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Final score: Storm 60 – Comets 68 (L) (7-5)

Submitted by Awase

So, first of all, Doozie doesn't have a "professional" lens, so I got to bring her into the arena. Probably wasted effort because the lighting sucks. I'll know more once I get my photos organized.

Reliant Arena: The Seattle fans should be glad that Clay Clay wanted to put his palace in Renton, its a whole lot better than where Reliant Arena is. It's really not that far from where we were staying (we stayed near the Galleria), probably 15 minute drive. But it's in the middle of an industrial district. There's Reliant Park (Texans) the Astrodome (duh, Astros), and Reliant Arena.

The box office for Reliant Arena consists of two portable buildings sitting in front of the arena. No team shop here folks, just a small booth with a couple of t shirts, shooting shirts and a few other things that I didn't pay much attention to.

Concessions, you want concessions you say. Tired of the boring old choices at the Key? Try the concessions here, a hto dog stand (actually 2, one on each side of the arena) two margarita stands, a nacho stand, two smoothie places, one where you could get alcohol in your smootihie and one G rated smoothie stand. They do get extra points for selling frozen lemonade, someting the Key got away from two years ago.

The seating in the arena is a big U shape, with some seats on the endlines. The open part of the horseshoe seatiing reminded me of the Hawk's nest a Qwest Field, only not so high.

The arena holds around 7000 I think, and I would guess there were 5500 people there. And, get this, half of them left with about two minutes left in the game. Now, given, at this point it looked like the Comets would win the game, but the Storm wasn't technically dead yet, though that would come soon enough. I've never seen a mass exodus like this at the Key, win or lose.

God only knows what the temperature on the floor was, but we were sweating in the stands. And for those of you who know approximately how old I am, I'm sure that I did not have a two+ hour hot flash.

We sat in front of two former long time season ticket holders who are pretty much disgusted with the ownership and the move to Reliant. We sat next to two women from upstate New York who were in town for the Comets three game home stand.

Cynthia Cooper was in the house. They showed her on the "Jumbo"tron during the fourth quarter. Little did I know that I have many pix of her because she was sitting under the basket at the open end of the U. We were in the corner, sort of behind the storm bench (section 10.

There are no live stats other than the score, gime remaining, and total team fouls for the quarter. I didn't realise how much the live stats at the Key enhance the enjoyment of the game. I would like to see the Key add shooting percentage to the stats they display, but after last night I'm glad we have what we do.

I don't think either team played especially well, another thing that led to a decreased enjoyment level. I can't find my notes so I'm not adding any specific reports about score, play etc. Except that PeeWee bugs the hell out of Sue, she was in her head the whole game. She was frustrated last night like LJ was on Friday.

Speaking of Sue, we went to the Galleria yesterday afternoon. We wanted to do some sight seeing in air conditioning for a change. I was walking across the mall and looked up and I was walking right next to Sue. Now, I'm not usually someone who gets star struck, but I must have sounded like a blithering idiot saying hi to Sue:

Me: Hey, Sue
Sue: quizzical look on her face seeing someone in a Seattle Storm tshirt in the middle of the Galleria
Me: Hey, did you hear us at last night's game?
Sue: Probably not, I'm usually pretty focused
Me: Well we were sitting right behind the San Antonio bench and everytime the crowd yelled defense, we yelled go storm.
Sue: embarassed smile. Not sure if she was embarassed or if she was embarassed for me. Probably the later.
Me: Well, we'll be at tonights game, better luck tonight.
Sue: Thanks

Now, I am a college educated individual who has had conversations with Generals, Admirals, and Congressmen, but I felt like a complet idiot after that exchange.

Must say, though, Sue is a very attractive young woman.

Got to meet SFiCL at halftime. We were standing outside by the concessions and she walked up holding a sign that said "Awase?" What a great lady. Felt like I had known her for years after five minutes. Thanks for the uber cool gift SFiCL. Can't let on what it was, but trust me, it's pretty darn cool.

All in all, a great trip. I would go back to San Antonio for a game, but they can keep Houston unless they move into a better arena. I know Reliant is probably cheaper, but you know what, you can tell it's cheaper. Spend some cash Hilton and let the women play in a respectable arena.

Can't wait to get home, sleep in my own bed, and be back in the familiar, comfortable confines of Key Arena tomorrow night.

 

Submitted by Leisel11

Let's start with Reliant Arena. I hated the whole experience. Having made the mistake of not purchasing my tickets ahead of time, I was relieved to see there were only 6 people ahead of me, and anticipated a relatively short wait time. Instead, I stood there for 15 mins as the ticket people did God knows what. That put an immediate damper on my night; then I went inside to see the arena was half empty and extremely dark. With the Toyota Center, there isn't really a bad seat in the house, that isn't at all the case with Reliant. I sat in seats located at a gnarly angle and my view was constantly obstructed by late arrivals or people who used the aisle as a meet-and-greet area. Anyway, I missed the national anthem, the captain greeting in the center, and I didn't see what type of a reception Sheryl Swoopes got. Didn't see Yo there at all.

