of it.
The next day (the day before the shoot), they put out another message saying that the Boulder store still had all 5 of their tickets. I figured the worst that would happen would be I'd lose an hour of my time, so i jumped immediately in the car to try and get one of the tickets. I apparently was the first one there, and managed to snag one.
I had no idea what to do, but figured I'd go, learn, and maybe get a few decent shots.
The day of the VIP Training Camp I showed up, got in because I was on the list, and...nothing. Nobody at the Broncos knew what this promotion was, and nobody from Canon was there as promised. I snagged one of the marketing people who took me back to the front where the head of promotions was. Along the way, we snagged about 6 other people who had arrived for the promotion as well (we just looked for people who had serious Canon camera gear).
At this point I'll give kudos to the Broncos. Even though somebody at Canon had obviously messed up, the Broncos took care of us, and worked it out so we could shoot with our gear from the end zone (normally you're not allowed to take in long lenses or gear like ours). I'll also add that the screwup had nothing to do with Mike's Camera. Canon had apparently approached them for this promotion, and they were just the ones getting the people down there.
In any case, we got to head into the end zone and shoot from various areas. We had to follow the rules they set out for all other press people which is we could shoot warmup and drills, but once they started scrimmaging and running plays, we had to stop. Understandable, but that's still the most interesting part, :)
I ended up hanging out a bunch with Grant Gutierrez and Demetrius Austin who both gave me tips on shooting the action. I had also read the appropriate chapter in Scott Kelby's Digital Photography book, and asked on the NAPP forums for advice, but there's really nothing like trial and error.
After the practice, the Broncos fed us lunch, had a quick speech by the coach, and had an area set up where you could get a couple of alumni autographs, as well as a couple of the cheerleaders.
All in all, even though I had never shot football like that (or at all, I guess), I'm really glad I decided to bite the bullet and take this experience. While the odds of me doing something like this in the future are unlikely, you never know.
More photos at http://bit.ly/8ZcY9H