Donald Trump for some reason went to the UN and tried to either bullshit or troll the rest of the world about his two years as Potus. All I can say is that he can clearly get away with this in places like Oklahoma, West Virginia, Alabama, the entire Solid South, and probably quite a few rural counties throughout the nation. He can say anything in places like these which love his world view that World War II never happened. The Nazis never happened. The Allies winning the war never happened. The Marshall Plan never happened. The Cold War never happened. The world history of the greatest alliance of democracies never happened. You can take this low road in the dimmest and dumbest settings in the U.S. and get away with it.
But not so much with the rest of the world as in much in the pursuant years since 1945 the world has become interconnected. Maybe if Trump and his followers would occasionally read Tom Friedman they might be more tuned in somewhat.
But we know that’s never going to happen in a place like say Oklahoma, so it is what it is.
It’s just so embarrassing. It truly is. I don’t mean this in a snarky way, but it’s just such an embarrassment. I’m genuinely trying to put as little as possible on my blog in relation to Trump, but when the rest of the world is openly laughing at you it probably deserves a mention of sort.
On a more positive note, the Colorado Rockies won their fifth straight game last night and are but one game behind the Dodgers and Cardinals for a playoff spot. My son is taking me to the last game of the regular season on Sunday at Coors Field as the Rockies will host the Washington Nationals. How cool it would be if the last game decides the Rockies’ playoff fate.
The contract of Brian Davis was not extended this summer. Some will say it was because Russell Westbrook exerted pressure over the cotton picking comment which got Davis suspended for the first game of the Utah series. I honestly don’t care if Westbrook did or didn’t ultimately decide the fate of Davis.
You know why I don’t care?
Because he was terrible unless you’re some sort of lost soul who was frigging listening to the Flaming Lips before the Thunder telecasts. Read my lips…he was horrible.
Brian Davis didn’t have to be a cornball homer. That was his call as a professional. Maybe old racist women who watch the Thunder telecasts liked him. Maybe the rural people who love Trump loved Davis. Maybe he had an off the chart connection with Deplorables. I don’t know. I don’t care. This isn’t a riveting thing with me. I would think though given that the Thunder are now the subject of a NY Times bestseller maybe it was the time to put the bullshit cornball homer telecasts on the shelf and start to make the appearance of professional sports franchise with its television broadcasts.
My father while still living would randomly call me after a Thunder game and asked in an agitated state, “How did he get this job?” It was always rhetorical as neither of us could offer an explanation to the other. Although in the back of mind two words were always there…Peter Principle.
I know this though it had gotten to the point where even when I watched Fox it was with the sound muted to avoid the voices of both Davis and Michael Cage. And BTW…Cage has kept his job.
Fisher has been the USC basketball play by play announcer for the past eight years. I’ve never heard him on air. I’ll give him a chance. My mind is open. Anything has to be an improvement over Davis though. I love Pinto. I love Antonio. I once rode in an elevator with Leslie and told her the perfume she was wearing was awesome. She smiled politely. She’s fine. So it’s not like I’m some crank who’s hypercritical of announcers.
Davis has a nice voice. He doesn’t appear to be a clueless dumbshit as far as sports go. Some of his hockey comments were actually decent in realtion to hockey assists. He just opted to be the homer of all homers and my guess is Westbrook didn’t want him back. Which is fine with me. I don’t care.
I hate to sound so callous. Someone losing their job isn’t something I like. But enough already. Maybe Davis and Wayne Coyne could work out some sort of deal and Davis could become the voice of the Flaming Lips promotions. From what I’ve heard of their music they could use a homer. Maybe. Sam Anderson never mentioned Brian Davis in his book. What does that say?
I sure hope this doesn’t become some sort of issue with Jim Traber because he even more than me was more vocal in regards to how pitiful and feeble Davis had become on the telecasts.
Chris Fisher, welcome aboard. Tell it like is every now and again.
With Nick’s retirement…Steven becomes my favorite player on the team. Probably next would be Russ. Then Paul George. There’s a lot I like about Paul George as well. He loves to fish. He’s intrigued by politics. And like Russ–he seems to put a premium on his relationship with his son.
