russ jensen

birmingham bulls quarterback

salford stadium, birmingham, 10 april 1988
russell 'russ' jensen, the birmingham bulls quarterback with the ball at salford stadium in 1988; spaghetti junction in the background

I spent the best part of six months — on and off — in 1988, photographing the Birmingham Bulls American football team for a college project. Good choice for me, as the Bulls went on to win the Budweiser League that year. Russ Jensen was the ex-LA Raider quarterback Frank Leadon brought over to lead the Bulls offence. You would expect to see Russ in the Birmingham Bulls Hall of Fame but, sadly, his decisions off the pitch leading up to two finals overshadowed his playing abilities. Former Bulls running back Trevor Carthy summed up Jensen in a Britball Now interview:

Russ Jensen was an out and out winner. He changed the mentality of a team that considered itself to have a winner's mentality already. This man was never satisfied even when we won; he craved perfection and didn't care about upsetting anyone to achieve his goal. He was a great quarterback who scared the pants off the opposition with his arm, aggression, poise and will to win. He was a leader from the front and, even though he was confrontational, Russell got the best out of every player.