The UGA live mascot Uga, an abbreviated name taken from the University of Georgia, is world famous. Top rated as a college mascot according to Sports Illustrated magazine, Uga means a title in an unbroken, related line of selected English Bulldogs (9 so far), starting in 1956 and owned as pets by UGA alumnus Sonny Seiler of Savan-nah. Uga I in the dynasty started during the coaching tenure of the legendary Wally Butts and had a 10-year career including 1959 SEC champs.
For generations now Uga has appeared at all home football games where he leads the team on the field and watches on the sidelines, or on hot days, from ice bags with access to his air-conditioned doghouse. His uniform is a spiked collar and a red jersey—made from official team fabric—with a black G varsity letter. (Uga wears green on St. Patrick’s Day.)
Some Ugas have retired with a ceremonial “passing of the collar” to the new Dawg and all the deceased mascots are interred with epitaphs in a mausoleum at Sanford Stadium. Most Ugas have tenures of about 100 games but that of Uga VIII (see above) was so short his tomb reads “Gone too soon.” UGA V famously lunged at Auburn player Robert Baker after he scored a touchdown. Uga VI at 65 pounds was the largest and served the longest, from 1999 to 2008 with an 87-27 .763 record. Uga IX (Russ) in 2009-2012 had interim status but has been permanent since and has a 40-17 .702 record. Bulldog fans hope this Uga will have a great year in 2015 and claim a national champion-ship—like Uga III did with the team in 1981.
- Dr. Paul Hudson