For this week I’m focused on Steven’s new book. I had that great talk with Steven at the 7-11 in Nichols Hills two summers ago and I knew right then and there he would replace Nick as my favorite Thunder player at some point.
This book I’m sure will go into things besides just basketball. I know he talks American politics in the book and from what I read he politely as best he could in an intellectually limited state like Oklahoma called our dipshit prez a douchebag. BTW…I got a call from a Trump fundraiser todays and at some point that ‘conversation’ will be posted on here.
So…time to move on from Sam Anderson. I’m firmly convinced he used the Trekkie reference because of something he read me write over at Daily Thunder, but I have to move on. I would think for sure I would have been in his top three over there given the ‘level’ of competition. I’d love to ask him. I even wonder if he was in the Daily Thunder Western Conference Bracket Contest and was using my brackets as tutorials of such. Surely—he wasn’t copying either Justin or Royce Young’s brackets….just saying.
Anyway—I look forward to reading his book and reviewing it on here.
These other Thunder blogs I guess don’t do book reviews, but in all candor from what I’ve seen from most of these predictable Thunder blogs—I really don’t want to be like them.
Sammy—I’m always here for you on those game nights when the Daily Thunder can’t quite get the fastball over 86 mph. I mean you’re a NY Times guy. I’m a NY Times guy. 99% of the Trekkies who loiter around on Daily Thunder have no idea who Maureen Dowd and Tom Friedman are or what they do for a living. Dude… I can do Maureen Dowd and Tom Friedman when I really set my mind to it.
I can’t lie. I loved it. Especially the way he ended it with three different epilogues. The last one being were Russell refuses to sign his new contract and announce it until September 29th on Kevin Durant’s birthday.
Absolutely the perfect way to end the book. I told you people…Little Miss Sunshine.
For those of us who in real life are OKC survivors and somehow still walk and speak and are able to still breathe in spite of the things this city seems bent on doing to itself—this will be a book we always treasure.
More than anything this book is complete and utter dysfunction rolled into the history of America’s 29th largest city. And here’s the thing…I think as Sam Anderson stayed here and worked on the book he like me in some ways finds the dysfunction kind of an attractive thing in a weird sort of self destructive way. Hence, the inclusion of Wayne Coyne into this epic yarn.
Why would any person need to live in New York, LA, Chicago or elsewhere when Oklahoma City has captured the title of America’s Most Dysfunctional Medium Sized City?
Tulsa, Wichita, and Omaha aren’t like this—trust me.
Somehow, someway… out of that land run and in a steady stream of historic mentally unstable intervals…Oklahoma City has become the dysfunction mecca of cities with more than 300,000 people.
I don’t mean this in a snarky way…not at all. I wonder to myself if this dysfunction is why Russell Westbrook decided to sign this new contract which will keep him here thru what basically will be the prime of his professional basketball career?
Again, I don’t mean this to be snarky, but Russell plays the most dysfunctional basketball I’ve ever witnessed in my life of watching basketball. He doesn’t seem to know if he’s a point guard, a shooting guard, a small forward, a power forward, or a center. It’s complete and total dysfunction, yet we love him and embrace him now as one of us.
At one point, I wonder if Russell thought to himself…”These people are even crazier than I am? I was born to be here. Thye’ve got it all.”
Harden would never have co-existed in this bullshit for a long period of time and you could tell by Kevin’s facial expressions that he felt uncomfortable coming clean and saying, “You motherfuckers are crazy. I can’t stay here.” Even Collison probably won’t come back to coach.
But amidst the craziness, the obvious political insanity, the absence of sustained reason, despite self induced sonic booms and earthquakes…Russell Westbrook is one of us and he loves it here. And now so does Paul George.
And on this highly human positive note I find myself with some real bounce as we enter the 11th season of Sam Presti’s Process in Oklahoma City.
Even if the Thunder never at this point win an NBA title, Presti has proved one thing, that being, you can talk two NBA stars into staying in Oklahoma City even when they aren’t obliged to by the contractual rules of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.
