Perhaps you read this op-ed from Minnesota’s Star Tribune writer Jim Souhan. In it, he describes nine things that he wants the fans in Minnesota not to do when they make the NBA playoffs…in 2053.
When I first read his column, my knee-jerk reaction was anger. Who does this egg-headed columnist from Minnesota think he is? Why is he randomly picking on Oklahoma City? He should worry about his own shitty basketball team. But then I realized that this is just what Souhan wanted. As one of his colleagues will attest, he knows the OKC fanbase is engaged and that we will defend our team at all costs.
So instead of getting all mean and poking fun of Souhan’s gigantic forehead and starting a rumor that he cruises for gay Somalis at Loring Park (how’s that for a Minnesota reference), I’m going to attempt to take the high-road and provide a fair and balance analysis to his column.
Here we go:
1. Dress yourself: You might think it’s cute when the local team lays monochromatic T-shirts on your seat, so you can all look identical on TV, but you wind up looking like a class of first-graders whose parents enrolled you in a school requiring uniforms so they don’t have to fight with you about clothes at 6 every morning.
Are you upset that the fans are given free shirts? Because if you watch a Vikings game, you see a shit-ton of purple. But because the citizens dressed themselves, I guess it’s fine that they are all wearing Peterson Viking jerseys. I heard at a Twins game once everyone had a Kirby Puckett bobblehead doll, those people should have got their own bobbleheads instead of letting someone else give them a bobblehead.
2. If you can’t get a ticket, don’t gather like zombies: Thunder fans gathered outdoors to watch the game on TV. This doesn’t demonstrate unity. This demonstrates that there is nothing else to do in your town.
I kind of agree with you on this one, and thanks to our Big League City thugs, we won’t be doing this anymore!
3. Don’t stand the entire game: The guy behind you paid 200 bucks for that seat, and you’re not letting him use it? You should be Tased.
Have you watched any Thunder games? Our fans are not fit enough to stand through 4 quarters of basketball. We stand when it’s warranted, like until our team scores in the first half, a break away dunk or when we have to go to the bathroom.
4. Never chant “Beat L.A.!”: Nothing makes a fan base sound more small-time, more like a bunch of hick wannabes, than borrowing a decades-old chant about those bullies from the big city.
We are going to chant for our team to beat whatever team we are playing. It seems stupid that you think we are “small-time” for a chant that I know other crowds use. What does the Minnesota crowd chant when they play LA, “I hope our beloved Timberwolves soundly defeat the Lakers of Los Angeles, which used to be our team, because we are the land of 10,000 lakes”? I doubt it, because it’s not as catchy as “Beat LA.” Also, “hick wannabes”? My last name is Hicks, so there is no “wannabe” about it.
5. Act like you’ve been there before: This isn’t your senior prom. If you’re really good, you’ll get to do this again.
Sure, we’ve been there before, but does that mean we shouldn’t be excited and proud of our team for getting one step closer to an NBA championship? And last time I checked, senior proms happen every year, making the playoffs doesn’t… as you well know.
6. Don’t boo the greats: Do you really think you’re accomplishing something, or affecting the game, when you boo Kobe Bryant or any player of his stature? He loves shutting you up. Better to display a little perspective and revel in your chance to watch a Hall of Famer up close.
Sure, it’s awesome to see the greats play, in fact we have a few on our team, and we don’t boo them. But I think you are also a little confused, we were actually booing Ron Artest (who is not ‘one of the greats’). I think most of our energy was expended cheering for the Thunder. Did it affect the game? You tell me.
7. Don’t copy: What you notice as a traveling sportswriter is that if one team has any success with a marketing or promotional venture, it will be copied by every other team in professional sports.
You’re right, if something works, it doesn’t need to be done again. This has more to do with business practices than it does OKC. And if something ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Hey, maybe when the Timberwolves make the playoffs some corporate citizen will give all the fans matching shirts!
8. Don’t complain about bias: Whether they are competent or not, the refs and announcers don’t care whether your team wins or loses. They really don’t.
Yeah, announcers don’t care. I guess that means Reggie Miller doesn’t root for the Pacers and Mike Breen doesn’t root for the Knicks…even thought they do.
9. Pick new music: Instead of playing the same music in Oklahoma City (or Minneapolis) that they play in Miami and New York, try adding a local touch.
I absolutely agree with you! Here in OKC we could play Carrie Underwood, All-American Rejects, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, The Nixons, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Hinder, Flaming Lips, Hanson, etc. I know it would be a little country heavy but it’s a great idea. And in Minnesota, you guys could play the music of your famous artist… Prince.
Anyway, I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I like your sports teams. Kevin Love is one of my favorite players. I cheer for Adrian Peterson. I think Al Franken is a great comedian and am glad he is one of your senators. Our states aren’t too different: Minnesota has a population of around 5 million, Oklahoma has around 4 million. The majority of your citizens are Protestant, so are Oklahoma’s! Minnesota’s state drink is milk, and you’re not going to believe this, but so is Oklahoma’s!
We have a lot in common is what I’m getting at, and regardless of what you think about our fans or the way we conduct ourselves, perhaps you should ask the players in OKC if they would rather play in front of the crowd they have, or the crowd you described.