Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The first great Thunder tradition

So OKC's first and only pro sports franchise is just a few months old but that's not too soon to start the first and possibly best tradition for Thunder basketball.

Basically every sports franchise has something unique to it that its fans know about and appreciate. But the really great ones - the ones that everyone aspires to be - have traditions that most everyone know about.

Seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field. Sweet Caroline in Boston. The Lakers' girls. The Yankee roll call and New York, New York after ball games. The list goes on and on. But my favorite professional sports tradition is one that comes from my favorite professional sports franchise - 41,000 Cubs fans singing in unison Steve Goodman's Go Cubs Go! after Chicago home wins. The feeling of unity and camaraderie that you feel is indescribable.

So this tradition will not include anything about Thunder. I have a feeling that OKC fans will be all Thundered out after a little bit when we're hit with "Thunderstruck," "Thunder Rolls," "Thunder Road," the "Thundercats" theme and anything else that may contain "Thunder" or anything that remotely sounds like it. We may hear "The Wonder Years" theme remixed to "The Thunder Years." Frankly, I'm going to get tired of it.

I propose after Oklahoma City home victories instead of playing Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" or something cliche', play Three Dog Night's "Never Been to Spain." Now granted, we'll probably only hear the song a handful of times this season, which is a shame.

Reasons the song is perfect?

1. It has nothing to do with Thunder. Like I said, we get it - the team's name is Thunder. Since the announcement, Thunder has received about the same response as Crystal Pepsi. Some say "cool!" some say "sucks" and most say "meh." So embrace what we all can agree on - that Oklahoma is the best dang state in the land.

2. It's just classic enough to be a 'classic' but obscure enough not to be cliche'.
Like I said, it isn't "Celebration" or "Let the Good Times Roll" or some other jock-rock stadium anthem that's been played to death. It's fresh and yet well-known at the same time.

3. The line.
Just like 41,000 at Wrigley singing "Go Cubs go, go Cubs go... hey Chicago whadaya say, the Cubs are gonna win today!" sends chills down my spine, 18,000 at the Ford Center singing "Well I've never been to heaven... BUT I'VE BEEN TO OKLAHOMA!!! They tell me I was born there, but I really don't remember." Incredible.

The Thunder needs something like this. Thunderstruck can introduce the team, but Never Been to Spain must take us home.

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