Think about what I just wrote. If ever there was a monumental moral victory—this was it.
THEY’RE ONE OF US AND THEY LOVE US!
See the glass half full.
So…Sam Anderson, thank you for the yarn. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and in the end what difference does it really make that the Thunder lost Game 6 to the Warriors. Think how boring it must be to be a Warriors’ fan already knowing you should threepeat this season unless Kerr and the team show up drunk for every game. I mean, like who cares? Secretly… I bet Steve Kerr wishes he were here. Really, I bet he wishes he were here.
Russell stayed. Paul George is staying with him. Steven Adams is writing wordly books. Andre still won’t be able to make a free throw. And observing Russell and Dennis Schroeder co-exist could be fun. What more could you ask for as an NBA fan?
I actually googled some Flaming Lips songs last night in the hope something resembling a piece of music could be experienced. Jesus fucking Murphy….is Sam Anderson kidding me? I’m a very accepting guy music wise, but this is bullshit.
There are five current Oklahomans in the Country Music Hall of Fame and believe or not Garth Brooks is not one of them. This is a great trivia question. Everyone always thinks Garth Brooks is one of the five. He’s not for some odd reason.
Can you name the five artists?
Vince Gill, Reba, Toby Keith, Blake Shelton, and Carrie Underwood
Isn’t there someway Sam Anderson could have pretended one of these artists lived in Oklahoma City instead of Wayne friggin’ Coyne?
Anyway this got me thinking of my favorite country songs. And my favorite is Amie by Pure Prarie League.
My wife is a United States Air Force brat. The oldest daughter of a bird Colonel. She lived everywhere growing up and Oklahoma was clearly her least favorite place. Her favorite place was Alabama where her father attended the War College in Montgomery. She told me this up front as we started dating. She told me she had every intention of leaving and attending college at Auburn. Which in fact she did. I knew this going in …so you could say I somewhat guarded my heart even though I fell in love with her like on the second date. And, yeah, like me.. she’s a Libra.
So she leaves and my heart is broken, but unlike Wayne Coyne, I survive this and go on with my life pretty much sure I’ll be a lifelong bachelor with a dog like the Diva Lab Pauli filling the void somewhat.
So…somewhere during the end of her first semester she calls me and asks me to visit her in Alabama. I said okay. I then went and bought a ring and two airline tickets to an empty island in the Bahamas. This is so unlike me to be even slightly romantic like this and risk her saying no. But this inner voice in me says to do this.
And she said yes and came back to Oklahoma two weeks later and has endured me and the state of Oklahoma for the last thirty-eight years. The deal is we don’t retire in Oklahoma…either North Carolina or Florida or maybe somewhere in Colorado. Which is fine because I can’t take Oklahoma anymore. I really can’t. I don’t think Oklahoma is racist per se, but I think it clearly is one of the three dumbest states in the Union along with West Virginia and Louisiana.
So–Sam Anderson this is for you, bud. This is my love song I played for myself abut a hundred times on that drive to Montgomery in 1980 with that ring in my pocket and those two airline tickets.
It was a record setting rain in Deer Creek today. We had 2.5 inches in the gauge at our modest three acre forest home. To date since August 1–we’ve had 18.5 inches of precip.
The turkeys are starting to band back together. Fifteen came for the early morning feed at 7:00am. We had been just getting the four regular male alphas who have been with us for almost fifteen years. But today there were fifteen birds.
Pauli the Diva Lab could care less about the turkeys. Neither could my son’s chocolate lab named Perk. But my daughter-in-law’s cocker spaniel literally goes into Hannibal Lectern mode when the turkeys emerge from the forest. Funny how each dog reacts. That dog clearly should have been named Westbrook.
I put a big dent in the book today as it petty much rained all day. One thing I’ve noticed in the first three hundred pages in this book is a noticeable absence of Nick Collison references. Very odd since you have to figure Royce Young was probably a go between Anderson and setting up interviews with the Thunder. I just find it odd there aren’t more Collison anecdotes in the book since Young loves Collison as much as I do and I have found Collison’s voice to be the one major consistent constant in the Thunder story.
