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Okla'bama' Thunder



Michael Tomasky, American editor of London's The Guardian newspaper's U.S.-centered Web site, made a set of three suggestions to guide the Obama administration's effort to broaden its support. The first suggestion was that Obama come to Oklahoma and make a speech. 

That is a fine idea. Barack Obama took 34 percent of the vote in Oklahoma and lost 77 counties. It sounds like he could stand to make a few more friends here in the Sooner State, or at least drop in and show us what he looks like in three dimensions. 

Consider this the formal invite to the president-elect to not only come to our fair state, but to also bring "Change We Can Believe In." More specifically, in response to the concerns of the boys over at
(see their Dec. 11 post), I'd invite Mr. Obama to come with me to an Oklahoma City Thunder game. Perhaps, just perhaps, he might bring "Change to Our Beleaguered NBA Franchise that Patrick and Clark Can Believe In."

If Obama is coming to Oklahoma, he needs to bring a preacher. Some God cover never hurts with Oklahomans, and bringing Rick Warren along should do the trick. Heck, he can do the pregame prayer. None of these other preachers seem to be doing any good, so maybe the man from Saddleback Church (with four convenient locations in greater Orange County) can get God to look down and bless us with a few more wins.

Obama is a hoops fan, and a pretty fair hoops player. I think it'd do Oklahomans a lot of good to see Obama (wearing No. 1) on the court. The guy has a pretty good move to the inside from the perimeter. I think some one-on-one work with Chris Wilcox would do both guys some good. Maybe if Obama threw an elbow, good patriotic Oklahomans would feel better about the president-elect on defense.

I suspect Obama should be able to find ways to work around salary caps and raise revenue in ways never imagined. I'd make sure that Obama spent the afternoon with Sam Presti working over creative ways to pay for these great draft picks we'll be getting for the next two or three years while not pushing that $58.68 million salary cap. Then there'll be enough money for the free beer and lap dances that Patrick is so desperate to have at the games.

Maybe Obama will do something about the show off the court. Now, I've never really cared for all the flashy distraction that comes with NBA hoops " I like the college game " but if you're gonna have a show, have a good show. Obama can draw a crowd; he can motivate a crowd. And he doesn't come across like a bad knockoff of the Funky Fresh Boyz. Obama will make it clear that you don't have to be a lame gangsta poser when you work up a crowd.

Maybe he can convince Billy Sims to take over the job " at least Sims sounds authentic and has a better sense of timing.

Gaddie is professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma.

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