*PLEASE NOTE: This candidate is not supported or endorsed by the Winnipeg Blue bombers
'How 'Buzz n' Boomer' came to be' is a frequent question for Kelly Ryback. His answer:
Paul Robson was the Winnipeg Blue Bomber general manager in 1983. He felt the Captain Blue character needed to become a full costume in place of a person dressing up in World War One pilot gear. He tasked the advertising firm with the idea.
The firm worked on their ideas and later met with Paul to go over the designs. Paul liked the Capt. Blue costume ideas but another idea was presented, two birds. Two characters that could play off each other. Paul loved it and the birds were given the green light. The Toronto Blue Jay mascot got the job to build the costumes. Now who will 'play' the birds?
The Bombers launched a campaign. Ads were placed on 13CFRW that the Bombers were looking for a candidates to audition for the new Bomber mascot. No mention there would be two. Resumes could be dropped off at 13CFRW.
Candidates were called into interviews at the Viscount Gort before a committee consisting of Blue Bomber executives and representatives Rod Palson and Rob Glennie from Palmer Jarvis Advertising, 13CFRW, Labatt's, and the Winnipeg Sun.
There were a plethora of questions from anybody then candidates were asked to dance to the new Bomber theme song 'TRUE BLUE'.
Four candidates were successful and invited to attend a meeting. There they met the Blue Jay mascot and TWO costumes. Two guys for each character.
The 'Birds' were unveiled at the first Bomber exhibition game against Calgary in 1984. The Winnipeg Sun would later run a 'Name the Mascots' contest and 'Buzz n' Boomer' were hatched.
Coincidentally, all the primary players of Buzz n' Boomer from 1984 to 1999 were raised in Crestview/Assiniboia-West or had ties to the community.
Following the initial success of Buzz n' Boomer, Ryback was called upon several times to assist with the launch of mascots for other sports teams, charities, and organisations. He either played the new characters, trained the players, or consulted on character selection and design. Such opportunities included the pandas at the zoo, world curling championships, Western Canada Games 'Sneakers', and Pato of the '99 Pan Am Games
I am honoured to have been the original 'Buzz' and loved working with my partners. I appreciated all the fan support and hope you enjoyed the show.