Last summer, the Oklahoma City Thunder -- who are a lot better than their record; no team has ever lost more games by seven or fewer points in the history of sport (we didn't bother checking the stats, but it's probably true) -- quickly discarded one potential name for the team: Bison. Yet Tuesday night unleashed a new mascot: Rumble the Bison.
We're not making this up.
In his rock-star introduction -- descending onto the court playing drums -- 'Rumble' danced to 'Everybody Dance Now' and missed two dunks, one a perilous back-flip from a 16-foot ladder towering over one basket.
The story behind 'Rumble' shows some actual inspiration though. Per a Daily Oklahoma story:
"Rumble is a bison that hundreds of years ago led his herd to safety only to be trapped alone in a storm atop the Arbuckle Mountains... Rumble was struck by lightning and suddenly walked on two legs like a man... Rumble possesses amazing strength and agility but felt alone until NBA players with similar athletic skills arrived in the Ford Center hundreds of years later."
Not bad. Yet Thunder's vice president of tickets and services Brian Byrnes messed it all up. (One wonders if the president of tickets and services wasn't available.) Byrnes confessed to the Oklahoman, "Even though it’s fictional, it takes the tone of a bison, the history of this community.”
Fictional? WHAT is fictional? Any real Thunder fan would tell you, Rumble IS REAL.
Perhaps Mr Byrnes should stick with tickets and leave services to people who give a dang. A proper spokesperson should INSIST IT'S TRUE. Eg, "It may sound like a camp-fire tale, but these are the sorts of things that DO happen in Oklahoma... unlike other states, such as Texas... here, magical things like this happen all the time..."
Speaking of which, the FBO has long believed the correct choice for a Thunder mascot is THE TIN MAN. The character would have an undersized cape with a 'OKC' on his back, and otherwise no distinguishing features. He would sit directly behind the opposing team and berate -- in PG-rated language -- the secondary players. Ie, Not a word would be uttered to Kobe, but hailstorms of gentle abuse would fall on fellow Los Angeles Lakers Sun Yue and Josh Powell.
THAT is how Thunder rolls in OKC, J-Pow.
Meanwhile, Brian Byrnes joins Oklahoma, and is on probation for two weeks.
--> It's worth pointing out that the long-running Golden State Warriors mascot is named Thunder. Kinda makes all this feel a little silly.
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY