Friday, June 22, 2007

Close Encounters

I haven't had time to look at the numbers for the last game since I had to fly to Vegas for a meeting all day yesterday and then back home last night. The benefit of that trip was that I was in Seatac terminal A at the same time as the Storm. I was strolling back to my gate from buying a bottle of water and I look up to see a very tall woman (height is the one thing that makes me notice strangers, simply because of my basketball obsession) and it takes a few moments for me to realize that it is Lauren Jackson with Sue strolling alongside her. It brought a huge smile to my face, and while they noticed that I had recognized them, it was clear they were in deep conversation so I refrained from saying "Good luck!" to them as they passed. Seconds later Izi and Tye strolled by in the same direction and then LJ and Sue came back (probably from buying a water where I had just done so). I smiled again, but, boy did LJ look cranky (I doubt it was about my smile, they were having an intense chat).

My wife (and a couple of others) asked me why I didn't say hi to them. I am not sure that I would have said hi even if they weren't chatting. It is strange to feel a connection with people that you don't know, and I realize that their side of the connection is, primarily, to a generic, faceless crowd of fans, while our connection is more specific to these particular women as they play a game that we love. I believe that everyone deserves their personal space and their privacy, just because they do amazing things with a ball and are entertainers I pay to see does not mean that they are obligated to have that space be invaded or that privacy broken just because they are out in public living their everday life. The team organizes events for fans to meet and greet the players and the personal space and privacy aspect is temporarily waived in those moments. Had they returned my smile I might have wished them luck on the road trip and thanked them for brightening our summers, but I would have felt rude or at least inconsiderate to insert myself into their day (even for a moment) without that casual invitation. I don't critisize others for choosing differently (my wife walked up to Sue and LJ at an Indigo Girls concert a couple of years ago and thanked them for bringing a family sport to Seattle), but it is something I struggle with myself.

As a side note, I am so used to being amazed by the beauty of their game on the court, and used to the "glam" shots done for photo shoots and promos, that I was taken aback entirely by how stunning both Sue and LJ are as young women. In an everyday moment, in their personal space, they simply stood out from the crowd (yes by their height) but their natural charisma is simply palpable. Beautiful, yes, but more than that, they just radiate confidence, comfort with themselves in their surroundings and that special something. From my days as an actor, you know that there are just certain people who radiate charisma, you want to watch them, they are compelling simply by their presence. Sue and LJ both have that natural presence.

1 comment:

Juliette said...

Patrick --

I'm an author preparing a fan guide to the WNBA and would like to put a blurb about your blog into the guide. What's the best way to contact you? I'm at