DETROIT, Sept. 1 -- There was plenty of action going on inside the Palace of Auburn Hills Friday night and not all of it took place on the court. We wandered the venue and found, well, 10 cool things:

Fan Appreciation

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In Game 1's edition of 10 Cool Things, we showed you the Haynie-acs t-shirts. Well, not to be outdone, a fan presented Shock center Kara Braxton with a t-shirt that pays homage to Kara and her son, Jelani. It reads, "Just Me and My Boo." That picture on the right sure does look familiar. After the game, Braxton gave back to the fans: she sat at a table stationed on Detroit's home court and signed autographs for Shock followers, who waited on a line that extended all the way up to the top of the Palace's lower bowl.

The Bear Essential

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Swin Cash's teddy bear shows off its loyalty, donning Detroit Shock red and blue. Looking good, Teddy. How about smiling for the camera, though?

val-or -noun - boldness or determination in facing great danger

The Shock played with valor in more than just one way tonight. The vocal group Valor sang the national anthem before the game -- WOW. A terrific rendition of the anthem from the trio, who drove all the way up from Huntsville, Alabama to perform, and already sang at the Palace once for the Shock and twice for the Pistons this past season. Check out their website for more on their harmonies.

The Cream of the Crop

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The All-WNBA First and Second Teams were announced today, and Second Team selection Cheryl Ford was able to address the home crowd. Also in attendence as honorees were Taj McWilliams-Franklin and Katie Douglas of the Connecticut Sun. Five other selections -- Alana Beard, Tamika Catchings, Sheryl Swoops, Seimone Augustus and Diana Taurasi -- thanked the crowd over the Palace Vision video screen from Team USA training camp in North Carolina.

Sky Walker

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DeMya Walker's swat on a Deanna Nolan lay-up attempt qualifed as a Did You See That? moment. With 5:51 left in the second quarter, Walker met the ball at the top of it's apex and swatted it what seemed like 10 feet back.

A True Comeback Story

Ryan Fong, a molecular biologist from San Francisco, never held the No. 1 position in the Triple Threat Fantasy Challenge game. That was until the last of the week of the season, when the former WNBA Virtual GM game winner grabbed the No. 1 spot and the Triple Threat challenge.

His prize was tickets to Game 1, but Fong is such a loyal Monarchs fan that he decided to stay in Detroit for Game 2, and he'll also be attending both games in Sacramento.

So how did he win? Well, to make up ground, Fong knew he couldn't make the same selections as the participants ahead of him. So he tried to guess who the most popular picks would be, and then selected someone else. It worked. Fong moved from the top five to first overall.

For Fong's complete story, check out Sunday's edition of

Injury Update

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Douglas, who was honored before the game for inclusion on the All-WNBA First Team, told us about how her foot is feeling:

"It's a little sore, but that's to be expected after playing on that kind of injury. I am going to get evaluated next week, I didn't want to do anything this week. I just wanted to rest it and then make a decision next week as far as what my plans are."

Douglas told us she had the same injury in her other foot and broke both arms (softball and kickball injuries in middle school), "but that's it." She certainly is a trooper. She did add that because she has had ankle reconstruction on the injured foot, she's hoping that her tendons are in good enough shape for her to perform.

What's Inside the Magic Box?

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A person. Yes, that's right, a person. The halftime entertainment was a contortionist. The blog says it all:

I'm back just in time for the halftime performance of "Rubber Boy." These are actually the moments that bloggers live for... a boy who can bend in every possible way and twist his wiry, unitard-strapped frame into all different shapes and directions. But I cannot watch. Yet I cannot look away. No, I can't watch. Wait, I have to! Now he's in a 2'x2' box! Somebody stop the madness!

She's the (T)ruth

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Former Monarchs guards Ruthie Bolton and Lady Grooms were in the house at the Palace of Auburn Hills Friday. Bolton and Grooms made an appearance in Game 2's Cool Things last year.

We caught up with Lady, who was with her daughter and told us, "She's a treat. Everybody asks me, 'Lady, don't you want to come back?' But since I had her, that's been better than any basketball I could ever imagine."

A Colorful Personality

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If you thought the Monarchs looked good in purple, check out Rick Mahorn's threads tonight.