Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Is The Best NBA Peep Show In OKC?

Did you catch the FULL PAGE ad in the September 14, 2008, Sunday Oklahoman, page 14B? The text on the page reads, "Our Team has arrived. We have your site." The website is declared by the full page ad to be ThunderMadness.com.

Hey, sounds great ... at first blush. Like, hey, such a place doesn't already exist ... and certainly none do that can afford a full page Sunday Oklahoman ad.

But then, one notices the inscription at the bottom of the Madness page, "© 2008 - Opubco Communications Group."

What other Thunder fansite could afford to pay for a full-page ad in the Sunday Oklahoman? More, what Thunder fansite would be any different than Berry Trammel's proclamation that sports fan websites are "peep shows" and are no better than "porn sites" and one which, by lurking, you would be "driving the getaway car?"
(If you're curious about my use of bawdy language, click on Berry Tramel's above video and see and hear the source, first hand.)

The answer is obvious -- the one sports fan forum which could possibly be immune from Tramel's condemnation, and the one which could "afford" to pay for the full page Oklahoman ad, would be the one set up by Tramel's employer ... ta da ... OPUBCO itself. So, pricewise, the ad is a freebie and that peep show will more than likely even include articles by Berry Tramel himself! It just can't get any better than that ... free advertising for a fan site ... one which is neither a peep show nor a porn site ... and, by lurking, you'll not be driving the getaway car ... right?

IS IT BETTER? Probably the 1st thing that an inquiring mind would want to do is to have a look at the OPUBCO's upstart, Johnny-Come-Lately, fan board. Indeed, it is glitzy with lots of splashy images and videos borrowed from the Oklahoman's web pages. Does it get any better that this?

Well, maybe it does get better ... and maybe it has been better ... since October 2005 when the Hornets first came to town. Way back then no Oklahoman fan site forum existed at all. Nor did it for the 2 seasons that the Hornets were in OKC. After the Hornets returned to New Orleans, no Oklahoman fan site existed, either. Only now, on the verge of the Thunder's 1st season in Oklahoma City, does the Oklahoman's fan board proclaim itself to be, "OKC's Premier Fan Site" -- when there, look at the title line in your browser's page for that self-proclaimed identification. Also, in the Forums area, notice the wholly unclassy sub-forum in "Around the NBA," the one called, "Sonics Grumbling," subtitled, "We got 'em. You don't. 'Nuff said." Hopefully that subtitle will disappear one day, along with Berry Tramel's above "Peep Show" video.


As of September 16-17, 2008, the former fan forum began migrating to its new name and location (now that the team name and colors are determined), and that is where current activity exists. The "archived" area contains legacy posts going back 3 years and covers the Hornets, the hiatus and litigation period, and the earliest days of the Thunder following relocation from Seattle to Oklahoma City. Below are many of the avatars of the great guys and gals who are members in OKC's oldest and best NBA in OKC fan board:

Beginning Sunday, October 16, 2005, and then known as HornetsCentral.com, a small group of upstart local NBA fans gave locals a place to talk about the NBA, the Hornets, and whatever else they were inclined to say. And did they ever. Schedules, game pics, opinions all over the map. It also drew the attention, sometimes ire, of many who were disposed to favor New Orleans and, sometimes, trash Oklahoma City, particularly, and Oklahoma in general. For two glorious years HornetsCentral.com provided the place for Oklahomans and other friendlies as well as for some who returned hostile fire! Where was OPUBCO's fan board during these two seasons? It didn't exist.

The board persevered through the hiatus after the Hornets returned to New Orleans hoping against hope that Oklahoma City would come to land another NBA team in the future. When the issues associated with the Seattle SuperSonics came to the fore, HornetsCentral, by then also known as SonicsBeat, was the home of the Oklahoma City faithful. Where was OPUBCO's fan board during the hiatus period of April 2007 until just last week? It didn't exist.

The new ThunderMadness.com may call itself "OKC's Premier Fan Site" but just saying so does not make it so ... even if the new OPUBCO board has the benefit of a full-page ad in the Sunday Oklahoman and the resources and power of OPUBCO behind it.

Since its humble beginnings on October 16, 2005, HornetsCentral, which later took on a dual name of SonicsBeat (and which has now become OKCNBAfans.com), 65,100 posts were made on 4,895 topics by the board's 1,365 registered members on its shoe-string resources. It has been and remains fiercely independent and the board's grass-roots origins have served OKC NBA fans well, now in its new internet digs.

Have a look at this screen-capture taken September 15, before the migration to the new site of Page 1 in the element of the forum called, "OKC Thunder Talk" (there are others):

Click the image for a larger view

Now that OKC's team name and colors have been resolved, the board has migrated to new web address with better software and features than were present in the past. It's just been opened, though it's still a work-in-progress: New OkcFans.com.

If you really want to participate in the best OKC NBA forum, message board, or want to call it a "peep show" like Berry Tramel did, it's a simple matter: visit the new OKCNBAfans.com today! Old content hasn't been migrated from the old forum yet (and I don't know if it ever will be), so you may want to have a look the former area, too.
A sampling of comments by members made just before the migration to the new site reads like this:
  • Saberman54: I check out at least 7 or 8 different Thunder forums, but this is the only on my tool bar for quick reference.

  • Fast | Break: This is THE only Thunder forum imo.

  • Crysis: Thats right FB, these colors don't run...

  • HornetGirl: This place is home.

