Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Peace, Love & Thunderstanding: 15 Ways to improve the Thunder Experience

Since the Thunder are such a torturous team to watch play ““ and an even more torturous team to analyze ““ I decided that it would be boring to write (or expect you to read) about the team’s failures in my first crack at Peace, Love and Thunderstanding.  Instead, I figured it would be fun to list some ways that Thunder management could possibly make the home games more enjoyable, thus improving the Thunder experience.

You see, Thunder games are extremely boring…and not just because the team sucks.  It seems like team management still hasn’t gotten the hang of that thing called “game presentation.” This sucks for a couple of reasons.  For one, the team is terrible, so you need to have some sort of fun distraction to keep you from focusing on the terrible play on the court.  And two, the Hornets did a great job at making the entire NBA experience a great experience, so we know what to expect.  And right now, the Thunder isn’t close to providing the same NBA experience that the Hornets delivered.

Anyway, instead of complaining about it.  I’m going to provide a solution!  Check it out after the jump.

15. Hire a Game Emcee who doesn’t make me want to punch the Game Emcee in the face.

The guy pictured above is Jonathan Meisner.  Jonathan is the “in arena game emcee” for the Thunder.  He’s also a recruiter for Southern Nazarene University. Yeah…the Thunder put a Nazarene college recruiter  in charge of entertaining an NBA crowd.  That makes as much sense as Jim Traber working at the library.

Seriously, how could they hire this guy!?!  Not only is his audition video terrible, but he has to wear his hat backwards to look remotely “cool” and “fresh.”   Instead, he looks like some annoying kid asking his mom for the Sunny D or the purple stuff.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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14. Get rid of the annoying Monster Truck Rally PA Announcer.

And you thought Meisner was bad!

This tool is Jim Miller.  Jim Miller is the PA announcer for the Thunder. Somehow, he won the lottery and made the jump from announcing the Bertha Teague Classic to announcing NBA games. Only in Oklahoma, right?

Miller is an absolutely terrible arena announcer.  For one, his voice isn’t natural.  When he talks into the mic, it’s like he’s pretending to be an arena announcer.  This works when he’s yelling “Kevin Durant,” but not when he has to speak in a normal voice, like “Earl Watson with the Foul.”  He also talks way too much and tries too hard to get the fans in the game.  Fans don’t need an announcer to tell them to “Stand up and cheer for your Thunder.”  They need a team to do that.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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13. Replace Hinder singing Thunderstruck with The Flaming Lips singing Thunderstruck.

The fact that The Thunder commissioned Hinder to sing Thunderstruck during the intro video shows how out of touch the franchise is with the average Oklahoma City fan.  The only people who like Hinder are 12 year old girls and Brent Skarky.  If The Thunder was smart, they would have chosen a band that the city (and world) is proud of… a band like The Flaming Lips.  Can you imagine how awesome that would sound?

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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12. Don’t let people walk up and down the aisle during play

Yeah.  I couldn’t find a picture of people walking up and down an aisle during a game, so I figured a pic of Adriana Lima would work.

Anyway, when the Hornets were here, you could only walk up and down to your seats during a stoppage in play.  It seems pretentious, but I liked the rule.  It kept idiots from constantly getting up and blocking your view during the game.  Granted, that may be a good thing with how bad the team plays.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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11. Ditch the pregame prayer.

I know we are in the bible belt, but I don’t get the whole appeal of a mass prayer before a basketball game.  It’s total buzz kill. Plus, I think that Gary England has better things to do then worry about the health of blessed multimillionaire professional athletes.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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10.  Steal a Different Team

Why did we steal the worst team in the NBA?  Why couldn’t we have stolen the Celtics or Trail Blazers.  Hell, I’d take the North Carolina starting five over the Thunder.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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9. How about a mascot?

This would be nice.  Right now the closest thing we have to a mascot is a drum line.  Yes, a drum line.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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8. Score over 80 points a game.

Granted, this was more of a problem during the PJ Carlesimo reign, but maybe if the team occasionally scored more than 80 points a game, we wouldn’t worry about the game presentation sucking so bad.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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7. Let the Thunder Girls perform lap dances.

Not only would this make the games more entertaining, but it would generate more revenue, which means the team could pursue free agents.  They would just need to make sure the girls don’t walk around collecting money to buy music.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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6. Invest in a Jock Jams CD.

