“He was, in short, a distracting, unoriginal cartoon without any of the things that make cartoons valuable. He was a stupid idea carried to its logical extreme.”  Thus wrote the SF Chronicle’s Ray Ratto (according to Dennis Flemion, a CSTB reader) of the Warriors’ dopey mascot, Thunder (above).  With Oklahoma City’s crap new nickname, the Warriors have been forced to rid themselves of what Ratto calls, “their least inspired moment since the Wilt Chamberlain trade.”

One man’s inability to seize opportunity is another man’s lotto score. De-thunderizing the Warriors almost makes up for Monta Ellis.

The mascot, though, was also incorporated into the team’s logo, another festival of brainlessness that was invalidated when so many more people gravitated to the team’s “The CITY” logo from 40 years ago. Next to drafting Nate Thurmond or Rick Barry, it was the best thing the franchise ever did, and even Oakland chauvinists who hate the term “Golden State” wore it with pride and style.

Now updating that logo, maybe with “Oaktown” or “The 510” where “The CITY” once arched, would be a smart move. So would changing the bridge silhouette to reflect the Bay Bridge rather than that other thing that hangs off the bottom of Marin like an old shoelace.

Clearly, it would take a very creative mind to make a mascot that would have some elegance, some cool, and no need to jump around mindlessly like some sort of Ritalin Boy-superhero character. Of course, the minds who came up with Thunder are still employed by the Warriors, so maybe outsourcing this to a graphic artist in Berkeley, a clever high school student (there are thousands of them, trust us), or maybe just some cat who likes to doodle in a barbershop in the avenues might be the way to go instead.

Nevertheless, this is a golden moment in franchise history. They have lost an eyesore – the graphic equivalent of the Joe Barry Carroll deal, if you must – and this is a monumental gain for the franchise and its city. This is the chance to make this look like Oakland’s team, top to bottom, a chance to break out of the tedious mascot and logo molds that have most recently infected those poor unimaginative bucket heads in Oklahoma City.

I know – how about the Bay Bridge, “The 510” in script, and a kid hurtling through the air on a moped?

Oh, sorry. Too soon, right?