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News » RUMBLE THE BISON


RUMBLE THE BISON


RUMBLE THE BISON
Lowered from the Ford Center ceiling like a rock star, Rumble the Bison, the Thunder's new mascot, made a smashing debut Tuesday night despite missing both dunks.

Rumble played the drums, performed with the trampoline dunk team, danced with the Thunder Girls and closed his halftime act by climbing a 16-foot ladder. Rumble stood on the top rung, then back-flipped. The dunk rimmed out, but his athleticism was evident.

He declined to give his true identity, but the person inside the costume has served as a mascot for more than a decade. He once water skied in costume and roller bladed up a four-story ramp, successfully jumping over cars like Evel Knievel.

Rumble's story is fictitious, but the Native American tale concocted represents Oklahoma's history.

A near-sellout crowd was told at halftime Rumble is a bison that hundreds of years ago led his herd to safety only to be trapped alone in a storm atop the Arbuckle Mountains. The story claims Rumble was struck by lightning and suddenly walked on two legs like a man.

According to campfire legend, Rumble possesses amazing strength and agility but felt alone until NBA players with similar athletic skills arrived in the Ford Center hundreds of years later.

"Even though it's fictional, it takes the tone of a bison, the history of this community," said Brian Byrnes, vice president of tickets and services. "The bison itself is going through a renaissance, having once been near extinction, now coming back in great numbers.

"We feel that's a parallel story to what this city, this state is going through. We're hoping our team is part of this renaissance, this growth, a 'Yes We Can' optimism. The story takes on that tone, that Rumble didn't just drop in out of thin air Tuesday night."

Thunder officials spent five months weighing dozens of options that ranged from picking a character and name to tediously developing a costume. In the end a bison - not a buffalo - was selected, similar to sky blue, featured on the state flag, being among the team colors.

"We've learned our fans are very passionate, very emotional," Byrnes said. "They're connected to this team. They value the NBA experience and have given us unbelievable support."


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 20, 2009

 

 
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