I have a long-standing reputation for embracing all manner of crazy, goofy sports mascots. Philly Phanatic? Love ‘im. The Phoenix Suns’ Gorilla? Gorill-awesome. When I was in elementary school, I wanted to grow up to be L’il Red. But as much as I love suiting up and acting like an idiot in front of thousands of screaming fans, I draw the line at the bizarre Grizzly Adams/Bison hybrid that is the new mascot of the OKC Thunder, Rumble.
I guess I should cut them some slack. It is hard to come up with an anthropomorphic and/or hairy representation of “thunder” and I and you can never go wrong with bison. But does his “mane” have to be so… how would you describe it? Flowing? It makes me think of Native American hippie. A Native American hippie who wants to dunk on me, beat the drums and bust a move with the Thunder Girls. Furry arms and legs are one thing, but actual hair like that on a mascot is just weird. Even Chewbacca would be freaked out by this guy. You can’t see it from the picture above, but he has a ridiculous long tail that swings almost to his knees. You can see it on in the video below.
That’s all well and good, Brian, but what about Rumble’s back story? Once we get to know the guy, we might learn to love him. What makes him tick? Has he ever been to the Arbuckles? Would he heed Gary England’s warnings and seek shelter in a storm (hint: no)? The answers and so so much more are all there in Rumble’s Origin story. Oh, it’s a titillating tale full of drama, danger and intrigue, I assure you. I smell a movie here, people. Somebody get me Jerry Bruckheimer.
From Rumble‘s official website:
For hundreds of years the tale has been told around Native American campfires. A great heard of American Bison was lost in the Arbuckle Mountains during a ferocious storm – the kind only Oklahoma can produce.
Hail fell and tornadoes spun all around the herd as they stampeded, trying to find their way down to the safety of the plains.
One lone bison stayed behind as he helped each of his friends escape down a treacherous ravine… once all of his friends were safe he began his descent, only to find his way blocked by fallen boulders.
Lost, he climbed to the tallest peak; left to face the storm alone and searching for a way down the mountain, he was struck by a bolt of lightning.
The bolt did not destroy him, but, by the power of the god of thunder, changed him. Suddenly, he walked on two legs like a man. He possessed amazing strength and agility – he could jump higher, run faster, think more clearly than any beast.
But because he was longer just a bison – and yet not a man – he was alone.
With many sighting, the legend grew through the years, of a mighty bison, with remarkable powers, roaming the hills alone.
Not until a group of men who carried similar powers came to Oklahoma City did he find somewhere he belonged. These men also possessed the power to jump higher, run faster, and perform acrobatic dunks more spectacular than anyone in the land. They too carried the road of Thunder every time they took to the court.
So he joined their team. And the new legend of Rumble was born.
Man, and I thought I was comma happy. I’d love to see the first draft of that story.
Oh, and be sure you add Rumble’s Blog to your list of daily must-reads!