The Steinbach Pistons aren’t only helping their players reach new heights; they’re now breeding professional mascots.
Pierre Bernard, who is often the Pistons’ mascot, was running the sidelines at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers home opener this past weekend as Buzz, who is half of the Bombers mascot duo of Buzz and Boomer.
“It has been a surreal experience getting the opportunity to be a part of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers organization,” said Bernard, who has shown a fascination for mascots since he was little boy.
The Pistons’ mascot, otherwise known as Clutch, is inspired by a few gifted individuals who have volunteered their time to bring him to life on Pistons’ game days. One of those individuals is Bernard, who inquired about being Clutch when the mascot was first introduced back in January of 2015.
“I thought Clutch would be a fun thing to do,” said Bernard, who had some prior experience volunteering as various mascots in the past. “I reached out to Kevin (Geisheimer) with the Pistons and he gave me an opportunity, so I took it and ran with it.”
Bernard made himself available whenever the Pistons needed him, putting up is hand over and over again to jump into the sweaty costume on a game day in the cold arena or at a hot and humid event in the middle of summer to interact with the community.
“I love to work the crowd,” he said. “It’s not always easy. It takes time to learn the proper timing and strategy on when to try to raise the excitement at an event.”
Not only that, walking around in a 50lb suit with limited visibility and ventilation is an exhausting experience and not for the faint of heart. Bernard has embraced and thrived under these conditions.
“I’m always trying to get better,” said the up and coming mascot. “I’m currently going to the gym, eating better and starting to take gymnastics and dance to continue to help me get better.
The Pistons have been impressed and are very thank-full for Bernard and the life he has brought to game days. It’s a common sight to see the kids flocking to get a picture with Clutch.
“I’m grateful to the Pistons organization for the opportunity to be Clutch,” said a very thankful Bernard. “This opportunity has allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming a professional mascot.
“I plan to continue to help the Pistons when I can and am going to stay on board and help train up the next person or persons who want the opportunity,” he said.
One never truly knows who is behind the face of a mascot, however Bombers/Pistons fans now know that the Buzz they see on a Bomber game days could very well be the Clutch they have come to know at the T.G. Smith Centre in Steinbach.
The Steinbach Pistons are always looking for more people who would be willing to be Clutch at events and on Game Days. Please email [email protected] if you are interested.