“We’re fairly nontraditional people,” McNutt, who grew up in Tennessee and idolized legendary Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt, said in a phone interview Wednesday, shortly before she and Suchyta were scheduled to fly home to D.C.
McNutt and Suchyta met at work three years ago and became close through their shared love of sports, especially the WNBA. They’ve had Mystics season tickets together since 2017, when they traveled to New York City to see Washington’s win over the Liberty in the second round of the playoffs. After getting engaged over dinner at Minibar this summer, they celebrated with a trip to Minneapolis to see a Minnesota Lynx game, before heading to Chicago to see the Mystics take on the Sky. Their goal is to see a WNBA game in every arena.
Getting married in Connecticut was never part of the couple’s plan, but when their close friend who had agreed to serve as the officiant at a small gathering of friends and family in D.C. later this month told them on Monday he could no longer attend, they improvised.
“We were like, ‘Well, we’re here, and these games are at a casino,’ ” said Suchyta, who flew to Connecticut with McNutt on Sunday, ahead of the Mystics’ 94-81 win in Game 3.
Alas, the Mohegan Sun doesn’t have a walk-in wedding chapel, which is why, after some quick research, Suchyta and McNutt ended up filling out an application for a marriage license with the town clerk of Montville. When asked about the significance of the day, they replied that the Mystics would clinch their first title that night.
“The mayor was available to be the officiant, so he performed the wedding ceremony, and it all worked out great,” said Suchyta, who got into women’s basketball as a student at Ohio State.
“There was some banter about sports and the game,” McNutt said of the mayor’s reaction upon seeing their Mystics jerseys. “It was pretty cool."
While McNutt and Suchyta have no intentions of renewing their vows with a second marriage ceremony in D.C. this month, the celebratory gathering they planned at Oyamel will go on as scheduled.
“The first reaction from friends and family [when they found out we got married] was congratulations,” McNutt said. “Their second reaction was, ‘We’re still having dinner, right?’ ”
With her nervous energy running high before Game 4, McNutt said she joked with Suchyta that he might have to remind her they were married afterward. While the Mystics’ comeback bid ultimately came up short, McNutt said the day, like Washington’s record-breaking season, was a success.
“I got a flood of text messages from friends that were watching the game,” she said. “At the start of the season, they wouldn’t have been watching the WNBA. I got messages from season-ticket holders that we’ve come to be friends with over the past couple of years. It’s hard to be so disappointed in the grand scheme of things. It’s just so much fun and so exciting, and just the best sports experience you could ever ask for.”
“Reflecting on the day and the experience as a whole, it was awesome,” Suchyta said. “I’m never going to forget getting married and coming up to Connecticut for these games. Regardless of the outcome of Game 5, we’ll have gotten to see all of these games in person. ”
The couple has yet to plan a honeymoon, but France is on their shortlist of potential destinations. Suchtya is fluent in French, while McNutt has connected with a few Mystics and Emma Meesseman fans from Belgium on social media. For now, all of their focus is on Thursday’s Game 5 in D.C.
“I just want the city to rally around the team,” Suchyta said. “I think it’s a pretty special case to have a winner-take-all scenario for the championship in your hometown. I hope everyone shows up loud and proud and really makes it an unforgettable atmosphere to drive the team and give them the energy that they need. Just let the team know that they’re supported for their hard work.”
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