If you’ve been to a Thunder game, you may have noticed they play about three songs/sound effects during the entire game.  Half the time it’s “Everybody Clap Your Hands.”  The other times it’s some variation of a defense chant.  Maybe the reason they don’t play music is because they don’t own any music.  Maybe they don’t know you can buy Jock Jams from Amazon.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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5. Free Beer

Not only would this guarantee a sell out every night, but it would also help combat the suffering that everyone goes through by watching a Thunder game.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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4. Non-Pink Thundersticks for everyone

I recently went to a game and had seats in the area behind the goal.  At first this sucked, but in the second half they gave us Thundersticks.  For some reason, it made the game more enjoyable.  I’m not sure if it was the fact that I could engage in a sword fight with my neighbor and not get hurt or hit a hot chick in the head with it and everything be perfectly fine.  It made me wonder why they don’t give one out to everyone.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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3.  Coach Clark Matthews

PJ was a bad coach in a very intolerable way, but having a Coach Clark Matthews would be hysterical.  Imagine how funny it would be when Kobe Bryant slips on some melted neapolitan ice cream that melted onto the floor from Clark’s cone.  Or think about how funny it will be when he wheels a 1950s chalkboard onto the court to diagram plays.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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2. Quit throwing t-shirts to the rich people who never wear t-shirts.

It seems like at every Thunder game I’ve been too, the only people who get free T-shirts are the rich people in the $100+ seats.  Granted, they try to shoot a couple way up high to Loud City, but half the time those hit the speakers and fall to some annoying kids on the front row.  They should spread the wealth and try to get t-shirts to the people that need them.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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1. Replace the “Kiss Cam” with the “Breast Cam.”

Honestly, every team should look into this idea.

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“Everybody Clap Your Hands!”

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So those are my ideas.  I’m sure you have some, too.  If so, leave a comment.

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Comments

  1. I’m not sure anything can save the Thunder. You know, it’s the NBA: Not Basketball Anymore.

    But I have one suggestion:

    Live pep band, absolutely NO canned music. And preferably a ska band. Ska would make a corpse get up and dance.

    (or the Lips would be awesome too, but I dunno if that’d happen … )

  2. “everybody clap your hands” is great at a wedding after I have been drinking for 5 straight hours and I am making a move at a brides maid, but playing it over and over at a thunder game is terrible. However I did get a kick out of the overweight middleaged guy dancing and throwing out tshirts to more rich people last night. Have you noticed that when ThunderStruck is being played during the starting lineups is it at an extremely low volume? I could actually have a conversation..melt my face off let’s rock, even if it is Hinder.

  3. Last Nights game was a rip your heart out type of game. I have never in my life witnessed a team lose a game after being up 21 points. I was behind the bench and you could tell on Mason and Watson’s faces how shocked they were. You cant teach how to close out a game, they just discover it on their own, but they should at least TRY too. It was nice to see Brooks not chewing on his players and the refs the entire time. Way different then ol PJ. And the refs were terrible last night. It was almost like they had bet on the game or something…

    But hey, the pregame intros are getting better and better, at least that is a positive…

  4. At the couple of games I went to, they did stop you from walking in the aisles during game play in the lower bowl, which I found a little annoying, but acceptable.

    Quit playing the clap your hands song

    Quit hiring ghey halftime acts

    Pretend you spent 300 million for a team instead of 300,000. It’s like they are putting off brand regular unleaded into a Ferrari. OK, maybe not a Ferrari, maybe a Lexus IS-F right now, but still.

    I think the economy has made tehm poor so they are cheaping out as much as they can, i.e. only one radio announcer (who is decent, but without a color guy is tedious), an amateur game announcer, lame halftime acts.

    Next thing you know, they will be doing promotions like “Thirsty Thursday” just to get people in the seats .

  5. I like the “Clap Your Hands” song. As far as I’m concerned it will never get old. In fact I’m singing it as I type (but not actually clapping because I’m typing).

    I think the games are fun and will only continue to get better. I don’t care if they win but I would like to see more close games.

  6. That “Breast Cam” idea is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that!” ideas that is right there in front of you – bouncing gently up and down behind a tight t-shirt – but you just can’t see it.

  7. Jonathan Meisner makes me want to punch myself and everyone around me in the face. He annoys me to no end. I like to pretend I am Jonathan at the games and let people push me down the stairs.

