Blog Entry

The scoop on UGA VII...

Posted on: August 28, 2008 10:55 am

His fur is as white as a south Georgia cotton field. His shoulders are broad, like the hood ornament on a Mack truck.

While the Bulldog Nation has sweated, the Dog Almighty has been vetted. We do take our bulldogs seriously. He comes from the most scrutinized bloodline of mascots this side of the hedges. Not just any bulldog can be ordained as Uga, the "demidog" of this religion in the South we know as college football.

Friday, the University of Georgia's athletic department will release the first official photograph of Uga VII. There won't be any 3 a.m. text messages. Georgia fans have been waiting with belated breath.

After all, it has been 61 days since Uga VI died of heart failure. The suspense behind naming his successor has been nail-biting. The new pup has been kept under lock and key. It has prompted a few rumors of a possible black dog candidate. Photographs of imposters have been circulating on the Internet. It also has created a paparazzi-like buzz around the family of owner Frank "Sonny" Seiler.

"Stakeouts," said Seiler's daughter, Swann, laughing. "Daddy has told Mama to make sure she has on a nice nightgown when she goes out to get the morning paper."

Uga VII is putting on his game face. He has been pronounced ready to knock the slobber out of Georgia Southern. He will make his field debut in a "passing of the bone" ceremony Saturday, when he finally gets to see where his father worked on all those sun-splashed autumn afternoons.

Sonny is confident Uga VII is equal to the task, even though he's going where no dawg has gone before. He will be a "true freshman" on the nation's top-ranked college football team.

"I'm concerned about how he will react to the crowd noise," Sonny said.

He has some big paws to fill. His pop was the school's all-time winningest dog, and perhaps its most personable. Uga VI also was the heaviest (65 pounds) and the loudest (he barked so much opposing fans often begged him to shut up).

Still, his bark was never as loud as his bite. He had a reputation for chewing up everything from TV cables on the sideline to wicker baskets in the living room. He once emerged from a hotel room at 6 a.m. with Swann's orthodontic retainer in his mouth.

And he hated to dress in his game jersey. "Once he had it on, he was fine. But he didn't like for you to pull it over his head and legs," Swann said. "It was always a battle. He would draw blood. We used to flip a coin to see who had to dress him."

Swann, the oldest of the four Seiler children, grew up with every bulldog mascot as the family pet. She was born in 1956, the year Uga I - a wedding gift to her parents - made his stage debut. As a student at Georgia, she would often keep Uga III at her apartment and chauffeur him around in her red AMC Pacer.

Uga VI's untimely death stunned the Seilers, but they were nevertheless prepared.

Dogs go four-deep on the depth chart.

"We always have an heir and a spare," Swann said. "My family has been doing this for a long time. The line is secure."

Sonny is proud of the "orderly change" that has taken place.

"It wasn't a beauty contest," he said. "We had three to choose from, and we took our time. We've got an excellent dog. We're not going to put a puppy out there to fill that collar. He is 3 years old. He is Uga VI's son. And he is almost full-grown (56.5 pounds)."

The world won't see his mug until this weekend. In the meantime, the best sneak peek is a picture of his famous daddy.

"He's the spitting image of VI," Sonny said.

A chip off the old dog.

Category: NCAAF
Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2008 11:30 am
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Since: Jul 20, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2008 11:11 am

The scoop on UGA VII...

He was a handsome fella. I think they made a wise choice....


Since: Aug 11, 2007
Posted on: September 1, 2008 4:19 pm

The scoop on UGA VII...

Except for the Gator part, thanks for the comment!


Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: August 31, 2008 7:22 pm

The scoop on UGA VII...

Well as a Gator fan I have no love for the Dawgs but I have also loved the Mascot, UGA. I wish the newest, VII, a long and healthy life.

Go Gators

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: August 28, 2008 11:41 am
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