In my book I’ll pass on Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips and very much integrate Collison into the narrative. Because to me, Collison is almost as important secondary character as say Scott Brooks or Billy Donovan. But clearly, the four main characters are Presti, Durant, Westbrook, and Harden even in absentia. The trade will always define this story regardless of who writes a book.
I’m not a Flaming Lips fan. You couldn’t pay me enough money to sit through one of their concerts. Good lord. Does this band have a best song? If ever there was testament to the Peter Principle…this band illustrates the validity of the PP. I could care less if Anderson finds Coyne symbolic to the dysfunction of Oklahoma City. I’m sure as a writer I could go to the bus station and find other dysfunctional Oklahoma City souls. I couldn’t believe he shared the rainbow street painting story. That’s usually the sort of thing boys in the early stages of puberty do. For such a well written book otherwise…this was a letdown. I’m surprised his wife didn’t tap him on the shoulder and say ‘pass’.
But I kind of get it…as it ties to the explosion of the Plaza District and the whole Oklahoma City story into place somewhat. You probably need some shit like this to sell some books to the millenials.
I found the chapters on Clara Luper and Stanley Draper to be excellent though.
I plan on writing some things on here as far as racism in Oklahoma myself since I know locals like Barry Tramel and Royce Young aren’t allowed to write such things. This clearly is the huge advantage of having an obscure rogue blog. You can openly be honest with your writing. You can write Donald Trump is a racist birther motherfucking douchebag and it doesn’t matter. There’s something to be said for that and it’s also why a NY Times writer had to write this book in stead of one of the regular OKC writers who cover the team. Just to be clear…I don’t think Young and Tramel are racists. They’re both good guys, but there are just certain things which aren’t tenable for mainstream writers in OKC to write or say in public if they want to remain popular..
Anyway, here’s the Wayne Coyne house in a part of Oklahoma City where prostitutes and drug dealers once roamed and still do to a lesser degree. I could tell you this, Pauli would take one look at this place and say to me,” Mike, I love you and everything, but I’m not living here. I need a forest view.”
The non-winning steak is finally over in Cleveland. This streak which stretched over six hundred days and dated back to the final game of the 2016 regular season is over as in done. These Cleveland Browns might actually be headed in the right direction.
I know…it’s the Cleveland Browns, perhaps the most hapless franchise in any of the four major league sports, but there is hope in Cleveland with new general manager Jim Dorsey who cut his teeth with the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs.
I like what he’s done with the team. He added Jarvis Landry. He added Carlos Hyde. He’s taken a chance with Antonio Calloway. He’s drafted some nice pieces on the defensive side of the football. He finally got rid of Josh Gordon. But most of all he took Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft and sent a signal that the entire culture of losing in Cleveland is going to end.
Some people hate Mayfield, but I watched this kid at OU and he’s the real deal as far being the kind of quarterback they need in Cleveland. The Browns need a guy with swagger. They need the guy who turned the OU football program back in the right direction. They need that type of player who just wins. Who makes others around permeate with the same type of inner confidence which Baker Mayfield exudes. To me…Mayfield is kind of a cross of Brett Fauve and Tony Romo. A tough quarterback who finds a way. Romo never had a chance in Dallas. Don’t hold that against him. Hold that against Jerry Jones.
Now I know the moral guardian types who love the moral high ground football played at places like Oklahoma State University, which seemingly will be in the Alamo Bowl from now until the end of mankind, despise Baker Mayfield for his arrogance, flag planting, and crotch grabbing. Yes, all of us OU fans know Mike Gundy walks on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood water…sigh. But here’s the thing…winning matters in sports. Winning really matters. You obviously want to try and not cross the line. You don’t want your players assaulting women like Joe Mixon, Tyreke Hill, and Ben Rothlisberger did, but winning matters or else you find yourself as somewhat irrelevant and find yourself in the Alamo Bowl every year playing the third or fourth best team in the PAC 12 needing your wrestling and golf programs to do the heavy lifting as far as winning. You see, even Jim Traber’s Steelers and the Rooney family will sometimes look the other way in order to win.
