The call came Saturday evening while driving the Northwest Passage through Watonga, returning from a Colorado vacation. KOCO's Mark Rodgers had reported the name of Oklahoma City's NBA franchise. I was Thunderwhelmed. But by the time we hit Yukon, Thunder had grown on me. I suspect it will grow on you, too, if that's indeed what our team will be christened by David Stern and Clay Bennett. Half the fans will like it from the get-go — don't forget, Thunder won The Oklahoman's 64-name bracket in the spring, as voted by readers — and the other half will embrace it soon enough. Most cities do. Can you name a fan base that despises its name, with the possible exception of Tampa Bay's Rays? Most fans will be like my niece, who when first told of Thunder said, "Well, it's better than YardDawgz,” but who an hour later was gushing. Everyone knows I was pulling for Thunderbirds, and the whole singular name thing is shaky. Magic, Jazz, Heat. A little too much World Football League for me. I was hoping for a non-weather name. All weather names create negative images. No one is called the Clear Skies or the Balmy Temperatures. We don't need Gary England for a mascot. Oklahomans focus way too much on what's wrong with their weather and not nearly enough on what's right. We've got mild winters and gorgeous autumns. Yes, the wind howls like a pack of hyenas and you can fry eggs on summer sidewalks, but you also can play golf about 300 days a year. And Thunder is not indigenous to Oklahoma. Everyone has thunder, except maybe San Diego. I can personally attest to thunder rolling through Crested Butte in the last couple of days. Something uniquely Oklahoman would have been cool. But all that said, Thunder certainly is a marketable name. A Days of Thunder theme. Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls” as pre-game music, or better yet, as a victory chorus, like "New York, New York” at Yankee Stadium. Mascots galore. Thor or Zeus, the gods of thunder. You want an animal? How about Thunderdog? Or make it a horse and call it Thunder Gulch, the 1995 Kentucky Derby who went off a 25-to-1 Thunderdog, long odds that the Thunder will know all about. Better yet, create same crazy basketball character. Call him Chocolate Thunder, homage to old pro Darryl Dawkins. Heck, bring in Dawkins for a special promotion. I told you this was growing on me. The Ford Center can be the ThunderGround. The team store can be ThunderWear, which will market Thundergarments. Coach P.J. Carlesimo can be ThunderHead The Oklahoma City basketball culture, which hopefully will go crazy, can be ThunderWorld. Point guard Russell Westbrook can be ThunderHand. The beers at ballgames can be ThunderWater. Analysis of the payroll cap can be called ThunderFunded. Headline writers will go bonkers. ThunderStatement after a big win. ThunderStand after a winning streak. Thunder Valley after a losing streak, with props to the Noble drag strip. General manager Sam Presti signs a rotund power forward? He's Thunder Thighs. If the team isn't tough? Soft Thunderbelly. Team turmoil? Thunderstorm. When Kevin Durant leads a stunning playoff run? Thunderestimated. OK. I'm getting silly. But if we can come up with that list in 30 minutes while dodging semis on Interstate 40, think what the creative crowd can accomplish. Heck, fear of Thunder even has its own phobia. Brontophobia is not as well-known as arachnophobia— I would have supported the Spiders and Dan Patrick's Durantulas — but is no small thing. My 2-year-old granddaughter doesn't like thunder, doesn't like it one bit. Now if we can just get the Lakers to feel the same.