Dawson makes time for a Selfie with a fan!
(April 29, 2015)… Erik Miles has been trying to take selfies all season long, but for whatever reason he has missed capturing the perfect photo. On Saturday, he got the shot he wanted.
The Rochester Knighthawks fan moved into position as Paul Dawson headed to the penalty box. As he leaned his back against the glass, surprisingly, Dawson turned to pose for the camera.
“I tried to take selfies before with players, but it either didn’t come out or I couldn’t get them to turn around,” said Miles. “But after that fight, it clicked in my head that this would be an awesome selfie. I didn’t even expect him to turn around and pose. When he did, I was just really hoping that my camera would actually work for that. It came out great.”
What made the selfie so memorable was it followed Dawson's pummeling of New England Black Wolves defenseman Bill O'Brien. The photo and interaction with a fan was the first of its kind in professional sports. When Dawson saw Miles banging on the glass, he admitted he didn’t think about doing something unique. Rather, he saw it as an opportunity to answer a request from a fan.
“I just put the deuces up basically to make his day,” said Dawson. “It’s nice for fans to get an autograph or get a picture. As an athlete I try not to take myself too seriously, so if a guy has the courage to come down and ask for my picture – I was going to be in there for five minutes anyway – I can pose for two seconds for a picture.”
Dawson, who has been in his share of fights before, also started receiving messages from friends and family about the fight and his photo with Miles. Some of the texts have been from his teammates who have had some fun with Dawson.
“The boys are all over me for being on ESPN and SportsCenter. They’re making fun of me,” he said jokingly. “I didn’t really expect the selfie thing to blow up. I obviously knew the fight would get some attention. But in this day in age of Facebook and Twitter, the selfie is even more important.”
What made this selfie more prominent was that video footage of the interaction was captured by WROC-TV sports anchor and reporter Prescott Rossi. After Miles appeared on the 11:00 p.m. news, he immediately started receiving messages and texts to track down his Facebook photo.
“I had a bunch of people over the house and all of a sudden my girlfriend came downstairs and she said someone wanted to find out who took the selfie because they wanted to see it,” said the 23-year-old Greece resident. “From there, it just got bigger and bigger.”
The image and the video immediately started to pick up steam on social media and just 24 hours later had been viewed by over 40,000 people on the National Lacrosse League's Facebook page. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the story went viral as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, SB Nation, Fox Sports and Bleacher Report picked up the story. SportsCenter even led with the fight and the selfie this morning.
It’s every fans dream to make their debut on national TV and Miles did that with one simple photograph.
“It feels awesome,” said Miles, who is getting more than the customary 15 minutes of fame. “I didn’t even expect that (notoriety) would come from just taking a selfie, but it did.”