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7/10/07 at Los Angeles

Final score: Storm 82 – Sparks 47 (W) (11-8)

Submitted by Scowl

Game Photos | Scott L

I know this should be a game report, but what game was there? None that I could see. The Storm were excellent under the basket and very accurate from outside. The Sparks were a mess of random line ups that never clicked. Spencer must have checked in and out of the game a dozen times. The second quarter sucked for both teams.

Now the fun stuff. I will have pictures but they are all thanks to Sass's freaky mind control. I took my camera to a Staples security checkpoint (just like at an airport) and the thugs jumped all over the 135mm lens, complaining that it was longer than 3.5 inches. Yep, it is probably very close to four inches therefore it would not be allowed into the Church of Staples and would have to be taken back to the car. Another security twit yelled that he recognized that I had a "professional" camera. Yeah, so what? Don't you have a mall to patrol?

As Sass and I went around the perimeter of the behemoth building, she noticed a lone entry way with no line and a very bored security person. Even better, it was under an overhang and very dark. I put my dangerous lens into my bag vertically so its offensive length would not be visible. Sass went in before me and used her freaky powers into making him see nothing but darkness when he looked into my bag. Yes, we had infiltrated Staples' iron tight security!

Our seats were in a pretty rowdy bunch of kids right behind the basket. We moved to a corner section that was full of kids from a private school who acted more like they were watching a golf game. Good move. There is always plenty of empty seats at Staples.

I can tell you a few more things I don't like about Staples. The grade of the seats is so flat that by the tenth row you're better off watching it on the Jumbotron, except it's so high up you'll get a stiff neck trying to watch it. And during timeouts when normal arenas are showing basketball things like replays and statistics on their Jumbotron's, Staples is showing commercials for things like amusement parks. Commercials for f's sake! It's just like watching the game on television except if you want to mute the commercials, you have to plug your ears.

I should say something nice. The Sparks' new mascot Sparky is a cute dog and the kids love him. So thumbs up on new Sparky.

OK, when I got to the gate for my flight to Seattle, I was stunned to find AD and a few Storm players there. Yep, I was going to be on their flight. Now I have to admit that I'm embarrassingly shy around women basketball players. I've seen them do superhuman feats and I'm a mere mortal, so at first I hid and didn't say anything to them. Then Izzy walked pasted me and I said "Hi Izzy" and tried to ask her how many points she scored and so on but I kept saying mostly random words in no logical order. I've been up since 4:30AM. Eventually she understood, answered my question, smiled and ran off. She probably thought I spoke a strange dialect of English she hadn't heard yet.

But as more Storm folk arrived, it was getting weird sitting there with a Storm t-shirt and not talking to anyone. Once Adia and Katie (still with her Purdue backpack) sat next to me, I texted Sass who recommended I talk to Adia because she'll talk to anyone. And she was right! I asked Adia if she knew if that was the biggest win we'd had over the Sparks (yes, a complete intelligible sentence!) and she said yes, and we talked about the spanking they gave the Sparks a few years ago when the Sparks did some rude things at the beginning of the game. She even recognized me from the game in Chicago when I had talked to her for about ten seconds.

The next thing I knew she had her videocam out and was interviewing me for some "Behind the Storm" thing on the WNBA website (if I understood correctly). And it was lots of fun. She's a great interviewer and it helped that our trainer worked for the Fire and related to some of my Fire stories. It also helped that Katie smiled and laughed at the dumb things I said. I also said some things like how much better the Key is than many other WNBA crowds (I cited Minnesota as seeming to have only 1,600 people at their games) so I'm sure you'll never see those parts on any web site.

As we made our way to the gate and our flight was delayed a few more times, something really cute happened. I kept my distance from the Storm folk naturally and found myself standing around some Army guys in fatigues. One of these soldiers was really checking out Shyra while his buddies were trying to get him to talk to her. So he did what anyone trained in the Art of War would do: send out an advance scout to scope out the territory. While his fellow soldier casually went up to Shyra like he was going to ask for directions, I swear the smitten soldier was safely hiding behind a pillar, listening to them talk. America's Finest!

Once he heard that the Storm players don't bite, he and another soldier came up and started talking to Shyra, with Wendy and eventually Katie and possibly others joining in on the funny conversation. At one point Shyra pointed to his uniform and said, "Your uniform says 'Ranger'. Does that mean you're like a top soldier?" Eventually the whole gang of them were laughing and it was so cool to see how much personality our players have in a crowd. Too bad I had my camera packed at that point but someone on the Storm staff took a picture of them.

After a few more flight delays, I finally pulled out my camera and took a few bad shots. Unfortunately Adia smiled at me and shook her finger requesting "No more pictures until tomorrow!" Dunno if that request came from the team. I only took seven.

And in case people need real trivia: LJ sat in first class while the team sat in the emergency exit rows since they have more leg room.

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