    Jim Miller is equally bad. Maybe he should actually attend some of the games outside of the Ford Center and hear how the real guys do it. Or maybe they can just fire him all together and hire Bob Cortese. Why Bob? Because I think it would be funny hearing him mumble stuff over the PA.

    Hinder = Magic…Johnson’s AIDS

    I will not comment on the Thunder Girls (aka The Clap) or the Breast cam due to restraining orders.

    Awesome work as usual Patrick!

  8. This franchise is doomed due to poor management, poor play and soon to be poor attendance. They’re not even lovable losers. Everybody who thought the craze over the Hornets would automatically transfer to this team were sadly mistaken.

    It doesn’t matter what gimmicks you have, as long as the team doesn’t win and seems not to care, this is the product you can expect. Basically, they suck. Maybe next year they’ll have Blake Griffin which will keep interest up for a while but he can’t carry a bad team for long.

  9. Are you guys talking about the Casper Slide song? I hate that song so much; it’s unbearable. I’d rather hear the Macarena.

    Funny story:
    At my friend’s wedding reception, the DJ tried to play this song after being told “no cheesy wedding music” and the groom nearly kicked his ass. After that, we decided that having no DJ at all was better, so we just played a couple of mix CDs for the rest of the night. The DJ starting drinking and hitting on bridesmaids, so he got kicked out of the party completely.

  10. BTW, those Thunder girls are hot. When is someone going to post scans of the calendar? There’s no way I’m shelling out $20 for that.

  11. was this a good article? i made it a point to quit reading after the word hinder….in reality, 2 ideas will work- lap dancing thunder-bunnies and free beer. i don’t want to see the breast cam in the 46th rated state of fatties.

  12. The article is spot-on for the most part. I do have a couple of issues.

    The pregame prayer thing might be the NBA, the Hornets did it in OKC and do it in NOLA. I went to a Clippers/Hornets game at the Staples Center, the prayed there too.

    Jonathan Meisner is way too scripted and dorky. Annoying more than anything.

    Jim Miller is bad, “okay Thunder Hands stand up and root your team, this is still a game”

    Hinder is bad, I think they do the intro for the Hump Guy’s pre/post game show.

    9. I think the mascot is going to be that Monkey thing they sell now.

    The repetitive sound effects and music is terrible.

    The beers have actually shrunk in size since the Ford Center obtained Thunder plastic cups, price is still $6.

    The pink thundersticks is awful. Who makes these decisions?

    You should have done some more Sports Animal dissing, they are sooo bad.

  13. dead on. i’ve only been once and am not sure i’ll go again. i could go to the bus station and not notice the difference. i’ll stick with OU football games for now. in the meantime, must dig up jock jams cd. perfect for work!

    (everybody clap your hands)

  14. So Barkley defends Scott Brooks in the DOKie today, maybe he wants to come and give courtside color commentary for a game? That would certainly improve things. The in-seat service at the Hornet games was SWEET. Only problem was you had to get up and go to the bathroom more often after drinking the 12 oz. beers! Free t-shirts every game for the loud city people would be a nice touch. There has to be some reward for sticking it out while our team “grows”! Meissner has got to GO! Maybe they could give out 10 $100 bills in a raffle they announce at the closing buzzer so people will stay in their FREAKIN seats!

  15. My original mascot idea was a popcorn-headed guy with lightning bolts stuck in his kernel named Thunderhead but I like rippiing off The Mighty Thor even better. Not only would kids get a wholesome lesson in sportsmanship and body art, they would learn about Norse mythology as well. Maybe throw in a trampoline dunk contest with Odin and Loki as well.

    If you’re going to have a breast cam, I think it is now state law to have a dick cam as well. Put the don’t-have-a-life-so-I’ve-tied-my-self-esteem-to-a-professional-sports-team clowns up there getting violently angry because the Blunder get schooled again. Or is that a douche-cam?

  16. I agree that the Thunder game presentation sucks big time. The arena announcer is just god-awful!!! I live in Tulsa and have season tickets to the Thunder’s D-League team….they suck, too as a team….but, their arena announcer is incredible….somebody told me he was the Timberwolves announcer for a long time….why can’t they get him? If I hear “Clap Your Hands” at a Thunder or 66ers game one more time I may commit “hari-kari”….apparently that song is an organization thing…they played it 12 times in one game in Tulsa during a blow-out loss…..real crap-ola!!!

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