Buzz as an Athlete
Ben Shepperd Section A2
Buzz is the mascot for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Buzz has represented the Yellow Jackets since 1972 when he was first created. However, the official start date of the mascot is quite ambiguous. The costume is a yellow jacket, but instead of six legs, it has human-like arms and legs. Buzz always has on white gloves and black Converse high-top sneakers. Many different people have played Buzz while he has been the mascot of Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech. However, the people who play Buzz cannot reveal themselves until they graduate from the undergraduate program of the institution. The mascot has 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 twenty eight years. Today, Buzz is seen all around Georgia Tech campus, showing up 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.
Creation of Buzz
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. Because of the notion that Buzz was a cheerleader, the students responded to his presence with enthusiasm. Buzz was so easily accepted by the students that Georgia Tech adopted him as the mascot for the university.
Athletic Roles of Buzz
Buzz has many different roles that he serves as an athlete. Primarily, Buzz aids the cheerleaders at football games and their cheer competitions. He excites the fan at all sporting events and helps Georgia Tech control the momentum created by the crowd. However, Buzz also represents Georgia Tech by playing in various events that only include mascots of universities from across the nation and participating in fundraisers that require athleticism.
As a Cheerleader
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. He typically does his flip at the fifty-yard line, right on the Georgia Tech logo. He then proceeds to bull rush the uprights, goal post. He has been known to move the goal post out of place. Throughout the game, he is known to crowd surf, and play tricks on the opposing teams. Buzz takes a light-hearted approach to the Georgia Tech football games. Fans often line up to take pictures with Buzz. Buzz also attends pep rallies and other school events. Buzz also rides on the other mascot of Georgia Tech, the Wramblin' Wreck. He is also known to encourage competition between the mascots at football games, such as a mascot dance-off.
Since the Ramblin' Wreck is an old car, Buzz is more relevant in the student and fan participation at football games. However, Buzz shares the spotlight as a mascot with the Ramblin' Wreck.
The National Cheerleaders Association holds a competition for all of the cheer leading squads across the nation. Buzz joins the Yellow Jacket cheer leaders every year in this competition. At the competition, one mascot is crowned the national champion of the year.
Today, Buzz is an official member of the cheerleading squad, and attends all football games, all home basketball games for both the men's team and the women's team, several volleyball and baseball games, as well as pep rallies and appearances throughout Georgia.
Other Athletic Participation
Capital One sponsors a mascot of the year contest. Each of the Division one schools' mascots are selected to represent their school in a ten game season. Based upon voting, the winner is determined by the best ten game season for all the mascots. Buzz has not been victorious in this contest, yet.
Taco Bell has previously hosted a mascot basketball game in honor of March Madness. In this competition, a select few of the mascots across the nation are chosen to compete against each other in a game of basketball.
On June 14, 2008, Buzz repelled down the forty story Viewpoint lofts building in Midtown, Atlanta. He repelled down such a tall building as part of a university fundraiser.
Accomplishments as an Athlete
In 1993, Buzz was awarded best mascot in the nation. Kevin Mawn was the person who played Buzz at the time. Mawn traveled to Clemson to receive his training to become the best mascot in the nation. John Sekata, the trainer of the Clemson mascots, was the trainer that helped Mawn earn the title. Sekata was a prolific trainer of mascots for division one football teams.
In 1994, Buzz was selected to participate in the mascot madness basketball game, which was present by Taco Bell. The competition consisted of fifteen mascots from across the country. After being selected to participate in the event, the mascots were then divided into the east team, and the west team. Buzz played for the east team. However, the east team lost the game 18-15. Buzz was asked why the team was beat by the west. His response was that there was a lack of team chemistry between him and Harry the Bulldog, the mascot for the University of Georgia. Buzz and Harry did not get along well during the game because of the rivalry between Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia known as Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. In 1997, Buzz won an Access Atlanta poll.
Buzz has been named the National Cheerleaders Association’s mascot of the year twice. He was named this award in 2000 and 2001. Also, Buzz has received the runner up for this award. He received the second place prize in 2004 and 2006, becoming the second best mascot of the year.
In Fall 2005 and 2006, Buzz was named to the Capital One All-American Mascot Team 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 second place in the competition. Buzz is officially part of the cheerleading team, but he represents every sport that Georgia Tech has to offer.
Buzz is a well known participant in many off campus contests that involve mascots. From playing football against other mascots to performing stunts as a fundraiser, he never ceases to amaze the students with all of his talents.
Because of his presence in sporting events and his accomplishments, Buzz has become a famous figure. Whether it is his name, or his image, he seems to appear all over Georgia. For example, the email site that the students use is called Buzzport. Another example, there have been Buzz figurines on the top of wedding cakes. As you can see, his athletic resume has built him a highly approved reputation. His image will shine on the Georgia Tech campus, and the rest of the world for many years to come.