  • StormFan93: Who has the Bosworth avatar? Haven't you Oklahomans done enough to us!!! {grin}

  • Taranis: I was over at HR being chewed out and called names for being from OKC and having a simple curiosity about the Hornets situation when, I received a private message from one of the other Oklahomans registered at HR. I believe that message came from Patrick, he was telling me he was starting a forum so that we could have a place to talk without being ridiculed or banned. I have reading this board almost everyday since and do not plan on leaving.

  • Thunderhead: I'll keep coming here for the people and the content. I've learned more here and felt more up to date because of this site than any other. The other site is flashy, but I can stop by and look at it from time to time and then come here for the meat.

  • okcnba: This site will be just fine. It's got all of the hardcore fans on it, they're already dedicated to it, plus the conversations here are actually intelligent. Trust me, that is quite rare for a sports forum. Even the fact that they have a forum thread entitled "Sonics: We Got em You don't, Nuff said" tells me just how classy of a fan site it is going to be. Tramel wanted a peep show, he's got it now! I'd just like to see this site get a little jazzier, but I know that takes time. Content will be what keeps this site #1 concerning thunder.

  • josh aka eggman: The members here have be good to me. I do wish we had a forum that looked a little bit more like theirs soon.

  • Saberman54: The media in OKC is sadly lacking at the present time. The DOK and Channel 9 sports seem to have the most up to date articles and reports, but even those are few and far between. Channel 4 and 5 have the worst coverage I've seen. Hopefully that will get better as we get started with the new season coming up.

    As I see it they will have to get reporters that cover the Thunder and the NBA exclusively to bring year round and informative coverage an information.

    Till then local forums and blogs seem to be the only place to get that info. The OKCHornetsCentral(soon to be OKCNBAfans.com) forum is the most up to date and informative site I have found. Forum members are the most informed and seem to get breaking news well before any of the news outlets (how do they do that). We'll have to see how the Sports Animal does on their reporting, they have yet to show any initiative as the official Thunder radio network.

  • Karried: I never would have heard of this site if it weren't for this thread and Doug's blog...lol Razz Maybe rethink the link?

    This site will be awesome with a little color tweaking .... give it some time... you have to realize, that site is funded by some big boys ... this site is run from the heart... with no funds to pay a webmaster I imagine... anyone want to pitch in to help?

  • Betts: I think it's all about content. If people like the content, that's where they will hang out. I like showing up here and finding a post from some obscure newspaper with information (ala your scoop, Doug), and knowing things a day before they show up in the DOK, or finding that the DOK seems to be reading our posts, which fuel their articles. Perhaps by setting up their own forum, they're trying to avoid being scooped!

  • Wooldoor Sockbat: Two Websites Enter, One Website Leaves...

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Anonymous said...

I think it's great that the Oklahoman is creating a new Thunder site. Finally we will have a sports board that is 100% centered around the sport of basketball and not one that's main objective is to degrade other cities.

Somehow I doubt this new Thunder board would allow bitter fans from Charlotte to spew hate and make us look like small time fans because this board would only be for us Thunder fans that only care about the OKC Thunder.

The hornetscentral board is nice and served it's purpose but it really will be refreshing to have a new board without baggage. Don't fight it Doug, just accept the fact that there are fans out there that are intimidated by the little clique at hornetscentral and are excited to have a place of our own where we will be free to actually like other cities and our own team.

Doug Dawg said...

Right. This coming from an anonymous poster from Los Angeles. Nothing at all wrong with enjoying the OPUBCO site at all, and I'm sure that I will, but don't be delusional that it will suit your fancy, ala the "Sonics Grumbling" area subtitled "We got 'em. You don't. 'Nuff said!" Perhaps you'll feel right at home.

I disagree with your other remarks, but I'll go ahead and allow your comment.

Anonymous said...

Sorry that I decided to post anonymously. I didn't think I needed to create a user name for a blog I do not intend to post that often on.

I'm also sorry that I do not share your enthusiasm for hornetscentral. I felt the way some people were treated over there was harsh. I posted a couple of times and was treated poorly so I stopped posting, I believe it should be okay for me to express that. If you have a bad experience at a restaurant you tell people, well to me internet boards work the same way. I wasn't liked at hornetscentral because I believed you did not need to hate New Orleans in order to be an OKC fan. Worst of all I was shunned because I felt the Charlotte posters did not represent us very well.

Thank you for posting my comments. Even though I'm no longer in OKC I'm excited we have a team and place to talk about them without the baggage that hornetscentral carries with it. Is that really so hard to comprehend?

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, anon,

I didn't say you need to use a real name, you don't.

You might take another look at hornetscentral ... it may not be as bad as you remember it. Either way, to each his/her own.

Walker, Downtown Ranger said...

I think it's vital to support the long-time local forums that have been around for years, have a following, and have actually contributed significantly to the online community. I don't like the sound of this OPUBCO-owned website, because while it looks way better than the one we've all known and loved for so long, we don't know the ownership..it's corporate ownership. I would much prefer the ownership of a site I frequent to be in the hands of a friend whom I trusted or at least have grown to trust over the years. OKC is lucky to have the online presence it does--few cities have this. But this is like the need to support local restaurants in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Well, I go for functionality. Even posting on this site was awkward because I'm used to higher end sites. I think it's great that the internet enables anyone to start a web site, but for me the choice is about content and functionality, not who owns it. Technically, it doesn't matter. If it's a public forum and anyone can post, then the public owns it not this Dawg guy, not OPUBCO. My thoughts are my thoughts. I own them.

Doug Dawg said...

Anon, I have no "ownership" whatsoever in the forum I favor. I post there frequently, and it has been around a long time, and without OPUBCO's free advertising of itself which only OPUBCO can afford. It's certainly your business to support whatever, if any, forums you choose, and for whatever reason.