Buggin' Out

Chucky who? The recharged Lightning have turned Tampa into a hockey hotbed.

Updated: May 8, 2003, 4:50 PM ET
By By David Fleming, ESPN The Magazine
He might just jump.

It's one hour before the NHL playoffs return to Tampa for the first time in seven years, and the Lightning mascot, ThunderBug, is standing on the roof of the St. Pete Times Forum with his toes (talons? tentacles?) dangling four stories above the packed plaza below. Poor Bug. To help drum up interest in the Bolts while the city nursed a hangover from the Buccaneers' Super Bowl run, some marketing doofus decided to stick the little guy on top of the Forum until the Lightning sold out.

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