Friday, January 23, 2009

Slap Hitter: Golden State and Thunder's Curse

Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 1:02 PM

We're really not huge fans of sports mascots. I get that it would be pretty offensive to have a Cleveland "Indian" running around, but the corporeal creature, Slider is dispiriting on a whole other level. East Bay fans have probably resigned themselves to Stomper, the A's not-really-elephant mascot. For sure, he's elephantine in caricature, but he doesn't really do elephant things. Shouldn't he be way bigger than every other team's mascot? Or do tricks with his trunk? (Maybe I don't really know what elephants do, sorry). Point being, that mostly mascots don't do anything sport-related or animal-related. If Stomper broke off a curve ball or pumped batting practices pitches into the seats, then maybe I'd forgive him for not munching on bamboo. Anyhow, this past year the Warriors retired the one tolerable mascot in the 510. Thunder! And now that he's gone, the Warriors have been hexed. Above and beyond their usual hex.

We're really not huge fans of sports mascots. I get that it would be pretty offensive to have a Cleveland "Indian" running around, but the corporeal creature, Slider is dispiriting on a whole other level. East Bay fans have probably resigned themselves to Stomper, the A's not-really-elephant mascot. For sure, he's elephantine in caricature, but he doesn't really do elephant things. Shouldn't he be way bigger than every other team's mascot? Or do tricks with his trunk? (Maybe I don't really know what elephants do, sorry). Point being, that mascots generally don't do anything sport-related or animal-related. If Stomper broke off a curve ball or pumped batting practices pitches into the seats, then maybe I'd forgive him for not munching on bamboo. Anyhow, this past year the Warriors retired the one tolerable mascot in the 510. Thunder! And now that he's gone, the Warriors have been hexed. Above and beyond their usual hex.

When the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City this past summer, they went with the way lamer nickname, Thunder. (Hate those plural nouns that sound singular). Anyway Thunder, the mascot was now superfluous or duplicative or confusing, and he was banished this season. Thunder the mascot actually performed basketball-like stunts, many better than the ones Cory Maggette does as a starter. He leaped, he dunked, he was a plausible alternative to Warrior Girls.

Now that he's gone, the only thunder left in the association are the wretched ballers from OKC; who can't beat anyone...but Golden State. The Okies have only nine wins in 43 games. They suck. They have been losers on a historical level, and yet in three games against the Warriors have a two-game winning streak. How could this be anything other than a curse?

To lose at home to the tornado boys is something that's only happened two other times in the history of the franchise (admittedly three months old) but still it's clearer than mud that this team has stolen not only the G.S. mascot but its mojo as well. How else to explain giving up 72 points in one half? It couldn't be poor coaching, subpar personnel or a defense that at its best might aspire to "half-hearted" effort.

This season looks like a goner for the Warriors, so to act as spoiler might be enough to keep the season interesting through May. My advice; we get a new mascot...better advice, we name him "Celtic".— Kibby Kleiman

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