On to the game, all of the starters seemed really flat, especially Bird. I don't know if all of the talk about her low FG percentage is getting to her, but she was not aggressive at all. She took a few shots to start the game, then stopped looking to shoot altogether. The Comets were fronting LJ every position, using Snow, TT, or Lyttle. I don't think you can get an adequate sense of how much abuse this girl gets inside until you've seen her in person. The Comets did a great job of denying LJ the ball--all of her 1st half shots came off of jumpers or treys, but really, they were holding her, grabbing, practically biting...

Seattle still managed to keep it close, and would have tied it or led had it not been for all of the missed FTs. I don't know what kind of intro Sheryl received, but the Comets fans were not kind to her during the game. A boorish group in front of me kept screaming, "Whoops there it is!" Loud cheers followed every time she missed or fouled, and I'm quite sure the crowd got to her because she missed two FTs pretty badly. Afterwards, her night went down hill. Before then, she was going well with a few aggressive drives into the paint. Swin was just off. She seemed dazed and confused. Her and Sue were conversing quite a bit throughout the game. Oh and Flo was in there briefly. She didn't have any sort of impact. Kim Beck logged some time too. She does a good job of getting the ball up court without incident, but her shot release is weird. It has an unpleasant hitch before the release, not fluid at all. Anyway, the first half can be summed up with one word--confusion. Seattle looked all kinds of out-of-sorts on the offense. There was a lot of movement, to what purpose, I could not see.

2nd Half, bad officiating, bad, bad officiating. Sue was freaking clothes-lined twice during the waning minutes, once when Seattle had cut the lead to 4. There was a scary moment, late in the 4th quarter, when one of the Comets sent her toppling, literally head over heals. She landed near Seattle's bench, and looked like a C. Lauren, from the bench, kind of just flipped her back over. Speaking of Sue, she did try to shoot more in the 2nd half, but after missing a few shots, got visibly frustrated. I hope this shooting slump ends soon!

Freaking Tanisha, what can I say? First possession she came in, she was dribbling, dribbling, and I just thought, 'here we go again'. But she was the only player, besides from LJ, who looked alive in the 2nd half. Tanisha was hitting difficult shots, driving to the lane, and even briefly played PG with moderate success. LJ was much more aggressive in the 2nd half--finally catching the ball from the key, and driving. Her jumper also started falling; together with Tanisha, she kept us in the game. If anyone else had helped out, if Swin had made just a few layups, or another player caught fire, I think Seattle could have pulled out the game. Yes, the officiating was horrible and unfair, but I don't see that changing anytime soon, so stop complaining and play through it. Sue especially comes to mind. Sometimes, when she shoots or drives, especially at the end of the game tonight, it looks like she's anticipating a foul. I hate that! Go up strong, and expect to finish regardless of the amount of contact. She spent a lot of time talking to the refs. I think Seattle could have won this game, but they didn't fight for it. Even when the Storm made their run, I never got the feeling they would get over the hump.

The other player I wanted to comment on is Katie Gearlds. I am loathe to say anything negative about her since I know she struggles with confidence, but she is sllooow out there. If she's not hitting her threes, and they were wide-open looks, she's not very productive. There was that last second and 1 though...

ARob is so athletic and long. I know she's not any sort of offensive threat, but she can rebound and is a monster in the paint. When she matched up against Snow, Robinson shut her down completely. Why isn't she playing more? An injury?

From the Comets, PeeWee Johnson is still lightening quick. She drove right through our defense a few times. Tina is great as always. I don't know, the Comets didn't impress me much. Maybe I was too depressed over Seattle's play to notice.

Extra tidbits...

The Comets girl did an exhibition during the 3rd quarter wherein she launches off of a trampoline and dunks the ball. Anyway, she lined up three dudes and attempted to fly over them. Her first attempt, she successfully flew over the guys, but fell woefully short of the rim and rolled over on the mat. Amid the crowd's encouragement, she tried the dunk a second time, and again fell short. I turned to my brother and said, "That was embarrassing." Out of the corner of my eye, who do I catch cracking up? Yeah, that's right, LJ. She's awful.

The Storm players talked to each other quite a bit during the game. Sheryl kept patting Sue on her head, offering encouragement. LJ seemed disconnected from the huddles. I don't know, except for the 4th quarter, she looked out of it tonight. ARob tried to get her into the game with a bear hug during a huddle, and that got her to crack a smile.

Sheryl shared, what looked like, a very emotional hug with Karleen Thompson at the end of the game. Karleen was saying something, and it looked like Sheryl was very moved. As she walked off the court, she bent over, I couldn't tell if she was crying...blast the horrible lighting. Jordan came up to her, and she gave him a big kiss and hug. The moment really touched me.

Cynthia Cooper was in the hizzouse. Man, that woman revels in attention. They introduced her in the 3rd quarter, and she was soaking up the attention, throwing her hands up to encourage people to cheer louder. She just can't stand to see Sheryl have a moment in the spotlight alone can she? Diva.

Damn, this post is long. I don't think I've written so much since, well ever, and all so terribly disorganized too. I think stopping off for coffee was a mistake.

One more thing before I crash, Mabika is a dirty player, with a permanent nasty scowl. She is going to seriously hurt someone one day, especially now that she's porky and carrying extra weight. I love Dikembe Mutombo more than anyone, but I can't say I don't resent him a little for bringing this thug to America.