Truth hurts. Winning matters….especially in college and pro football. If winning doesn’t matter then why is Urban Meyer still the head coach at Ohio State? So all you moral guardians should stop watching football on focus on college golf and wrestling. But heck–even Patrick Reed had some issues at Georgia.
I know this is only one game and the New York football Jets are hapless, but these Browns could be different and they have the advantage that the current version of the Pittsburgh Steelers are in disarray and quite frankly the most underachieving team in the glorious history in the modern era of Steeler football. Figures they’d draft the O State kid who could never beat Mayfield in Bedlam in either Stillwater or Norman. That might be a cheap shot by me, but it is what it is.
The Steelers with this Le’Veon Bell debacle have shown themselves to be on the cusp of not being the Steelers cut from the mold of Rooney family. This is a team which plays stupid. They play lazy. They waste their talent. They can’t beat Tom Brady whenever it matters and now it appears they don’t even make the pretense of listening to head coach Mike Tomlin.
The Bengals are still the Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens are headed in the wrong direction.
If ever a Cleveland Brown fan could feel some hope it might be right now.
I don’t really have a favorite team in the AFC. The Packers have always had my heart since the days of Lombardi, Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer, and Camelot. With my son living in Denver the Broncos have my attention in the AFC. I used to love the Chargers when they played in my birthplace city San Diego, but they don’t do anything for me anymore.
Could I become a Cleveland Brown fan?
I think I might watch the fiction sports film Draft Day again tonight just to tell myself there is the possibility the Cleveland Browns could perhaps in real life make a sequence of good decisions.
BY the way, I think Mike Gundy is a good coach. I’d love to see him coach some day at a place like Miami or LSU to see how he’d do in relation to Jimmy Johnson and Les Miles.
The weather part of the book I absolutely loved. I live in Oklahoma. I work outside. The weather has had a huge impact on my life and my business. The weather is pretty much like a religion of sorts.
Gary England was a little guy from a small town named Ceiling just a bit northwest of where I live in Deer Creek. I guess that geographical tangent turned out to be a great producer of Oklahoma weathermen. Just kidding…kind of. It also turns out Gary England and I are not only both level-headed Libras, but we share the same birthdate of October 3rd. Go figure.
These local guys in OKC pale in comparison to England. It would be like comparing Dak Prescott to Aaron Rodgers. Mike Morgan should probably be in jail for that caper when he had half the state tied up on the highways trying to outrun some tornadoes.
I was clearly the best weatherman on Daily Thunder. Not even remotely close.
I also noted Sam Anderson used one of my coined terms of ‘Trekkies’ when referring to the some of the lost human rabble who inhabit the messageboards of blogs like the Daily Thunder. but I will also note there were some genuinely talented people on that messageboard as well.
It was a glorious time to be a Thunder internet guru…it really was. I have to be honest with you…when I was on that blog I felt like Sinatra at a Justin Beiber concert. Thank god for Thunderchick and Glenda.
But Sam Anderson’s useage of Trekkie did not escape me. Me fucking with some of those millennial knuckleheads and dipshits with my litany of Trekkie-isms should have at the least deserved a shout from Anderson in his book. Maybe it’s in the prologue. I feel like Kramer when he invented the fragrance The Beach and had it stolen from him by Calvin Klein.
I’m loving this book from a history standpoint of Oklahoma City. Like I’ve written on here before one of my degrees is in history and I thought hard about becoming a history teacher or professor when I was younger. Given what I’ve observed in Oklahoma from an education standpoint…I made the right choice. Anderson’s accounts of Oklahoma City’s history are not only entertaining, but very readable. The way he structured the book using the Thunder to illustrate the Boom/Bust syndrome of OKC’s history is masterful.
My book, whenever it gets written, will be more basketball oriented, more like the journal David Halberstam wrote about Bill Walton and the ’78-’79 Portland Trailblazers titled Breaks of the Game. More like a Season on the Brink or an Instant Replay.
