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Mascot Power Rankings: Free ThunderBug! Lightning fans organize to save mascot’s job

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:

source:  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.

source:  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.


source:  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!

source:  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’.



source:  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.


source:  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]


source:  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.


source:  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:


source:  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.

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source:  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

  1. goforthanddie - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    Where the Hell’s the guy supposed to shoot Silly String? If the fan was a bad sport, that’s on him, it’s all part of the experience.

  2. themonster49 - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    Where do we sign a petition or where do we trash the university heads? We need guidance! What do we do to get this person their job back!

    Especially after the probable ‘threat’ the opposing team fan most likely gave to you EMPLOYEE during the face to face?

    Grow a pair, university. Seriously, what backwards legal department advised this one? Whats that? You didn’t listen to a LEGAL department? How stupid can you be to believe, without the advise of any sane legal expert, that silly string to your shirt at a SPORTS event by the home team’s mascott, which you can clearly see coming with a can of silly string, is some sort of assault?

    Here is a working adult who thinks some, if not all, college heads, or their respective positions, should take tests to determine their ability to perform their jobs.

    • savethunderbugsjob - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

  3. tomtravis76 - Jan 25, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    The person in the costume doesn’t need to lose their job. The mascots and teams need to understand that imposing your entertainment by interacting with fans isn’t always welcomed. Don’t shoot the silly string, throw confetti, embarrass, etc., just anyone. Workout your bits with willing participants. Not everyone has a sense of humor, its just the way it is.

  4. sasquash20 - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    I know its the off season but the Phillie Phanatic is the greatest mascot of all time. There isn’t even another mascot you can mention in the same sentence. He is the best there is, was, or will ever be.