Friday, September 17, 2010

Seattle Storm for the Win!

For those of you who know anything about Seattle sports, you know that we're a loyal group of fans with a bunch of losing teams. Sure, the Mariners were hot for a few years around 2000, and the Seahawks went to the Superbowl in 2006, but neither team has ever won a championship. The Sonics won waaay back in 1979, and before that our only championship win was for a long-defunct hockey team who somehow managed to snag the Stanley Cup in... wait for it... 1917.

Which is why the Seattle Storm, our WNBA team, is so awesome. They won the championship in 2004 and again last night against Atlanta, making them by far our hottest team.
When the Sonics were (illegally!) sold to Oklahoma city in 2008, the Storm were scheduled to go with them. But a group of high-powered women got together and formed Force 10 Hoops, LLC in order to buy the Storm. Most people were much less sad to see the Sonics go once we knew we got to keep the Storm, our good basketball team.
My friend Joseph talked me into going to the home game on Tuesday. I've always wanted to go to a game and I'm glad he suggested in because it was a blast.

I hadn't been in the Key Arena in probably 15 years, but seeing it again reminded me that the demand for a new basketball arena by the Sonics owner really was just an excuse to relocate; the venue is in great condition, very user-friendly, comfortable, and modern.

Unbelievably and a little sadly, tickets were not even close to being sold out and we were able to get $28 nosebleeds which still had a great view. Here's a shot Joseph snapped before the game started:

Not being sold out notwithstanding, the fans that do come out for the Storm are dedicated, loving, and LOUD. I had my fingers in my ears for the better part of the second half because it was so overwhelming. Apparently the Storm is the most formidable team to have to play when they have home court advantage.

Although Tuesday's game was off to a rocky start with Sue Bird barely able to make a basket, they got themselves together for the second half and definitely deserved the win. The event itself had some fun elements, like a 12-year-old who rocked the Star Spangled Banner on his electric guitar; an all-kids dance troupe to perform at time outs; and a free-for-all Conga line during another such time out (I had forgotten how LONG basketball time outs are.) The mascot was pretty silly and they periodically played and performed the most ridiculous song called the Stank Legg, but I understand it's a family-oriented franchise and they definitely deliver on that point.

Another fun point was that several Seahawks players were at the game, including Matt Hasselbeck. After the Seahawks' dynamite win on Sunday it was fun to see them out supporting their city teammates and also reminded us that we just might have another good team on our hands.

I really got into the team and the game, and was especially taken by Lauren Jackson and Swin Cash. I will definitely follow the team more closely next year.

When I heard last night that the Storm had won the whole enchilada in Atlanta I was thrilled. Good for them, and good for Seattle. Maybe next year ticket sales will better reflect the fact that they are a winning team, deserving of a city of supportive fans.

(Last night's celebration photo borrowed from Getty images. Please don't sue me.)

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