A Mario cards tournament and a complete bust in an appearance as a TV sports anchor somehow combined to make a phrase that Brian Collins originated into a sensation on the Internet and beyond.
Collins, a freshman at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., coined the catchphrase that's rocketed to fame: "Boom goes the dynamite."
He told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm Monday it all started when he was preparing to take part in a Mario cards tournament: "We try to create things that will mess each other up, and we mostly try to make people laugh. And part of that is you create catchphrases. And, obviously, 'boom goes the dynamite' was one of mine."
But that was just the beginning.
Collins agreed to fill in as a sports anchor on a student-run TV newscast.
His performance was abysmal.
It got so bad, a frustrated Collins resorted to saying "Boom goes the dynamite" over video of someone making a basketball shot.
Little did Collins know, that would only be the beginning.
But someone put the embarrassing tape on the Web, "as a joke," Collins explains, "I think without really realizing what all would happen when he did that."
In an instant, Collins' catchphrase not only made its way around the Internet, it began showing up on newscasts across the country, mostly as anchor video voiceovers. It became part of pop culture, so much so that he appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Collins says there's been some negative mixed in with the positive: "You do get hate mail from people who just come after you. …You get lots of phone calls. At one point, we had to unplug our phone at school just because of how many phone calls we were getting."
However, he adds, "It was something I was kind of glad I went through, because it taught me a lot about media and taught me a lot about how to lick your wounds and get through a mess."
Collins says he's been mulling becoming a TV weatherman.
So, The Early Show decided to give him some trial by fire, and asked him to help out substitute weatherperson Audrey Puente.
Collins did just fine, even managing to work in a, "Boom goes the dynamite."
He later told Puente, "I think it's a career I might wanna go into. It's a lot of fun."