and I moved into our house the day before this event. We pulled
two all-nighters in the four days leading up to our move.
We are exhausted, still need to paint, unpack, calm down our
cats and try to get some decent sleep. But, we have priorities
- Storm priorities.
get to the event a few minutes late and miss the initial player
introductions. I actually dropped Angie off at the Space Needle
so that she could go on ahead while I went to try and find
parking, so I ended up missing about the first 10 minutes
or so. As I round the corner to the Mural Ampitheater, I am
fairly astounded at the number of people in attendance. The
crowd is huge (for a preseason Storm event). I would estimate
250 people or so. The weather is typical Seattle spring -
overcast, windy, cold and threatening to rain - so it may
not be a good thing that the event is outside. I talk to Karen
Bryant later and she said that they had hoped that having
the event here would draw in more passersby just because of
the stage, music and activity. It is a weather gamble, but
it pays off.
Storm Danceteam did a quick routine, and then Michelle Marciniak,
who was co-emceeing with Semeka Randall, picked out 4 Danceteamers
for "something special." She claimed that last year
there was a rookie initiation (that she of course missed out
on) in which the rookie along with a couple fans had to follow
the moves of one of the danceteamers. After the rookies introduced
themselves (Lucienne, Sue, Felicia, and Takeisha), the dance
went first with Semeka providing the play-by-play. Sue went
next - you would think an athlete would be more coordinated.
Takeisha was next and definitely had more enthusiasm for the
contest. Lucienne was last. The Danceteamer ended her routine
by holding her leg up to her head and grasping her arms underneath.
Lu looked like there was no way, but then she mostly did it.
They all four came back for a final dance off to let the fans
pick the winner - Takeisha Lewis. Semeka and some of the other
players, Doppler and more kids joined in. Simone was coaxed
down off the stage, but didn't look like she wanted to dance.
Simone pass up a chance to dance? Is she injured?
the dancing, the vets introduced themselves. Sonja come up
and said that she hadn't played in Israel this year, but stayed
in her house in Portland, OR. Jamie came up and had some wild
hair going on. It looked like it had a mind of its own. She
said that in case anyone was wondering about her hair, Coach
yelled at her this morning and she hasn't quite recovered
yet (major laugh from the crowd). Quacy said that she was
happy to be back. Simone had a great time in Israel and is
glad to be back safe in Seattle. Charmin said hello.
Curley came up to start a brief fan Q&A and made a couple
of cracks about the players needing to apologize for their
dancing. The questions ranged from "Why do you play basketball?"
(because they can't dance) to "What teams do you like
to play?" (Michelle answered "LA"). Sue was
asked about her two favorite games so far, and she answered
the two National Championships. Someone asked Charmin about
Edna Campbell. Edna was recently diagnosed with breast cancer
and is undergoing treatment, and will probably not play this
year. Charmin said that Edna has received a lot of emails
from Storm fans through the Monarchs website and she is very
appreciative of the support. Another fan brought up the Diva
issue and Michelle said that all her teammates have her back.
A little girl asked the players if they have brothers or sisters.
John went down the line, and got a variety of answers, including
"What was the question?" from Jamie Redd.
delivered the "Welcome Sue Bird" banner that fans
had signed, and said that it is the same size as her contract
(unfortunately not). He then handed out some fan packs and
prizes. The last question was from a little boy, "Why
do they have wrong answers?" John said that they do it
to make the rest of us feel okay. Then the boy asked "Why
do they play bad basketball?" John said that it's to
make the other team feel good about themselves.
came up and pitched the 4-game ticket packages to anyone who
didn't have tickets. She said they would take Visa, Mastercard,
food stamps... (Karen Bryant put her head into her hands).
A bunch of people got up and headed over to the ticket tent.
A marching band came up and graced us with a little "Louie
Louie" while the players headed out into the crowd for
and I have a tradition where we get one of the "Defense"
signs that are handed out during the games signed by as many
Storm people that we can, including the training camp players.
So, while Angie made the autograph rounds, I took some photos.
The Sister Guitar Band came up and played the two songs they
debuted at the Preseason Q&A.
was surrounded pretty quickly, but all of the players were
signing autographs pretty steadily. Because it was fairly
cold and the players weren't really dressed for it, the Storm
wrapped things up early. Only Felicia Ragland and Simone were
prepared for the weather - Felicia was wearing gloves and
Simone was in a parka. Everyone else was just in t-shirts.
have to give it to the Storm. This event was much better than
last year's Fan Fest - it was more fun and other than being
cold it seemed the players enjoyed themselves more too. We
just hated missing the first part of it.