It's Saturday in Athens

It's Saturday in Athens

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Hello. My Name is Russ. And I'm a Damn Good Dog"

On April 28th, 1997, Sports Illustrated released it's Top 50 Jock Schools. Gracing the cover was none other than Uga V. In the issue, SI declared Uga V the Country's Best Mascot. Said SI, "If you can't appreciate the swaggering gait and Churchillian physiognomy of Uga V, the Bulldogs' bulldog, you must be a cat lover."

In 1956 a second year UGA student named Sonny Seiler brought his white English Bulldog to the first game of the year vs. the Florida State Seminoles. Former UGA Sports Information Director, Dan McGill, took note, and suggested to then football coach Wally Butts that Seiler have his dog attend all the games as the official team mascot. Thus the greatest mascot in all of sports was born.

Since 1956 we have had 7 Ugas. Each has been the son of his predecessor. Each have been hand picked by Sonny at his home in Savannah, Ga. The Uga legacy has even been made into a documentary, called "Damn Good Dog"

On November 19th, 2009 the University mourned the sudden death of Uga VII. It was deemed a heart attack. The following Saturday Uga's doghouse was left empty, displaying a wreath. This night we also witnessed an epic 2nd half meltdown, turning the ball over 4 times in a loss to the much lesser Kentucky Wildcats. The following week, we traveled to Atlanta to play an overachieving Georgia Tech team, then ranked #7 in the Nation at 10-1. Just before the game, Russ was introduced to Bulldawg Nation.......

Russ is the 5 year old half-brother of Uga VII. He has a brown ear, and much of his back and little wrinkled, furry butt sports some brown as well. He is just as adorable as any of the Uga mascots.

In his debut, Russ witnessed a 30-24 upset of the Bugs from North Ave, and traveled with UGA to Shreveport, La to take on the Aggies of Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl. Russ was once again victorious in a 44-20 stomping of the Big XII school. Russ was also present two weeks ago for UGA's fan picture day held in Sanford Stadium every year. Embraced by Bulldawg Nation, and loved by all, shouldn't Russ continue his reign as the Country's Best Mascot?

Not according to Sonny.

Seiler’s goal is to find a mascot who can handle sideline duties for 8 to 10 years. At 5 years old, Russ is too old to become a permanent replacement. Seiler has recently claimed that there are a few candidates who have the potential to be UGA VIII.

“We’ve got several puppies that we can consider that are the offspring of the Uga line,” Seiler said. “You have to have at least two months before you can get a feel for the dog’s stature, his bone structure,”

Seiler hopes to announce a permanent UGA by the homecoming game against Vandy on Oct. 16th. Until then, Russ will bring his brown butt to every game. He will set up shop under the Sanford Bridge prior to the game to accomodate the swarm of fans trying to get a glimpse or picture of him. He will roam the sidelines, defending his dog house from the Cajuns, Hogs and Vols who wish to come and take it. While Russ knows his time of reign is numbered, he plans to put on his red sweater every week, and sit atop the mascot kingdom, continuing to make the University proud. Because Russ, the Temporary Mascot, is a Damn Good Dog!!

3 Days til we tee it up between the hedges!!! GO DAWGS!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I never knew the first Uga made his debut against the Seminoles! As a Florida State fan, I feel honored about that. I love Uga, but I do think the best mascot in college football is Chief Osceola on Renegade. I know, surprise, surprise, but there's just something magical about seeing Osceola ride out to the middle of the field and plant the flaming spear! But Uga's definitely the number 2 mascot in my book. :-)