Putting aside the dubious manner by which Oklahoma City received an NBA team, the decisions that have been made by the marketing department since then are hard to describe as anything but headscratching.
First of all, the team nickname is the Thunder, which is complete nonsense. It’s hard to cheer for a sound. Now—a week after the All-Star break of their first season—they have finally unveiled their mascot: Rumble the Bison. Uh ... okay.
Rumble played the drums, performed with the trampoline dunk team, danced with the Thunder Girls and closed his halftime act by climbing a 16-foot ladder. Rumble stood on the top rung, then back-flipped. The dunk rimmed out, but his athleticism was evident.
His missed both his dunk attempts, actually. The also gave him a back story that involves Native Americans and a lightning bolt that somehow explains why he walks on his hind legs, but doesn’t explain how a hoofed mammal can play the fucking drums. Or why the creatures that Americans know as “buffalo” are actually called bison and buffalo do not technically exist in North America, which makes Kevin Costner a dirty liar. Or why they didn’t just name the team the Bison?
Don’t get me wrong. Rumble is totally in my face, I just wish they would have Rasta-fied him another 10%.
Rumble the Bison: Thunder mascot’s act smashing [Oklahoman]
Thunder Mascot Introduction: FAIL [Sporting News]
Oklahoma City Thunder: What does a mascot mean to a team? [Oklahoman]