Buzz is Georgia Institute of Technology's mascot, and has been for almost thirty years. Buzz is an international figure and is well known and loved by everyone. He is the heart and soul of the institution’s athletic programs. You can see him in his white gloves and black Converse shoes at almost every sporting event and even around school at random times. He is always upbeat and helps the cheerleaders to inspire the crowd and athletes at the Georgia Tech sporting events. He is one of the most revered mascots and a part of the nation's top twenty five mascots. 
The Creation of Buzz
The first use of “Yellowjackets” was stated in the Atlanta Constitution in 1905. After this incidence, the term was coined by Georgia Tech. They were thought to be “Yellowjackets” not because of the insect, but because of the yellow and gold jackets worn by the students. Buzz was instituted as the official mascot at a later date.
In 1972, a fan of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Judi McNair, developed a Yellow Jacket costume to represent the football team at games. She put on the costume and accompanied the cheerleaders to help cheer on the Yellow Jackets, soon becoming known as the mascot of Georgia Tech. However, when she graduated from Georgia Tech, Georgia Tech was left without a mascot. In 1979, a student, Richie Bland, created the second Buzz costume with the help from a local theme park. Ramblin’ Reck Club President, Mark Loch, realized that Georgia Tech was the only school that was a part of the Atlantic Coast Conference that did not have a mascot on the sidelines for the football games. So, Loch turned to Richie Bland to create the new version of Buzz. Bland created a costume independent of Juid McNair's costume due to the fact that he never heard of Judi McNair. The costume cost Bland a total of $1,400. Bland first introduced his costume to the Yellow Jackets at a pep rally preceding the football game against Tennessee State in 1979. However, Bland did not receive permission to participate in the game, so his appearance on the field surprised everyone. By 1980, Buzz was officially named the mascot of Georgia Tech.
Buzz is the mascot for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and has represented them since 1972 when he was first created. The costume is a yellow jacket, but instead of six legs, he has human-like arms and legs. Buzz always wears white gloves and black Converse high-top sneakers. Many different people have been Buzz. However, the people who play Buzz cannot reveal themselves until they graduate. The mascot has had significant accomplishments such as going to national championships with the cheerleading team, playing in an all mascot game of basketball, and representing Georgia Tech sports for over 28 years. Today, Buzz is seen all around Georgia Tech campus making appearances at unannounced times in places such as the Student Center, Campus Recreation Center, and the Ferst Theater. Buzz spreads joy throughout the Georgia Tech campus every day by uplifting the spirits of Georgia Tech students.
Buzz still peaks interest because he is present at many of Georgia Tech's sporting events. He is at every football game and walks around Bobby Dodd Stadium to meet fans while helping to cheer on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket football team. At times, he is on the sidelines participating with the cheerleaders. Also, Buzz can be seen at all of the basketball games, in Alexander Coliseum, doing similar activities. Buzz can be seen riding the “wramblin’ wreck”, another school mascot, as well, with the cheerleaders and helps them lead cheers at sporting events. Overall, Buzz serves as the most prominent athletic icon of Georgia Tech and all of the school’s fans.
Buzz made his first appearance in 1972 when a student dressed as Buzz ran across the field during a football game. At the game, the fans believed that Buzz was part of the cheerleading squad and responded with great enthusiasm to the site of their future mascot. In 1993, Buzz was awarded best mascot in the nation. Kevin Mawn was the person who played Buzz at the time, and received training from the Clemson mascot trainer, John Sekata. In 1994, Buzz was selected to participate in the Taco Bell Mascot Madness basketball game. The competition consisted of fifteen mascots from across the country. They were then divided into the east team, and the west team. The east team, Buzz’s team, lost the game 18-15. When asked why the east team lost, Buzz stated that the reason was the lack of team chemistry between him and Harry the Bulldog, University of Georgia’s mascot. Buzz and Harry did not get along well because of the rivalry known as Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. Buzz has been named the National Cheerleaders Association’s mascot of the year in 2000 and 2001. In 2004 and 2006, Buzz received the second place award for the National Cheerleaders Association’s mascot of the year. In Fall 2005 and 2006, Buzz was named to the Capital One All-American Mascot Teams and competed for the title of the Capital One Mascot of the Year. Buzz also competes in the Mascot National Competition in Daytona, Florida each April. In 2006 he received 2nd place in the competition. Buzz is officially part of the cheerleading team, but he represents every sport that Georgia Tech has to offer.
Buzz usually enters the football games to the sound of swarming yellow jackets that is created by the fans. He then proceeds to do his signature suicide flip in the middle of the field on top of the Georgia Tech logo at the fifty yard line. He then rushes to the goal post and is known to have moved it out of place. Throughout the game, he usually crowd surfs, play tricks on the opposing teams, and takes a lighthearted approach to the game.
Buzz is not solely a sports figure; he is also a large member of community service. There are many clubs and organizations that are named after Buzz. For example, the website in which Georgia Tech student access their campus email, Buzzport. Also, he is included in the name of this wiki site, Buzzpedia. The name of Buzz has quickly been incorporated into the day-to-day campus life of the students. He is still at nearly every campus sports event and stays current in student’s lives. The year 2010 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Buzz as an official mascot of Georgia Tech.
In 1998, Georgia Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit against a minor league team from the Pacific Coast, the Salt Lake Buzz. The lawsuit was a trademark infringement lawsuit because the Salt Lake Buzz was accused of copying the Georgia Tech Buzz mascot. At first, Georgia Tech had issued an agreement with the Utah based team. However, the Salt Lake Buzz backed out of the deal just before it was finalized, and made a suit that claimed they could make the mascot Buzz. So, Georgia Tech stepped in and filed a lawsuit against the Salt Lake Buzz. Georgia Tech won the lawsuit and received $600,000. However, they spent almost $700,000 on the lawsuit.
View this video about Georgia Tech Traditions to see an example of Buzz.
- ↑ http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/Buzz_Cheerleaders_Twister_2006.jpg
- ↑ http://www.americasbestonline.net/cmascots2.htm
- ↑ T-Book. Ramblin Reck Club and Georgia Tech Alumni Association. 2010
- ↑ http://www.flickr.com/photos/30806435@N04/3894311455
- ↑ The Technique, Friday, May 7, 1993, Bol.78, No.26 p.1
- ↑ The Technique Friday, May 20,1994. Vol. 79, No.29 p.37