In front of a franchise record crowd of over 16,402 fans, the Sky played their hearts out but came up short again losing to the Washington Mystics at the Allstate Arena 62-75. It wasn't for lack of screaming in the arena as it was a crowd of nearly 10,000 or more kids of all ages from camps in and around Chicago. My group consisted of 4 adults ranging in age from 19 to one of my friend's Mom's in her 80's. We all left the arena with ringing in our ears from the deafening shrill noises which came out of the mouths of some young girls sitting behind us - it was so piercing I swear they cracked my eye glasses and the lens on my camera.
It was the loudest crowd I've ever heard at any WNBA game and to be fair to many of the kids sitting around us, they actually were watching the game and rooting on the Sky with all their might (and vocal chords). One of the girls who shrilled loudly when they were egged on to do so by the Sky crew kids who throw t-shirts and balls into the crowd, did lament in a quieter moment "why are the Sky losing?" so at least we know she was paying attention to the game when she wasn't trying to burst my inner ear. As it happened, when they were tossing the t-shirts one came right into my hands and I immediately looked down in the row below us and saw this cute young boy looking so desperately at me that I handed him the t-shirt. You would have thought he had won a gold medal in the Olympics he was so excited so at least I made someone's day despite personally being depressed that the Sky were losing at that point in the game...and being partially deaf from all the screaming we endured during the entire game. Another great moment occurred when the arena played the theme song from "Frozen" during half-time and nearly the entire arena full of kids (and many of their teenage counselors) sang at full lung along with "Let It Go" - it was pretty amazing actually to realize the impact one movie and a theme song from it could have on so many young people...pretty impressive.
Not so impressive - the Sky's ability to close out the game although they never really were in charge during this game with too many turnovers in crucial moments and the inability to get the ball in the bucket during the crucial last minutes of the game. At one point with only a couple of minutes left, they had at least 5 attempts consecutively after rebounding the ball and to no avail which really hurt since they were only 5 points down at the time. Yes, there was no Delle Donne again and Vandersloot is still on the injured list...but the other players are talented enough that this game could have been ours for the taking and to make matters worse, a UConn Husky named Bria Hartley who now plays for the Mystics was dropping in 3's like her days under Coach Gino Auriemma so her transition into the pro ranks has gone quite well for Washington, and not so well for the Sky in today's game. As a die-hard University of Tennessee fan, I have a strong dislike for UConn and anyone who played for Gino, but I do admire talent and Hartley, to my dismay, put on a show today.
All in all my group had a great time at the game although we left the arena with hearing loss and heartbreak - yes, the shrill is gone now that we got away from those thousands of shrieking kids, but the thrill I get out of watching and reporting on this Sky team is not gone. Far from it - and once I get my hearing back, get my eyeglasses repaired and get a new camera lens after they were shattered today but the piercing screams of the girls behind us....I'll be back on the sidelines Friday night as our Sky team takes on the Phoenix Mercury (one of the hottest teams in the WNBA right now) so we need a ton of our fans to come out and support the Sky (just at a little lower decibel level than at today's game PLEASE!) GO SKY!
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