Acid ambassadors from Oklahoma, The Flaming Lips released a Thunder-themed version of their classic “Race for the Prize” over Memorial Day Weekend. They dropped the philanthropic scientists from the song and, thanks to crowdsourcing Twitter, now preach of Okie pride and a distant Thunder (thanks Seattle) coming to raise up their people. The chorus – bridge, I don't know, whatever – is replete with a stadium-ready “Thunder Up!” chant and fist pump combo. Like Shaq being underwhelming on the TNT halftime show, some things just make sense.
Deadspin gave us the term “hoopster” a few years back, as laundry day or an insane amount of false irony led hipsters to don basketball jerseys from the era of their youth. (Sidenote: the best way, though not quite failsafe, to determine whether or not the specimen you are observing is a “hoopster” or genuine basketball fan is to notice whether the jersey is printed or stitched.) And as hipster code determines, one must move quickly from anything that has been labeled as hipster. Therefore, obscure '90s basketball jerseys are out, and in an effort to compound layer upon layer of irony and genuineness, we begin to support present day players and teams.
What better team than the Oklahoma City Thunder? They're really good, which can be hard to stomach for the ever-falsely-self-deprecating hipster, but they play in Oklahoma. What the hell is Oklahoma, even? How ironic. And that one dude has a beard and jacked up teeth. Fuck, sign me up.
No, I can't even play with this tired “hoopster” talk. The Thunder are it. Maybe it's the small market connection or maybe it is some deep-seeded hipster chakra guiding me to raise my fists along with Wayne and the rest of the Thunder faithful, but they've set themselves up for years of potential domination and it's going to be fun to watch. Granted the Spurs – playing the Mr. Miyagi to OKC's Daniel-san – took Game 1 en route to what is quietly becoming one of the better NBA seasons in recent history. We can hope OKC management does right by its people and ushers in Games 3 and 4 with human gerbil balls, the Thunder Girls costumed in full body animal suits, and the Flaming Lips leading everyone with a Thunder Up! chant.