There are times you need to go out of your comfort zone. You should try new things. Today was one of those days. I'm no longer a WNBA virgin.
I'm not a big fan of the WNBA and our local team, the Chicago Sky but I do keep up with how they're doing. I know they were in the league championship finals a couple of years ago and made the playoffs last season. I'm familiar with some of their players. Allie Quigley and Cappie Pondexter grew up in Chicago. Another is from the college basketball factory at UConn. But the big star of the past few years was Elena Delle Donne.
Della Donne played four years in Chicago winning the Most Valuable Player in 2015. That year her play was Jordan-esque and by all advanced metric standards even better than the best of Mike. It was a year for the ages. Elena's play in Chicago took the Sky from years of being nowhere in the Chicago sports scene to where they are now. They aren't big but they're still here.
After last season, Delle Donne wanted to play closer to home so she asked for a trade. The Sky accommodated her request and sent her to the Washington Mystics. Today the Mystics came to Chicago and it was the return of a WNBA legend to her original home. I thought it was worth seeing how it would go so off to Rosemont I went.
For some unknown reason, the Sky plays a few midweek day games every season. I figured it would keep the crowd down since most adult people work and aren't able to make an 11:30 starting time. What I didn't know that today was SCHOOL DAY and there were thousands of little kids attending the game.
For much of the first half, all you heard were the sounds of tween girls and younger screaming like they were at a concert featuring One Republic or whoever is the current boy band of 2017.
The video board listed all the schools in attendance. Schools from the city, LaGrange, Winnetka, Grayslake and hey look it's St. Joan of Arc. Some of those kids played on the softball teams that I coached. I wonder if any of them are here? Oh yeah....they're now twenty-six years old and maybe they have children that are here. OY!
So 90% of the crowd were kids that were happy to have a day off from school...and me. I felt sorry for the beer vendors. Pretty hard to sell Budweiser to ten year olds.
As far as the game, it was close most of the way with neither team having more than a five point lead through the first three quarters. Then the Mystics pulled away in the fourth and won going away 82-67. Delle Donne had twenty-one points but it was a quiet twenty-one. Not a lot of drama in her return to Rosemont.
The Sky is now 1-3 in the early season and I don't expect much from them this year. It's the second straight year that one of their star players requested a trade and both times the Sky sent them away. It's hard to build a winning basketball team when you keep losing your best players.
That's the story of a day with Elena, The Sky and kids young enough to be my grandchildren. Am I going back for more? Wait and see.
The last time I wrote about women's sports was Golf. What is the matter with me?
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