The Artists Formerly Known As Sonics will get a new name on Wednesday, but the secret seems to be slipping out.
The new OKC NBA Sports Blog (who hopefully will work on a new name themselves) has screen caps of Ticketmaster pages with the name "Thunder" on them.
I'm sure the name will get mixed reactions, but I don't mind it. The alternatives weren't much better. Though one columnist from the Oklahoman (Berry Tramel) didn't think it mattered much:
Thunder? Absolutely no different from Heat. Miami's NBA team has avoided the name police for 20 years.
Marshals seemed weak, but how is Marshals worse than Cowboys? A marshal is a cowboy with a badge. Dallas Cowboys probably seemed a little goofy in 1960. Now it's as American as New York Yankees.
Barons has negative connotations. Robber barons. Catton barons. Land barons. Oil barons, in the summer of $4-a-gallon gas. How are Barons suppose to generate support? The same way Raiders, Buccaneers and Pirates do. Heck, three major-league franchises have voluntarily called themselves the Senators.
Bison also was trademarked by OKC's ownership group. And why wouldn't it work? We're in our third century of generic animals supplying sports with names. Panthers, Jaguars, Bengals. Why is Bison a turnoff?
Wind and Energy? Well, let's not be ridiculous. Those names stink.
From a blogger perspective, I look forward to the punny headlines and loose analogies. I'm even getting used to this new trend of team names without an "s" at the end (remember when that was unheard of?).
Of course all of this is callously ignoring the plight of the gilted Seattle fans, and I'm sorry about that. But at some point you have to move on, and the good folks of Oklahoma City (Clay Bennett excluded) don't deserve our scorn. They are just happy to have a team.