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Uga at the University of Georgia

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Uga

Uga is college football's most beloved mascot.

Marc Serota/Getty Images

Origins:

When it comes to college football mascots, the University of Georgia’s bulldog, Uga, reigns supreme. For more than a half-century, this bulky white bulldog has been pacing the sidelines, sitting on his block of ice and occasionally terrorizing opposing players at Georgia’s famous Sanford Stadium. The original Uga, known simply Uga I, first took to the sidelines in 1956. His descendants, all owned by the Frank W. Seiler family of Savannah, have followed in his path. Currently the Uga throne is held by the fantastically successful Uga VI.

Big Winner:

Georgia boasts a rich football history. But only recently, under the direction coach Mark Richt, have the Bulldogs catapulted themselves into the nation’s elite. Some Bulldogs fans, though, give the credit Uga VI, who is both the biggest (at 65 pounds) and winningest of all Ugas, boasting a career record of 87-27. Uga VI has also seen his Bulldogs win two SEC championships and snap lengthy losing streaks against both Florida and Tennessee.

A Good Life:

In the state of Georgia, Uga is a true celebrity. Fans line up on gameday to their get photos taken with him and, as anyone who has ever seen a Georgia game on television knows, Uga enjoys a good life in general. On especially hot days, his handlers lay out bags of ice for Uga to lie on. Each Uga is also given a spiked collar and a varsity letter, and when they pass, all Ugas are buried in the official Uga burial ground at Sanford Stadium. Before each home game, flowers are laid on each of the Uga graves.

Appearances:

Uga V became a college football celebrity in 1997 when he both appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and starred in the film, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." But Uga V is hardly the only Uga to attain media celebrity. Uga IV was featured in Time, Newsweek and Football News as well as Sports Illustrated (as was Uga VI). The Ugas have been honored by the Georgia House of Representatives, Georgia Senate Chamber and Georgia Governor’s Office, and the Uga tradition was also the subject of a recent documentary, "Damn Good Dog."
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