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NHL Mascot Madness
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ThunderBug

ThunderBug
NHL Affiliate: Tampa Bay Lightning
Height: Bigger than life
Weight: 565 lbs.
Favorite team: Tampa Bay Lightning

Super skills: Enjoys wrestling Florida Panthers, fishing for San Jose Sharks, swatting other mascots and putting penguins on ice, especially the ones from Pittsburgh

Little known fact: Ran for President of the United States this past election

Rivals: Stanley C. Panther, Thrash and Iceburgh

ThunderBug, a huge wrestling fan who's favorite grappler is Triple H of the WWF, is known around the NHL circuit as the Triple F of professional hockey mascots. The Triple F stands for the three qualities that best describe this show-stopping character ? fastest, fattest and funniest.

This bug not only does his usual home-game appearances; he also does over 300 appearances outside the arena in the Tampa Bay area each season. Some of these outside visits will be to elementary schools to promote his "Read to Succeed" program.

ThunderBug was voted the best mascot in Tampa Bay, beating out fellow rivals from the University of Tampa, the University of South Florida, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Tampa Bay Storm and the Tampa Bay Mutiny.

Like some of his main rivals, ThunderBug has no limits in what he'll do to entertain the Lightning fans. But unlike his rivals, he's always prepared to put his money where his mouth is -- even though he doesn't talk.

Rumor has it that some of his money went to the Godfather, who took care of some unfinished business the Tampa mascot had with the Penguins' fan-favorite Iceburgh. The lovable Bug also had some personal issues to deal with as he was caught by the Mrs. spreading his love around town and had his dirty laundry aired out on national TV on the Jerry Springer show.

In order to prepare for the season, ThunderBug underwent a rigorous training program at an Army boot camp. His workout program not only prepared him for his in-arena stunts (and his battles with the Mrs.), but also for the mascot events that will take place at the NHL All-Star Game.

His boot camp experience will also be put to good use when the Tampa Bay Lightning take on their Eastern Conference rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers.

When asked about whether or not he was prepared for the All-Star gala, ThunderBug had this to say through an interpreter: "This year in LA at the All-Star weekend mascot superskills competition I have a little advice for all of you wanna-be professional mascots ... You better hold on to your hat and be prepared for the Bug Splat!!

"My goal for this year is to keep ThunderBug the number one mascot in the NHL," he continued through his interpreter. "And if you've seen my competition you'll know that that won't be hard."

Tough words from a tough mascot.


 



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