This book Anderson has written though I think will define itself as somewhat of a genre classic. But I can’t really define it as a basketball book, but more to the point it’s this masterful account of Oklahoma City and it’s struggles to overcome the Boom/Bust syndrome and to somehow get out of its own way as a city trying to grow up.
His observations in regards to Durant, Westbrook, and Presti are spot on. I’m hoping in the back half of the book he had a personal interview with James Harden in as much as the Harden trade is the singular basketball moment which drives the story from a basketball standpoint. Let us be clear, the Harden trade along with Durant leaving to join the Warriors are the two most impactful events in the history of the Thunder. I’m a little surprised the account of Harden being driven to the OKC airport for his post trade flight to Houston hasn’t been in the book so far.
Great book though. I’m reading slower on purpose to prolong the positive experience. I love a well told narrative and Sam Anderson has written a story which might not be quite in the class of Halberstam’s Breaks of the Game, but from my standpoint is a book I’ll treasure. I love good books and well told stories. This is both.
I will write this though…I’m a little disappointed the almost iconic dr el prez hasn’t been mentioned yet any of the Daily Thunder references. I wonder what Anderson’s on screen name was in retrospect? I also must admit I miss the old Daily Thunder messageboard back when they had an iconic messageboard. I love the fact Royce Young and his wife let me write fuck as many times as I needed to write it. On here though–I’m determined to reduce my ‘fuck’ usages. I might be a Jesse James rogue, but I’m not a Deplorable. I need to write my Top Ten Favorite posters sometime this month. No. 1 is easy….dr el prez—the other nine need some more thought though Thunderchick, Glenda, and Justin obviously make the cut.
Buy the book and read it.
You’ll laugh and you’ll cry.
What other city would on purpose expose its citizens to sonic booms? Probably the same city which now leads the country in earthquakes due to fracking. Operation Bongo…I’ll have to write something on this. Only in Oklahoma could this happen.
The Gary England weather anecdotes are great. I love the weather myself and always dreamed of being the next Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel. Weather is such an integral part of the Oklahoma culture and Anderson’s use of the weather is deft. Long story short…you gotta be a mentally tough motherfucker to survive the weather, the politics, Operation Bongo, and the earthquakes to live in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma City has never really learned all that much, yet it sustains and plods forward trying to define itself as a city.
I was stunned when former OKC mayor Mick Cornett wasn’t even competitive with Trump GOP candidate Kevin Stitt in the recent GOP gubernatorial runoff.
Storyline…OKC in small parts has grown up while the vast majority of the state hasn’t or won’t.
My big sister from Seattle who got her doctorate from Harvard sent me this book titled Boom Town by a writer named Sam Anderson from the NY Times magazine. She loved the book, but of course we stole Seattle’s team and she loves the Warriors. But never once has she touted me towards a bad book. Not once.
Only twenty pages into the book…I will admit she is right again.
Twenty pages in and I’m crying, laughing, and realizing this person named Sam Anderson who is basically an essayist for the NY Times Magazine can write his ass off as he has put together this mosaic history of Oklahoma City and the Thunder woven into one.
It’s the book I should have rightfully written and still might if Russell Westbrook can ever harness his inner Maurice Cheeks and win an NBA championship without Kevin Durant.
If you live in Oklahoma or even if you don’t this is a must read.
It explains this place which at times completely frustrates me, yet in some ways still holds me captive by what a completely odd place it is right in the heartland of America and currently ranked as the 29th largest city in the country.
It’s not really a basketball book, but more a history piece on OKC told through the eyes of the Thunder highlighted by the odd occurrences which somehow put Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden all here for that 2012 run to the NBA Finals and a bit beyond.
Steven Adams has also written a book which I’m going to read before the season starts and for me that means I’ll read Sam Anderson’s book this week and start getting myself in a frame of mind for the upcoming Thunder season.
Anderson combines in one book two of my greatest loves… history and basketball.
He had me in the opening paragraph.
It’s nice to read something not about Donald Trump and the Russian mafia.
I’ll get back to that douchebag after I finish this book.