Forgive my delayed reaction to the OKC NBA franchise unveiling their name, logo and colors. I've been a little preoccupied with a sport Americans call FOOTBALL!
Do you hear the rumble? It's the Thunder baby! Put your hands together and welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder to the ranks of the National Basketball Association.
After months of careful and precise research (or not), the powers-that-be decided "Thunder" captured the imagination of the nation for Oklahoma's foray into professional sports.
Thunder. Really? Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshalls, Wind and Thunder were the final six candidates. Me thinks all six are egregious failures of the imagination.
The singular nickname rarely works. OKC Thunder sounds more like a WNBA team than a NBA franchise. Liberty, Sun, Fever, Shock, Dream and Sky. Yes, the Thunder would fit in nicely with the WNBA. (No offense to Kejuan Jones and the Thunder of the World Football League)
To exacerbate matters they applied an unimaginative logo and childlike colors to the team. At worst, the Thunder logo appears to be a rip-off of the current NBA franchise, the New Jersey Nets. At best, it's a dated logo from the ABA era.
The colors elicit thoughts of Barney and Friends or Bert and Ernie. Light Blue, Orange, Navy Blue and Gold. Last time I checked, when Thunder is rolling past my house the sky isn't light blue.
The shade of blue coincides with the state flag. For some reason the yellow and reddish-orange colors symbolize the sun. How cute. WNBA all the way!
Now I'm not the kinda guy to just spew venom and not give recommendations. In today's drive-by media we can all pick terrible decisions apart.
If the franchise was limited to the six choices listed above then I vote Barons. The logo could have a smug mug glancing at the camera. The color scheme would feature black. Black means tough. Light blue? Not so much.
Now, if the NBA and owner Clay Bennett loved Thunder so much then they should have respected the wishes of many and went with Thunderbirds. Oklahoma City's 45th Infantry Division carries the Thunderbirds nickname in reference to the state's American-Indian heritage.
We could have also enjoyed cheap wine for our pregame ritual and it would have been ok. But I digress.
It is obvious little thought was given to the name. Making catchy headlines is the only plausible reason for Thunder. Get ready for a year full of "Thunder storms past Celtics" or "OKC thunders past Hornets." Uncreative indeed.
The University of Tulsa is thundering past the opponents. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.) David Johnson is making this starting quarterback job look simple.
Seven total touchdowns in one game is an impressive feat regardless of the competition. You'd be hard pressed to accomplish the same in your company's flag football team-building exercise.
TU faces New Mexico at the redesigned (for your pleasure) Chapman Stadium this Saturday night at 6pm. I cannot make you go to the game. The urging of the public to attend sporting events by the media is futile. Suffice it to say you've already made up your mind. Or have you?
But if you can be persuaded, now is the time to jump on board the TU Express. Visit tulsahurricane.cstv.com for more information.
The Golden Hurricane has struggled the past few years with something out of their control. Conference respect.
Let's call a spade a spade. For years, C-USA basketball has been a one team juggernaut. Memphis and a bunch of who dats.
Football is more diverse. TU and the University of Central Florida have acquitted themselves nicely in the past. Unfortunately, they were still viewed as the best of a weak sister conference.
Fast forward to today. C-USA is kicking ass and taking names. No more 20 and 30 point blowout losses to the BCS schools.
Set aside TU's two high-scoring beat downs to open the season; the rest of the conference is finally stepping up in competition and making a name for themselves.
East Carolina is the early season Cinderella. Victories over Virginia Tech and West Virginia (remember what the Mountaineers did to OU last year?) are raising C-USA up from the ashes.
UCF took a highly touted South Florida team to overtime. UTEP led Texas in the early going. Houston took a halftime lead against Oklahoma State. Tulane held strong against an Alabama team that blew out Clemson a week earlier.
What does this mean? Glad you asked or at least pondered quietly in your mind.
Tulsa's quest to divide and conquer C-USA garners much more attention than we thought a month ago. The world wide leader and reputable media outlets are forced to take notice.
When UTEP, UCF and Tulane visit T-Town, you're more likely to fill the stadium. Patrons love a good buzz. This team and conference foes are providing just that.
If TU captures the West Division title and subsequently meets an undefeated East Carolina team in the C-USA Champions tilt, the nation's eyes will be cast upon our Hurricane.
Am I getting ahead of myself? Perhaps. Who cares? It's the coach's job to take it a game at a time. Not mine. See you at the game.
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