A House Divided

It happens to the best of families – divided sports loyalties.

Take the Maddens, for example. The Scottsdale, Ariz., family has season tickets to the Phoenix Suns, but the youngest member of the clan, 10-year-old Andrew, has sworn his allegiance to a team based more than 950 miles away: the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“At first we thought he’s doing it to be difficult,” admitted Andrew’s mom, Sarah. “But he just likes the Thunder and their style of play. He knows his basketball.”

In fact, Sarah said, Andrew’s stamp of approval for the Thunder is starting to influence his family a bit.

“You know what?” she said. “I am starting to root for the Thunder when the Thunder plays, because I know how much he likes them.”

And make no mistake, Andrew Madden really, really likes the Thunder. His grandparents, who live in Oklahoma City, stoke his Thunder fealty.

“My grandma sends Thunder news to me,” Andrew said, “so that helps me keep track of them.”

He already has a Thunder jersey, hat, and several T-shirts -- clothing he has been sure to wear at the US Airways Center when the Thunder has been in town to face the Suns. But Andrew has a birthday coming up soon, and the boy is hoping to add to a collection that also includes a Thunder calendar, pennant, notebook, Christmas stocking and pen.

“I’m probably going to want to get an NBA 2K11 for my Xbox 260,” he said. “The Thunder on the 2K10 doesn’t have Serge Ibaka, and I want Serge Ibaka to be on there.”

Thunder fans of all ages can be found on THUNDERALLY, an online, interactive community specifically for Thunder loyalists.

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