Fans line up for Seattle Storm autographs on Wheaties boxes
Fans came from Everett, Tacoma, Bothell, the Yakima Valley and even Boston for a chance to get autographs from six members of the 2010 WNBA championship team featured on a Wheaties box.
Seattle Times staff reporter
If there was ever any question about how devoted Seattle Storm fans are, it was answered by the line that started forming Sunday morning around the QFC on Queen Anne.
The fans came from Everett, Tacoma, Bothell, the Yakima Valley and even Boston for a chance to get autographs from six members of the 2010 WNBA championship team featured on a Wheaties box.
"I love this team," said Patsy Flood, of Kenmore, who, as the very first person in line waited nearly five hours for the event to begin. "How can you not get up early for this?"
Right behind was her Rachel Annette Paulsen, 13, of Maple Valley.
Wearing her Eastside Basketball Club jersey with the number 10 on it, Rachel was there to see her idol, Sue Bird.
"I love her, especially because I'm a point guard like her," she said.
Ross Tucker — another huge Bird fan who said he's gotten her autograph more than 300 times and attended more than 90 games — had carefully orchestrated his wait so that he, as the 10th person in line, was handed a cereal box with the No. 10 on it.
He pointed it out proudly to Bird and she smiled.
Players Bird, Lauren Jackson and Le'coe Willingham arrived early. Swin Cash came in a little late, and Ashley Robinson and Camille Little, who had gone to church together, were late after getting stuck in traffic.
The wait was no problem, though, said Jodie Laidlaw, of Tacoma.
"It's totally worth it," she said.
Carrissa Cho, 15, of Boston, was in Seattle courtesy of the team, in a roundabout way. Last year, during the WNBA finals, her father bet against the Storm and lost.
The price he paid was a round-trip ticket to Seattle for his daughter.
By the time Cho returns home, she said, she will have attended two Storm games in person, seen two on TV and gotten two bobbleheads and the cereal box.
"We're Storm crazy," said her aunt Marki Schillinger. While waiting, Sarah Lauer, of Bothell, and Rick Sakoda, of Seattle, talked about the first game they attended and when they bought their season tickets.
By the time they'd gotten through the line with their signed boxes — donated by QFC to promote the team and the community — they'd exchanged seat numbers and promises to look for each other.
"You can't overstate how awesome the team and the fans are," Sakoda said. "It's like a party wrapped around a game."
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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