Thunder a Family Affair


Barb Crews, second from right in blue, and some friends visit with Rumble
Basketball was tradition in the Crews household. For years the family cheered on the NBA from afar in their hometown of Bethany, Okla. Tickets and road trips to catch games in San Antonio and Dallas, now among the Thunder’s Western Conference rivals, were often given as birthday presents by Barb Crews to husband Robert and their adult son.

“We also had season tickets and went to all the old [Oklahoma City] Cavalry games back when they were here in the ‘90s,” Barb said. “The more I went, the bigger a fan I became, but Robert always was crazy about the game.”

Once the Thunder arrived, the Crews finally had a team to call their own. Their enthusiasm for the NBA grew into loyalty for the Thunder. By the 2009-10 NBA Playoffs, the family had attended nearly every game, never missed a broadcast and even journeyed to Dallas for the 2010 All-Star weekend festivities. Barb and Robert brought along their children, in-laws and grandsons for the All-Star experience.

“The first news I checked in the morning during the season were all the various Thunder blogs, as well as Twitter and Facebook. Then I read the newspaper columns; we would read and absorb everything we could about what was going on,” said Barb.

The family’s Thunder fever and generosity were evident inside and outside of the arena, too. The couple often gave Ford Center ushers goodie bags of candy as tokens of their appreciation.

The Crews even lined up Rumble to show up at a bridal shower for friends.

“When trying to figure out a perfect present for them (the engaged couple), I decided that a Rumble appearance would be in order. He surprised them at the couple’s wedding shower, went around, did autographs and photos with guests, and even helped open a few presents. He was terrific,” recalled Barb.

With the conclusion on the 2009-10 season, the Crews have found ways to keep the Thunder top of mind. The family is having a quilt made with all the Thunder shirts they have accumulated. In addition, Barb, who collects cookie jars, is having a Rumble cookie jar made for her collection.

“This past year will be remembered for a long time. We may win more games in the years to come and go farther in the playoffs, but this has been a year that the city and fans will not forget for a long time,” Barb said.

Loyal fans of all sorts can be found at THUNDERALLY, an online, interactive community for all things Thunder.

Phil Bacharach is the Director of Corporate Communications for the Thunder. He is looking for die-hard Thunder fans throughout the world. If you or somebody you know bleeds Thunder blue, contact Phil by clicking here