When I first heard that James Franklin had plans for a sort of photo booth on the Coaches Caravan, I imagined an actual, arcade-style photo booth. Boy, was I wrong.
We got our first look at the set-up last Thursday at Pegula Arena, where the “booth” was actually a simple backdrop set up in front of a photographer. On Tuesday night in Hershey, the first night of the Caravan proper, the set-up was ready to go again. This time, Franklin and the photographer had their work cut out.
About 750 fans showed up for the event at the Hershey Lodge, and most were eager to get a picture with the new coach. It was hard to imagine there would be enough time—and yet there was. How’d they pull it off? They went really, really fast.
I wanted to know how fast. So I timed it.
That’s a screenshot from my iPhone stopwatch, the “laps” there referring to how much time elapsed between each shoot. To be sure, I stood immediately behind the photographer for about a minute and a half. In that time, Franklin posed for 11 photos—a mix of one and two fans at a time—and the pattern was the same: He introduced himself with a quick handshake, the fans took their place, Franklin (nearly always) extended his right index finger, and the photographer counted “1, 2, 3.”
Eleven shoots, in just under 90 seconds. It averaged out to 7.8 seconds per shoot.
Assuming they maintained that average, and assuming there were about 1.5 fans in each shot… well, it would take a while, but you could get to pretty much everyone in a crowd of 750 in the hour available—which it appeared Franklin did. It was impressive to watch, but—for a coach who arrived with a plan ready to implement, and who brags of fast-paced practice sessions where players are expected to run even between drills—ultimately not all that surprising.
James Franklin has been quick to put his stamp on the Penn State football program. In just a few months, he’s lit the recruiting world on fire. Getting the job done quickly is what he does; why would snapshots with 750 of his newest fans be any exception?