Friday January 22, 1999
Technique - The South's Liveliest College NewspaperCampus life

Here's everything you ever wanted to know about our own Buzz

Buzz's associates speak to the Technique to answer questions and dispel myths about Tech's famous mascot

By Allison Roberts Campus Life Editor

Anyone who has been to a Georgia Tech sporting event has run into one of Tech's most unusual and beloved fans. As a mascot, a cheerleader, and ambassador, Buzz has become associated with Tech in the same way Tech Tower and the Ramblin' Wreck are known to students and alumni.

Recently, Buzz's associates Bert Reeves and Michelle Cherwa talked with the Technique staff to dispel some of the myths surrounding this mysterious yellow jacket, and answer some of the questions Buzz receives most often.

How exactly did Buzz appear? Urban legend says that Buzz appeared in the early 1980s, as an "unofficial" cheerleader at a home football game. The officials at the football game were quite unprepared for Buzz and his antics. The students and fans persuaded the officials to let Buzz continue cheering on the Jackets from the field, and eventually, the administration allowed Buzz to become a permanent member of the cheerleading team.

This myth has not been confirmed, although Reeves says that in the mid-80s, "Buzz was born as we know him today."

Buzz is famous for entertaining crowds at football and basketball games, but this yellow jackets is more than an ordinary fan. He regularly makes appearances at a number of functions representing Tech. He appears at events for every Tech sport, including volleyball, baseball, and women's basketball. You're likely to run into Buzz at major Georgia Tech events, including the President's Dinner. He's often at charity events, and he is often spotted at local children's hospitals visiting his sick friends.

If you're looking for someone to play at your wedding or bar mitzvah, give Buzz a call! For only $150 per hour, you can hire Buzz to entertain crowds. He really enjoys dancing at wedding receptions and birthday parties.

What does a yellow jacket like Buzz do when he needs to be several places in one day? Since his schedule is so busy, it's a good thing Buzz was born with wings. "Buzz is able to fly between venues, which makes it possible for him to appear at several events on the same day," Reeves explains. It's possible to see Buzz appear in a parade, a basketball game, and a football game, all in the same day.

Since he's a popular character on campus, Buzz hangs out in various locations around Tech. He even has four rooms on campus, where he goes to sleep and let his antennae down after a hard day at work.

When he's not working, the fuzzy bee enjoys his time off. Like most Tech students, he enjoys spending time with his friends, his girlfriend, the cheerleaders, his friends on campus, his brothers, and his assorted fans. His hobbies include stinging Bulldogs, (Clemson) tiger taming, and mascot wrestling.

While walking to class, be sure to watch out for the "Buzzmobile." Buzz has his own personal go-cart, and a license to drive it.

What does Buzz enjoy most about being Tech's mascot? Reeves says that Buzz "really seems to love hugs from ladies and children. Buzz does love to flirt, too." He also enjoys spending time with his friends in the Swarm, who are more than happy to support him (figuratively and literally) at football games when he crowd-surfs.

It's not always easy being Buzz. "Buzz really doesn't like violent or unfriendly people. People often hit him in the head, and it gives him a real headache." Reeves is quick to add Tech fans respect Buzz, and rarely does he meet an impolite fan.

This mascot often reflects his community. "Right now, Buzz is a management, chemical engineering, and industrial engineering major, but he's so smart, he doesn't go to class, and rarely studies."

Buzz, being a yellow jacket, does not speak, but Reeves offers hints on understanding his hand gestures. "When Buzz scratches his head, it triggers his brain power. He feels that the Yellow Jacket culture possesses superior intellect. Since he can't talk, watch his hands. He says a lot with his hands."

Yellow Jacket fans may have noticed that Buzz looks different this year. After three or four years, Buzz received a bath for the football season, which has made him look refreshed and brings out his natural yellow-golden color.

Is there any special message Buzz has for Georgia Tech? "He says he's upset about not being allowed to run into the goal post anymore at football games." Traditionally, Buzz has tried to knock himself unconscious at football games by running into the goal post. After this season, when the goalposts were replaced, Buzz was asked to stop this behavior.

Buzz is a also famous icon to those off-campus. He is a six time All-American mascot, and has won a national championship twice. He has been featured on several local and national commercials, including one for ESPN's Sports Center and others for local sports networks.

It would be difficult to imagine Tech athletics today without Buzz. Buzz can be spotted at almost any large Tech function, but his next appearance will be at the women's basketball game next week. Be sure to watch out for him-he'll be the one with the large stinger and a lot of Tech spirit.