Traditions: Georgia's famous hedges

By Eye on College Football staff

If LSU beats Georgia in Athens on Saturday, it's a pretty good bet a few Tigers players will take home a prized souvenir: a snip of the famous hedges at the Bulldogs' Sanford Stadium.

Georgia's hedges are one of college football's most picturesque traditions. Back in 1929, the original plan was to line the field at Sanford Stadium with roses. That didn't seem practical, and what was a pesky weed in many a Georgia backyard became the foliage of football champions. The privet Ligustrum has survived disease, winter weather and even a temporary move out for the 1996 Olympics. The phrase "between the hedges," reportedly coined by legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice, is synonymous with Georgia football.

All season long, we're taking a look at some of the most unique traditions in college football. Whether it is cheers such as Alabama's "Rammer Jammer," or a mascot like USC's Traveler or even a bit of horticulture like Georgia's hedges, these traditions are part of what makes the college game so colorful from coast to coast.

Georgia has other traditions and has contributed to that fabric both on and off the field -- was there ever a better radio announcer than the late, great Larry Munson? Or a smoother running back than the one and only Herschel Walker? The plants cover 5,000 square feet around the playing field and are maintained by a crew of 20 people -- though the honor of clipping them is reserved for a select few.

LSU has a few great traditions of its own (you'll see a bit about one of those later this season), but this weekend the Tigers will gladly accept an up-close look at Georgia's hedges in hopes that they might bring home a crucial Southeastern Conference victory -- and maybe a few green snips of history.

It won't be easy, of course. Georgia has won 75 percent of its games between the hedges. LSU, however, is one of the few teams with a winning record vs. the Bulldogs there.

 
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