It was somewhat akin to a pep rally, only on a much larger scale. I don’t think I’ve seen as much audience participation at a sporting event since my high school was state champions back in the late 90s, and I think there’s a good reason for that. In most cases, watching sporting events on TV gives you a much better shot of the action than when you’re actually at the game watching it. But no telecast could possibly have come close to the excitement in the last quarter at the Seattle Storm game on Wednesday.
There were Bam Bams/ThunderStix (much to the delight of the kiddos), there was cheering, chanting and singing, and I don’t think anyone in the crowd actually needed a seat for the last half of the 4th quarter. Normally, when I’m at a sporting event it will start to drag by the 3rd quarter and I’ll be checking the time and wondering when I will get home to finish off my to-do list, but I didn’t check my watch once during the night. In fact, it felt like the game was over quicker than normal, which it wasn’t. I guess that’s what happens when you are having fun.
And we all were having fun, as a family. Rare is the activity that can keep adults, almost-teens and babies entertained for almost two hours in plastic chairs, but I will definitely have to include Seattle Storm games in my entertainment arsenal from now on. For a few dollars more than you would spend on going out to a movie, you can take your kids to see a live basketball game and live entertainment to boot. In between quarters and during game breaks, they had numerous kids activities and entertainment, including the Seattle Storm Dance Troupe which was comprised of kids of various ages and was very cute to watch. They also had contests and trivia as well as shirts they sent out into the audience with a giant sling-shot. Beat that, local cinemas.
Not only are the games very kid-friendly and family-oriented, I don’t think there’s a bad seat in the Key Arena during a Seattle Storm game, which makes watching the game for kiddos so much more enjoyable. Even in the gigantic Key, it somehow still manages to feel intimate and the whole event seems really accessible. Partly that is due to the atmosphere of the arena and the very friendly nature of the Seattle Storm fanbase. They were a “no, after you” kind of group and the kind of folks that will hand you paper towels when they can see you have your hands full with two kids in the restroom.
Taking your kiddos to sporting events has been a long tradition in my family, but one that I really hadn’t put much thought into until last night’s Storm game. I guess I had thought that I would wait until baby was a bit older and able to appreciate it as much as the older kids, but I’m really glad I didn’t. I don’t think I have ever seen my daughter look this excited, ever. I think she thought the entire stadium was cheering for her and all her new moves, but I think it was just our section that was egging her on. I guess there’s just something extra adorable about a baby who will stand and cheer through an entire WNBA game, especially when that kid is having the time of her life.
We were lucky enough to score some tickets to the autograph event after the game, and went to take our place in the signing line after the game had ended. Unfortunately, we hadn’t thought much about what we were going to get signed until after we had already lined up. When we decided to get some basketballs for the kids and went to check out the merch booth just a few minutes after the game had ended, we were very disappointed to find that even though they had five people still in the booth, they were not able to let us purchase the basketballs. Next time we will know to get our merchandise sooner, and now so will you.
In the end the kids had each of their Bam Bams signed for posterity, or at least until they deflate. Ashley Walker (#44) and Sue Bird (#10) were on hand for the autograph session, and were very nice in the brief encounter. They liked baby’s Weezer onesie and were very gracious to all that had lined up to see them, thereby making me a much bigger fan than I had walked in as.
Speaking as one of Seattle Storm's newest fans, I have to say how impressed I was with the game, the entertainment and then the players. It’s hard to think of many good role models for young girls these days, but the WNBA is one of those organizations you can really get behind. Not only is their entertainment appropriate for all-ages, they pride themselves on their extensive charity programs and giving back to the community, which is something I can really get behind.
- WNBA Cares: http://www.wnba.com/cares/
- Read to Achieve: http://www.wnba.com/community/readtoachieve_020508.html
- Fast Break to Reading Program: http://www.wnba.com/fbtr/
- Go Red (American Heart Association): http://www.wnba.com/cares/goredforwomen_teams_090618.html
- Breast Health Awareness: http://www.wnba.com/bha/bha_2003.html
- Jr WNBA: http://www.nba.com/jrnba/ and http://www.nba.com/jrnba/discover_homecourt_challenge_2008.html
- Nothing but Nets (partner): http://www.nothingbutnets.net/
Price: $10 and up
Looks: Like a basketball game, of course
Overall: A fun and low-stress activity for adults and kids of all ages.
You can stay in the WNBA loop and befriend them on the following social networking sites, as well as get game stats and media spots online at the links below:
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/Wnba
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wnba
- You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/WNBA
- Widget (grab it at the bottom of this page): http://www.wnba.com/features/connect.html