Jan 24, 2012, 2:34 PM EDT
ThunderBug’s reign of terror ended early today when it was reported that the Tampa Bay Lightning mascot was fired by the team for the most heinous of crimes: spraying an opposing fan with Silly String. Video of the incident went viral, and now there’s a movement afoot to save ThunderBug’s job. Details following the jump!
Let’s count down the top 10 mascots this week:
10. Scotty, Carnegie Mellon University. University founder Andrew Carnegie had a Scottish terrier as a pet, but the dog wasn’t installed as the official school mascot until 2006. Then the following year, a magical thing happened: After speaking at commencement in 2007, comedian and canine enthusiast Bill Cosby was inspired to give Carnegie Mellon its first live mascot: a Scottish Terrier dog named Scotty.
9. Willie the Wave, Pepperdine University. With his saltwater pompadour and casual beachwear, Willie is the coolest mascot in the West Coast Conference. (Dean Wormer: “Mr. Wave … has no grade point average. All classes incomplete.”) The grandson of Roland the Wave, who first appeared during a Pepperdine football game in 1946, Willie debuted in his present form in 2006, having deposed King Neptune in a violent coup.
8. TD, TD Bank. Not sports related, but a mascot nonetheless. When TD Bank introduced him in 2010, the world pretty much exclaimed excitedly: “WTF?” Fortunately, a TD Bank press release explained everything: “[TD] is a natural extension of our brand promise and possesses many of the attributes people love about TD Bank,” said Bharat Masrani, President and CEO at TD Bank. Well, let’s embrace him anyway, because there’s nothing more fun than a mascot who … hey! What’s with this $9 excessive withdrawl fee? It’s TD’s fault! Let’s get him!
7. Ms. BC Roll, Mr. Kappa Maki, Chef Wasabi, Vancouver Canadians, Short Season-A Northwest League. Ah, the splendor of the Sushi Races. It’s the only mascot race we know of with an established villain, although Chef Wasabi’s nefarious plots hardly ever result in victory. And yes, in this portion of Canada, they spell Canadians with an ‘a’.
6. Monte the Biscuit, Montgomery Biscuits, Double-A Southern League. Montgomery’s actual on-field mascot is Big Mo, who is either an elephant or an alligator, we’re not sure. But their real mascot is an anthropomorphic biscuit which appears on their game hats and promotional materials. Believed to be the first bakery item to serve as a Minor League mascot, Monte will surely climb in the Mascot Power Rankings if the team makes an actual costume.
5. Gaguie the Gorilla. In case you hadn’t heard, the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations began on Saturday, and the event’s official mascot is a gorilla. The Africa Cup is co-hosted this year by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, and as you can see in the video below, dignitaries from those nations were having a great time watching Gaguie’s dance moves at the official kickoff concert. Watch as the camera pans their excited faces. [Thanks to Who Ate All the Pies]
4. Cougar, Corner Canyon High School. The new high school in Draper, Utah, held a student election to choose a mascot, and the top vote-getter was the Cougars. But when some parents complained that the word could be associated with the slang term for women who chase after younger men, administrators backed down and switched the name to Chargers. This comes as disturbing news to athletes at BYU. And USC should be rethinking their mascot as well, I suppose.
3. Aubie, Auburn University. There are a glut of tiger mascots in major college sports, but Aubie set himself apart last week by winning an unprecedented seventh Mascot Division 1A Universal Cheerleaders Association National Championship title. His winning skit is below:
2. Boomer, Indiana Pacers. Boom goes the dynamite! Tragedy struck at New Palestine High School in Indianapolis on Friday as Boomer, in a guest appearance, shattered a backboard during his signature pregame trampoline dunk routine. Students rushed the court in glee, but the game had to be moved to an auxiliary gym (they have those in Indiana). And the Pacers got stuck with replacing the backboard. Videos of the carnage below.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
1. ThunderBug, Tampa Bay Lightning. It happened last week in Tampa, when a burly Boston Bruins fan took exception to being sprayed in the face with Silly String by ThunderBug. Initially the fan was removed from his seat and given a talking to, but now the Lightning have fired ThunderBug, and is looking for another mascot. Enraged Lightning fans are not sitting still for this, however, and have started a Facebook campaign to restore ThunderBug’s job. Included on the page are videos of other mascots showering opposing fans with Silly String with impunity. Degree of awesomeness: high.
Mascot Power Rankings appears on Tuesday. If you’d like to nominate a mascot, contact Rickchand@gmail.com.
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