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Seattle Storm Superfan Amazes With Everchanging Frame

With the WNBA starting, there are many fans anxious for the season and ready to do whatever it takes for their team to win. The Seattle Storm are known to have a passionate and dedicated fan base, and among those fans is Janelle Dumlao. She has been a Storm fan since 2014, often being recognized from her decked out picture frame she brings to every game. Every home game at Climate Pledge Arena (previously Key Arena) is filled with fans cheering for Seattle, but for Dumlao, it's bigger than basketball.

Dumlao went to her first Storm game in 2014, thanks to an annual season ticket holder, who happened to be her swim coach. "(My coach) told me she had two tickets to a game and my cousin and I were invited if we wanted to go," Dumlao explained. "It was against the Tulsa Shock and I still have the ticket." Ever since that game, she went to games her coach couldn't go to, then in 2017 Dumlao started investing herself. "I got more invested in (the Storm) and in 2017 I bought my first season pass in the BECU section." Every year Dumlao became more interested in Seattle's WNBA team, and as the years progressed, her fandom grew. There are many different sections for fans to buy tickets when attending games. For Dumlao, the perfect section was right behind the home team baseline, in section 7 (107 in Key Arena). When asked why that was the best area, she mentioned how close it was to the players on the bench. "When you sit that close you feel how intense the game is, and the impact and emotions in that arena." She loved the view she got from that section, and it made her gameday experiences that much sweeter.

Attending games as a fan was an amazing experience for Dumlao, however she had an idea to stick out from the crowd. In the 2018 playoffs, she used her small budget to buy a foam frame and covered in duct tape to support the Storm. Dancing around during the games with her frame in hand, she was thrown on the jumbotron, and later recognized around the stadium. While Dumlao used her frame to support Seattle, she also decorated it in different themes to support different days like breast cancer awareness, and Pride day. She even decorated her frame will all the players jersey numbers. When thinking about her favorite moments in the Storm games she's attended, Dumlao has a clear top choice. In the 2018 semi-finals, Seattle matched up against the Phoenix Mercury in game 5 to decide the series. The Storm outlasted the Mercury to advance to finals, which meant the world to Dumlao. "As soon as we won, I had tears coming down my eyes and I was never so happy in my life to watch something that great." She also went on to describe how that game will live on in her memory forever, and how she wants to keep re-living that day. "If I ever had a chance to rewind my life I want to be in that exact time again because it was the best day filled with so many emotions." Going to Storm games is a great experience for any fan, but it holds a different meaning for Dumlao.

When fans attend games at Climate Pledge Arena, all that matters is the game being played. Dumlao described going to games as a form of therapy after a bad or even good day. "When I go to (Climate Pledge Arena), I use all the pent up, negative energy that I can't use at work and I scream it out at the game." She also mentioned how a game brings people together with everyone focusing on one event. "Even if you run into people you see at work or on the streets you can just grab and beer and not be judged by it because everyone is watching the same thing." Dumlao loves all the players for the Storm, but a few stick out to her. She mentioned Sue Bird as her favorite player of all-time, and she was awe-struck by everything about her game. "Everyone wanted to be like (Bird) and everything she does looks as easy as drinking water." Dumlao also compared her to one of the greats in men's basketball, the late great, Kobe Bryant. "(Bird) was my personal Kobe because no other woman I know could pass as good as her, shoot as good as her, or know exactly when to do both those things and put plays together in her head."

Dumlao's recognition has sparked her interest in social media, where she posts a variety of content including live streams at games. During the pre-season home game against the Mercury, the game was not being broadcasted for fans to watch. Dumlao, who attended the game, streamed the second half on her Instagram, where nearly 1,000 people tuned in to watch. When asked what the interaction online was like during their streams, Dumlao mentioned it was like nothing they've ever seen before. "I saw my numbers (of viewers) go up as soon as I started the live, and I have never seen the amount of my viewers be so high. It meant a lot as a small WNBA content creator." Dumlao, known as @StormCraziefanframe on Instagram and JosieJay D on Youtube, has used her fandom in her content creation. As the new season gets underway, she'll continue to be a top fan and content creator on the rise at WNBA games.

As the Seattle Storm tips off their 25th season as a franchise, many fans are expected to cheer them on at home games. On their pursuit for a fifth championship, they will be relying on one of their top fans, Janelle Dumlao, and her iconic frame to bring the energy.


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