Published : Thursday, December 28, 2017 | 9:56 AM
The Georgia Bulldogs mascot will be the on the sidelines when the team plays against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day – the first-ever to do so in the team’s history.
Uga X took over the mascot mantle in November 2015 and has been busy every bowl season since, says his handler, Charles Seiler. He is the 10th team mascot in a line of English bulldogs raised by the Seiler family in Savannah, Georgia, starting with Uga I in 1956.
Uga I was said to be a grandson of a bulldog that accompanied the Georgia football team to its Rose Bowl victory in 1943, although that bulldog wasn’t an official mascot. After the 1943 season, a bulldog named Mr. Angel took over in 1944.
Each of the nine other Ugas since 1956 has descended from the original Uga and has frequently been the son of the predecessor. Uga X is a grandson of Uga IX and was introduced at the November 21, 2015 game against Georgia Southern.
Seiler said the family received lots of fan mail for the Georgia mascot this Christmas—other gift items included a care package from the dog’s veterinarian, a large stack of letters from children, and a homemade Christmas ornament based on the bowl game that a lady has been sending on a regular basis. But the best gift for Uga X this season is the opportunity to cheer on the Bulldogs in Pasadena.
Seiler said the biggest challenge in Uga X’s schedule is travel. The family drove five hours to Athens, then two hours by bus to Atlanta, followed by another five and a half hours on the plane to the West Coast. But Seiler came prepared, says the AJC report, and has specific medicine for Uga’s ears for the long plane ride.
Uga will be ready to take the field on game day with Seiler’s help.
“We try to keep the dog on schedule because if he does anything active before the game, he will typically sleep during the second half of the game,” Seiler tells AJC. “At the end of the day, he is out there to be the mascot of the game, so we want him to be raring to go when the game starts.”