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THUNDER BINGOToday marks the debut of " Thunder Bingo."

Clip and save the accompanying Thunder Bingo card for the 2009-10 season.

Whenever you read a story or hear an interview involving the Thunder and a response matches one that appears on the card, mark the spot.

First person to get five across, up and down or diagonally wins.

After that, we'll play "Blackout Bingo" and race to fill the entire card.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks and his players got off to a blistering start with their responses at Media Day last Monday, so this figures to move along pretty quickly.

We could have a blackout winner before the Oct. 28 season opener against Sacramento at the Ford Center.

The grand prize has yet to be determined, but we're leaning toward a copy of James Rogers' "Dictionary of Cliches" autographed by the entire Thunder team.

Ready to play along? The Thunder certainly is.

The Thunder inner circle has the same belief, the same hope, the same desire and the same approach, so it stands to reason why they all would tend to have the same answers.

Many of you probably recall a post-game interview with Texas football coach Mack Brown after the 2002 game against Oklahoma.

Longhorns quarterback Chris Simms threw three interceptions in a 35-24 loss to the Sooners. As Simms was about to answer a question, Brown interrupted with, "Let me answer that for Chris ..."

Brown was trying to rescue one of his players, even though Simms was perfectly capable of answering himself.

Brooks isn't about to go all Mack Brown on his team, and Thunder players have not been fitted for muzzles, but don't be shocked if they line up like ducklings when it comes to answering certain questions, such as making the playoffs.

While speaking about the upcoming season last June, forward Kevin Durant said, "Anything less than the playoffs is a failure for us."

Brooks cringes when discussing the unreasonable expectation of making the playoffs this season and was asked about Durant's response.

"That's the great thing about being around highly competitive athletes," Brooks said at Media Day last Monday. "We would not want it any other way. Will it (the playoffs) be something I talk about? Absolutely not. We'll talk about making progress. We'll talk about getting better ... I will not say, 'That's not possible.' "

Roughly 10 minutes later, Durant sat in the same chair and spoke into the same row of microphones as Brooks.

When asked about the playoffs, Durant downshifted from his June response and was noticeably in step with what Brooks had just said.

Brooks smiled when informed Durant essentially had given the same answers.

Brooks then playfully patted his back pocket, as if he was searching for notecards to double-check that he had given the proper responses himself.

A specific plan is in place on what should be said when Thunder members speak to the masses, much to the chagrin of reporters searching for fresh quotes.

Some interview sessions figure to become as structured and as regimented as training camp.

Then again, the Thunder could have some fun with this. Brooks could step up to a podium and say, "My name is Scott Brooks and I'll be representing Russell Westbrook with my answers today."

The Thunder literally and figuratively is growing together, and they're doing it at their own pace.

It's not easy to get an entire team on the same page. And when you're on the same page, the same answers apply.

Ready for some Thunder Bingo?

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 7, 2009


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