Guest Blogger! Loyal Skyrider talks about her Sky journey…

* * * * Hey Sky fans! I have a very special treat for you today. For the first time in “Chicago Sky Hoops” history, we have a guest blogger contributing to the site. Below is a guest post written by TONETTE (@TIngram on twitter), a first year Skyrider and one of the most loyal and dedicated Sky fans I have ever met. She details her journey with the WNBA/Sky and talks about her exciting first year as a Sky season ticket holder. Great read!!! * * *


Meet guest blogger & Skyrider, Tonette!

First and foremost let me say how excited I am to be writing this piece for a fellow WNBA lover. There aren’t many real fans anymore and I have to give props whenever they are do.

I have loved this league since day one and distinctly remember sitting in my living room as a — year old girl thinking how cool is this. The WNBA changed my life that day. Every single game that season I watched and if I was at work during a game I had my mom recording it on VHS. Y’all remember VHS right? Anyway. I couldn’t get enough of this thing called WNBA.

Fast forward to 2006 and the city of Chicago. There was going to be a WNBA team right in my back yard and here I am now living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Thankfully there were some preseason games in Milwaukee that I attended. I remember going to my first Chicago Sky basketball game. I had convince some of my sorority sisters and some other friends to go to the game with me. We rolled to the game 10 deep I do believe. The Sky were facing the Monarchs that night and unfortunately we lost but that was okay in my eyes. I had just attended my first WNBA game. The league that I grew up watching was now being played in my backyard. I believe I went to 1 more Sky game that year and that was against the LA Sparks. For those who don’t know Lisa Lesile was the player that I was the a huge fan of and I still am today. So going to that game was a must. As the years went by I attended a few games here or there but because I was living else where I didn’t have the time or opportunity for more. The Sky didn’t have the best record but for me I never went to a game because of a winning record. Matter of fact I never liked the WNBA because of anyone’s winning record. I simply love the WNBA and what it stands for. I respect those women who sacrifice so much just to play the game they love. Not only that but to put as much wear and tear on their bodies as these women do is commendable. At the end of the day I just want to see these ladies compete at the highest level and for 15 seasons I have not been disappointed. Not many people know this but once the WNBA started doing the draft on TV I always take that day off work just so I can watch it. Sounds silly to most but for me it makes perfect sense.

Christmas 2009, my Christmas list looked like this: WNBA tickets, WNBA ticket, WNBA tickets. Yup you guessed it, I got WNBA tickets. The 2010 WNBA was pretty great simply because I was back in the Chicago area and had more opportunity to go see some games. I believe I attended 5 or 6 games that year but I knew I needed more. The 2011 season rolls around and I am blessed with SEASON TICKETS (thanks cousin). Imagine my excitement. Not only do I get to go to all the home games but I get to go to any special events that may be happening. I thought I ended the 2010 season on a high note but this 2011 season is by far the best thing that has happened to me. I could go all day talking about all the perks or opportunities I have gotten to interact with players (awesome) but I’ll focus on 2 events…

Me & TYoung @ Buffalo Wild Wings

Event 1: Get Served by the Sky which happened back in May at Buffalo Wild Wings. It was a fund-raiser for the American Diabetes Society and I dragged my cousin along with me. I had sent a tweet to my favorite Sky player Tamera Young that I was going to the event and I wanted to sit in her section. When I got there I saw players everywhere and the Sky colors all around. The Hostess walked us to our table and holy cow I was walking towards T. Young, my favorite player lol. She sees me and says “you’re late” which I was but how cool was that? Anyway all the players and coaches were there mingling with the crowd. They were selling raffle tickets to win Sky prizes. Many of the player come by our table took pictures with us and chatted, even Coach Pokey sat down at our table. It was really nice to see them having a good time with their fans. I took lots of pictures that night and won a couple raffle prizes (court side seats and autograph T shirt). The place was busy the whole time we were there and everyone seemed to have a good time. I know for certain this fan enjoyed herself.

Me & Piph @ Buffalo Wild Wings

Courtside tix won in the raffle!

Event 2: The Skyriders bowling party. I feel that bowling is that sport where it doesn’t matter how good you are it, it just matters that you have fun. When I arrived there was already a good amount of Season Ticket Holders there and after I signed in and picked my bowling lane I went around to pick up my shirt. The players, coaches, Sky staff and interns were spread around the place talking an taking pictures. It was a very relaxed atmosphere. I spoke with some players as I was making my way to the area where we pick up our shirts and I spotted Young and Prince aka Pinky and The Brain. I had not tweeted to say I was going to this event and Young made sure to tell me that :). That night each player was randomly assigned a bowling lane and we got to bowl with them. I got to bowl with CVS (Courtney VanderSloot) and 2 other season ticket holders. It was a fun time and Courtney beat us all scoring 144 that game I came in 2nd scoring 122. We were allowed to just walk freely around the bowling alley and mingle with folks. I got to see the 2 ladies I sit next to at every game there and that was nice seeing them. I talked to Coach Pokey for a bit and she is so nice and down to Earth. The Sky had given us this 8×10 autograph card that had a pic of each player and a space for her to sign. People had brought in other Sky stuff to get signed and the players just walked around with their sharpies signing away. There was music food and drinks. The players joked around with fans and each other. Overall the bowling event was a success. A lot of STH showed up along with some guests. A funny moment was when someone (Sky staff) got on the PA system and announced that Pokey was giving away her dog. It was just a joke but it got the crowd talking and laughing. There was a silent auction going on as well during the event. It was a nice event and I am so glad I got to experience it.

Being a first year season ticket holder has been so amazing. My memory book is filled with so many moments that I will carry for the rest of my life. As the Sky look to close the season out in these last 8 games I am wishing them nothing but the best. Fight Focus Finish for 40, Ladies.

Win or lose I am a fan for life!

~ Tonette (@TIngram) ~


~ by audsquad on August 19, 2011.

4 Responses to “Guest Blogger! Loyal Skyrider talks about her Sky journey…”

  1. It was so much fun writing this. I had a chance to really reflect on what the WNBA has meant for me. I certainly didn’t include it all but I tried to capture some highlights

    • I really enjoyed the preseason games in Milwaukee too. The Sky played @ Marquette in back-to-back years and that’s still the only time I’ve ever been to mil-town. It’s a really nice city.

      You’re a Lisa Leslie fan? UGH! So not cool! haha j/k…kinda 😉

      It’s really cool to read about your excitement of being a new Sky season ticket holder because everything has become kinda old hat for me at this point. Your excitement really makes me appreciate the “specialness” of being a Skyrider again. I totally remember how it felt the first time I met all of my favorite players. I was on cloud nine for WEEKS! I still have all the pics of me, Dupree, Armintie, Big Syl, Jia, Brooke Wycoff and Canty on my walls and shelves. Ashley Robinson was the first Sky player I ever met and I cherish the pic I took with her back in 2006 at the very first STH event I ever attended ( practice @ Moody). Your blog stirred up so many good memories for me.

      Anyway, lemme stop rambling. Thanks again for contributing to the blog. Great read!

  2. good read. its interesting because everyone has a different story about how/why they became a fan of the team. you should do more of these.

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