Let’s get ready to R U M B L E ! The evening of Tuesday, February 17, 2009, was a big big night for OKC Thunder fans … not only was our first love in town to play against our new and more enduring love, it was also announced to be the evening of the unveiling of the Thunder’s new mascot.

About 3 minutes before half-time, way up in the rafters was this vaguely defined image hiding in the darkness …


What was that shadowy thing sitting way up there above center court? Half-time beginning, the Ford Center’s video display presented the true story of, and predicate for, what was about to occur … see Rumble’s website for the full animation, and for related videos at Rumble’s website, click here

For hundreds of years the tale has been told around Native American campfires. A great herd of American bison was lost in the Arbuckle Mountains during a ferocious storm — the kind only Oklahoma can produce. legend2s-9894323.
Hail fell and tornadoes spun all around the herd as they stampeded, trying to find their way to the safety of the plains. One lone bison stayed behind as he helped each of his friends escape down a treacherous ravine . . .
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. . . once all of his friends were safe he began his descent and found that his way blocked by fallen boulders. Lost, and left to face the storm alone, he climbed to the tallest mountain peak, searching for a way down.
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There, he was struck by a bolt of lightening. The bolt did not destroy him, but, by the power of the god of thunder, it 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.
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legend10s-4021850 But because he was no longer just a bison — and yet not a man — he was alone. The legend grew through the years — sightings of a mighty bison, with remarkable powers, roaming the hills all by himself.
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 roar of Thunder every time they took to the court.

So he joined their team. And the legend of Rumble was born.

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The animation had run its course. Whoa! Heady intellectual stuff! What next, after that lesson in historical anthropology?

Spotlights in the arena went crazy but began to focus upon that shadowy thing sitting way up there in the rafters. As the smallish no-net-below platform was lowered, it was then that we knew, we really knew, the Legend of Rumble was real. Too, we learned that while roaming the hills and plains Rumble had picked up impressive percussion skills (not to mention an unabashed flamboyant rock-star style). Below are some photos that I took on this night of nights in the Thunder’s history …






We saw the respect given him by the Thunder Girls
(their posture here admittedly being open to interpretation)


We saw his oblivion to ridiculous heights


We saw him stand ready to help the coaches & team


We saw him unveil the Thunder’s new Gatling T-shirt gun



We saw him mingle with the fans
and his skills as a self-photographer




The eyes of young fans told us, and we saw, and knew, that Rumble
was absolutely and instantly the best mascot in the NBA!

Thank you, PBC, for making Rumble, and his place in Oklahoma history, the Thunder Mascot right here in Oklahoma City! You did a really great with this one.

Rumble Videos:

  1. Rumble’s Video Home Page
  2. Introducing Rumble
  3. Media Blitz
  4. Read to Achieve”, and, of course,
  5. Rumble’s Story

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