February 12, 2024
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: The NFL’s Cold, Hard Collision With Climate Denial

Welcome to Chatting the Pictures. Every two weeks, we present a short, lively video discussion between Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer, professor, and historian, Cara Finnegan, examining a significant picture in the news. Chatting the Pictures is produced by Liliana Michelena.

By Staff
About the Video

This photo was taken by Emily Curiel of The Kansas City Star, distributed by Getty Images via Tribune News Service. It shows the helmet of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes breaking while being hit by Miami Dolphins safety DeShon Elliott in the third quarter of an NFL playoff game Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. The temperature at kickoff was -4 degrees Fahrenheit in Kansas City, with a wind chill of -20 degrees, making it the fourth-coldest game in NFL history according to NBC.

The discussion focuses on the helmet cracking as a metaphor for the spiraling impact of climate change. The video also touches on public denial, the challenge of visually representing extreme cold, and the photo’s ability to engage multiple senses, while critiquing the media’s failure to link the event to the broader climate emergency.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.

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Michael Shaw

An analyst of news photos and visual journalism, and a frequent lecturer and writer on visual politics, photojournalism and media literacy, Michael is the founder and publisher of Reading the Pictures.

Cara Finnegan

Cara Finnegan is a writer, photo historian, and professor of Communication at the University of Illinois. She has been affiliated with Reading The Pictures for nearly 15 years, most recently as co-host of Chatting The Pictures. Her most recent book is Photographic Presidents: Making History from Daguerreotype to Digital.


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