WNBA: Finally, The Game

15 06 2009

Previously: You met (some of) the players, and learned your Katie Matteras (who is sooo not Ann Wauters) from your Katie Feentras.

How was the game?

Fantastic.

Now: As for the mechanics of the game, and who said what to whom, I can’t begin to tell you. I’m still trying to get the archived copy of the game to load on the official WNBA site so I can, you know, see the game.

Huh?

Well, does this look like I saw the game?

That's why I say, hey ma'am, nice butt.

That's why I say, hey ma'am, nice butt.

Since the near-courtside seats don’t have much “slope”, and the fact that I was “for” the Liberty, I sat while the home crowd stood waiting for the first home points of the night. That seemed like a minute steak, what with the explosive home-opener energy and the fact that Katie Mattera stands about an inch away from the basket.

#1 chant heard in the first period: “Let’s go Stars!”

#2 chant: “[Grooooan!]”

I did tilt my head way back to see the jumbotron, and thought that I drove a long way to watch TV. It was bizarre watching the game overhead and seeing a stray hand shoot up from in front of the crowd and an orange-and-oatmeal ball head toward the actual basket. Clank. Groooooaaan.

The seal was finally broken on the basket by way of a free throw.

Behold, the game!

Behold, the game!

Much better.

Or not, as my fabulous seat came with the caveat that a kid sat in front of me bound and determined to prevent me from seeing the game. And by “seeing the game” I mean “get a copious amount of kick-ass photos.”

Really...?

Really...?

I really agonized over saying something to the kid and/or her mother. “Hey, young kid with even closer seats than I’ve got, stop cheering on your team in a way that makes you happy!” I thought about standing but that would have been an even more dickish move, at 6′ 5″. People behind me were having enough sight line problems.

Speaking of dickish moves, I’m wondering why Diana Taurasi has the rep as being the one and only player who jawbones gratuitously with the refs, when I Becky Hammon took time out from her lawyering to play occasional basketball. Good God, yes, it was a foul. Move on.

Shut up, she explained.

Shut up, she explained.

Try as she might, the Bunny couldn’t keep the Liberty in the game. She left with 4 fouls and was never seen again, officially. I saw plenty of her unofficially. I’m still amazed that I saw Leilani Mitchell and the New York Effing Liberty mere yards away.

Becky Hammon chooses her foul magnet for this evening.

Becky Hammon chooses her foul magnet for this evening.

The Coach was not amused.

Good grief, you blockhead!

Good grief, you blockhead!

So here is why seeing the archive game footage is vital: I still have no idea why, when you’re down by three with about 7 seconds left, and it’s hit a three or go home, you go for two. Ball goes out of bounds, Stars ball, the end.

I made my way over to the rail and held my arm out, and actual Liberty players “side fived” me, including the Bunny. Holy crap! First Hope Solo signs my jersey while I’m wearing it (we will always have Edwardsville), then the Bunny (et al) side-fives me. Actually, it was a higher five for her, but side for me. I side-fived Janel McCarville too, who was fumingly pissed about the loss but humored my outstretched arm gesture. It meant a lot, really.

Erlana has left the building. And Loree. And Leilani. And...

Erlana has left the building. And Loree. And Leilani. And...

It was equally cool to see (I believe) Tiffany Jackson stop to sign a souvenir ball and upon seeing that the fan was wearing her (replica) jersey, she took off her headband and gave it to the fan. Neat-o.

In the afterglow of my first WNBA game live and in person, I tried to edge over to Mary Murphy and try and get a picture. She was kinda busy, and security told me I had to leave. Aw man! I was gonna trade stats with Mary Murphy. “Mary, this is the 337th photo I have taken tonight. Do you think an ISO of 400 will bring out your eyes?” “I don’t know, but you’re the third person I’ve had arrested for harassing me.”

Mary Murphy breaks it down.

Mary Murphy breaks it down.

Whew. I’ll post more photos later without much foo-fa-raw, but hell yes, I’m very interested in coming back to see another game. Maybe Phoenix, or what might be Technical Fest 2009. Or not, because Becky Hammon never seemed in any danger of getting teed up for her lawyering.

One final word about Hammon, in all seriousness. Keepin’ it real, I don’t have “history” with her like say, certain Liberty or plain ole WNBA fans do. I didn’t begrudge her the Olympics thing, and if nothing else, she makes that orange-and-oatmeal ball look downright pretty when she sends up the jumper.

At some point during the game, Hammon was trying to get under the basket for a lay-up and she got hammered by stereo Liberty players. Her face contorted and she let out a primal growl. The fire, the intensity, the will to win showed me all I needed to know about Becky Hammon, the player. The person is another subject. But yeah, she’s not phoning it in. Just jawing the refs way, way, way too much.

Watch out for my Shaq Attack...!

Watch out for my Shaq Attack...!

I’m going to another game. So say we all.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

2 responses

15 06 2009
QMcCall3

Thanks for the game report.

A damn shame what happened to Leilani Mitchell that game. Just sucks…

How was the crowd down there in San Antonio?

16 06 2009
ethan100

I don’t know if this is par for the course for “Texas” audiences, but overall everyone was respectful of the players. I’m more used to soccer crowds with the drums going and constant songs and chanting. This was like a night at the opera by comparison.

BUT…

That doesn’t mean the crowd wasn’t into the game. It was toward the 4th period that people in my section started shouting at the refs and/or the players for slights real and imagined.

The atmosphere was intriguing enough to want to go back as a “neutral” fan, like for Phoenix or LA. My head would explode if I had a similar seat and saw Candace Parker mere yards away.




%d bloggers like this: