A UGA tradition: Another Bulldog in the family!

UGA DadMy daughter and I always look forward to our visit every August to the UGA Bookstore in Athens.

Ostensibly, we’re there for Olivia to stock up on school supplies, but that’s only a pretext for indulging ourselves in a shopping spree among all things Bulldog. We usually ring out with a couple of bags full of new Bulldog clothing and memorabilia.

For me, that annual mid-August visit — parking in the Tate Center lot just outside Sanford Stadium (where they’ve erected a new arch over the gate), making our way through all the girls assembling for rush events, and just soaking up the energy of the Classic City and UGA campus awakening after a relative slumber in summer — truly marks the beginning of a new football season.

Last week was no different in that we left the bookstore loaded down and ready to cheer on the Dawgs, but it was very much different in another sense: Earlier that day we’d moved Olivia in to her dorm room where she’ll live for her freshman year at UGA.

Another King living in Athens and attending UGA! It’s been that way off and on for three generations, and Olivia follows in the footsteps of both her parents, her uncles, her brother and at least four cousins.

I asked her how she felt about following the family tradition, and she said she thinks it has “given me a step up” over other students new to campus.

“I have more confidence since I know the campus pretty well,” she said. “I don’t feel completely lost” unlike so many of her fellow frosh.

When she helps another student out by pointing out where something is, she said, “I have frequently gotten the question, ‘How do you know so much?’ I answer, “I come from a long line of Bulldogs and my family has had season tickets since 1975.”

Olivia has been joining her Dad at games for years.

Olivia has been joining her Dad at games for years.

Actually, Olivia, who’s been going to games with me for years, admitted, “I sometimes get a little weary of hearing how campus and Athens were 40 years ago (sorry, Dad) but, looking back, some of those stories have helped me …. I know where Alps Road is and the best place to get a late night meal (The Grill in Downtown Athens).”

Overall, Olivia said, “I’m proud to continue the tradition of a King at UGA and I don’t think I could live anywhere else.”

I know, I know. Her mom and I raised her right.

Classes didn’t start until Monday, so Olivia spent her first few days doing the sort of things that will make for wonderful memories when she’s older — and too sensible to be playing barefoot soccer in the pouring rain on Reed Quadrangle.

She attended the official Freshman Welcome at Sanford Stadium Sunday, where the Class of 2016 was addressed by the likes of Michael Adams and Mark Richt. The head coach told the freshmen not to throw away this opportunity (and my daughter said she couldn’t help but get the feeling he’s had plenty of practice delivering that speech recently to his players).

Speaking of football players, Livvy says they’re easy to spot at Snelling Hall, the premier dining facility (much favored over still revoltin’ Bolton); they’re the ones in the the “Finish the drill” T-shirts. Oh, and they’re also twice as big as everyone else.

But while much comment has been made about the various off-the-field scrapes members of Richt’s team have gotten into, Olivia noted they’re certainly not alone. Campus and Athens police are everywhere and 19 UGA students managed to get arrested on the first Saturday night of the school year. The other day Olivia watched a girl pulled over on Baxter Street for some minor scooter infraction (possibly emerging from an alley?)

Nowadays you don’t even have to be a BMOC to have your arrest written up in the campus paper, with The Red & Black faithfully reporting even garden variety traffic infractions that in her parents’ day wouldn’t have been considered news.

And, naturally, fire alarms have gone off in the dorms in the absence of a fire — though there were some real flames on campus the other day when some idiot probably threw a lit cigarette into one of the recycling dumpsters at a nearby dorm, necessitating a visit by the fire department.

Of course, that sort of thing has always happened and, in fact, one of the great things about a college campus is its traditions, both the official ones and those the administration would rather wipe out.

One of the more recent authorized traditions Olivia participated in took place at Sunday’s Freshman Welcome, when the incoming class assembled on the stadium field to form a gigantic Georgia “G.” Or, as my daughter described it in a series of exasperated texts to her Dad, 30 minutes of standing in the hot sun for a 30-second photo op. Still, it’s a pretty impressive shot, and she swears she’s in there somewhere (helping form the outline of the “G” in the upper right corner).

uga freshman welcomeOn the subject of more venerated traditions at UGA, Olivia is already working her way through the “G Book,” a compendium of UGA history handed out to freshmen that is itself the revival of a tradition originally practiced on campus between 1915 and the late 1950s and brought back in 2009.

The freshmen are encouraged to experience and check off the traditions outlined in the book, which range from getting your picture taken at the arch, visiting the Tree That Owns Itself, taking a ghost tour of North Campus, attending a meeting of one of the university’s longtime rival literary societies (Phi Kappa and Demosthenian) and “Snellebrating” (late-night snacks at Snelling) to participating in Homecoming events, attending a football game (there are several thousand empty student seats that need filling!), tailgating, ringing the chapel bell and making the trek to Jacksonville.

Olivia, who’s still waiting to find out how many football games she’ll get tickets to, says those who work their way through 20 traditions in the “G Book” get a special lapel pin, while the overachievers who make their way through 40 traditions get a personalized plaque.

Needless to say, my daughter is thinking nothing but plaque.

So, before we get back to talking hardcore football, feel free to share your own favorite ways of marking the start of another school year/football season at UGA … or your most beloved Bulldog traditions.

Go Dogs!

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

76 comments Add your comment

Dawg Tired

August 15th, 2012
10:12 am

Congrats Bill. I know you are proud of the newest King family official member of Dawg Nation.

Douglas Dawg

August 15th, 2012
10:13 am

daslicksta

August 15th, 2012
10:14 am

1st and very proud of Livvy!!!!

dawg in another state

August 15th, 2012
10:15 am

Spending an early morning at homecoming with the alumni band and the redcoats as they warm up and practice for the day. That’s my famly tradition. Almost biblical when both bands play together in the morning fog….

Matt

August 15th, 2012
10:20 am

Au contraire, Bolton is the best dining hall for a quicker-than-average meal, with plenty of space in which to get around, and a menu that is virtually identical to Snelling’s (no pizza or omelet lines, though), as I recall. Easy relative walking distance, too, from the dorms.

kingdaddy

August 15th, 2012
10:20 am

Great to have you back Bill. Congratulations to your daughter. One of my best friends son’s is in that picture too. Now, lets get back to football…

BG

August 15th, 2012
10:30 am

Congrats Bill. GO DAWGS!!

Chuck

August 15th, 2012
10:41 am

Major congrats to you, proud papa, and to your new lady bulldog!

Blindog

August 15th, 2012
10:45 am

Nice picture Bill,…..Go Dawgs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ivey77GaDawg

August 15th, 2012
10:51 am

I know how you feel Bill, my daughter is in that pic also. I think we can call them a legacy since they are following in our footsteps. Plus she made the Georgette team with the Redcoat band. When you go to the games, you can’t miss her, she’s the shortest one in the group. Maybe I’ll see ya at the games. (I been meaning to get one of those stickers too.)

Fridawg

August 15th, 2012
11:11 am

My heart went a-flutter at the mention of the trek to Jacksonville. I still make it every year. I can already smell the beer in the streets!

DIT

August 15th, 2012
11:18 am

Congrats Bill! What an awesome feeling! Best of luck to your daughter. Go Dawgs!

Dawg Haus

August 15th, 2012
11:26 am

Welcome back, Bill! Congrats to your daughter and the King family! I hope she makes a ton of lasting memories while getting a top-notch education. Go Dawgs!

Bill King

August 15th, 2012
11:30 am

Matt: Bolton is indeed the same food and the location can’t be beat for those in the high-rise dorms. But my daughter says it’s small, outdated and rather depressing. She goes there when she has to but prefers Snelling or O-House. East Campus Village is the nicest, but also the farthest away.

Dawg Haus

August 15th, 2012
11:34 am

Bill, you’ll have to ask your daughter if they’re still doing the chicken strips at O-House. I ate my weight in those things!

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
11:40 am

Seeing the new average GPA/test scores for admission to UGA, I can confirm that Bill King’s daughter Olivia, was not throwing away her opportunity in high school. We know that much. I’m sure Bill is glad to be done with the nightly drama of AP3 math homework.

SSI

August 15th, 2012
11:45 am

Best of luck…and Best of times in Athens, Olivia!

(I think I picked you out in the G photograph!)

Old Dawg

August 15th, 2012
11:47 am

I’ve written several times on your blog that I lost my son to leukemia. Though I continue to struggle with the loss of Benjamin-Hayes, I find great comfort in seeing young people meet their challenges in life and excel in their chosen careers.

Thanks for this post, Bill. Your daughter is lovely, and I know she’ll always make you and your family proud.

McDawg

August 15th, 2012
11:48 am

Congrats!!! best of luck to your daughter

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
11:51 am

Do you still put your hand down on that scanner of 10,000,000 germs?

Bill King

August 15th, 2012
12:08 pm

Thanks, Old Dawg. So sorry for your loss but love your attitude.

John Dwyer

August 15th, 2012
12:19 pm

Congratulations! I had the pleasure of moving my daughter into her dorm last year. It really has a very special feeling when you have a child in God’s Country!

Good days gone by

August 15th, 2012
12:22 pm

Bill, have her go out to Poss’ Barbecue, and then to,Charlie Williams’ Pinecrest Lodge…oh, wait, they are both long gone. No worries, the Srimp Boat on Baxter hill…wait, it’s gone, too.
Well, bring her to a TD club meeting and if she can’t eat at Poss’, she can at least meet Bobby P.
Congrats Olivia. Be proud knowing that your dad, me, nor too many of our age could get in Georgia these days.

Lewis

August 15th, 2012
12:41 pm

Bill, I’m in front of you on row 58. Look forward to seeing you on the 1st.

Big Mikey

August 15th, 2012
12:46 pm

Bill, congratulations as Olivia is now officially on her way at UGA! In my family, we go back to my Mom and Dad, my Uncle David, then me, both of my brothers, both cousins on my Dad’s side, and my middle son. My Dad got his first season tickets after he graduated in 1955, and he has maintained them ever since. He has missed less than 20 games home and away in 57 years!

dawggirl

August 15th, 2012
12:49 pm

Congrats Bill and best of luck to Olivia as she embarks upon her college career. I don’t know if they still do the mint chocolate chip ice cream in Bolton, but that alone made it worth it to me. Unlike most everyone that gains the Freshman 15, I had to struggle to keep weight on.

I hope she enjoys her time in Athens! Welcome to all the new Dawgs.

old dog

August 15th, 2012
12:50 pm

Bill,
When I was there in the ’70’s, Mrs. Davis made sure Snelling was the best…..and it was. I lived in Myers (co-ed back then and a fun place) and there was many a game played in the “Quad”. There was just a parking lot, no parking tower by the dorm, and all was well. The football team still lived in McWhorter and ate there, too. My freshman year was ‘76 and we won the SEC (then got spanked by Pitt in the NCG) but it was still a great year. I, like you, moved my son to UGA in 2003….where the heck does the time go???????

GTBob

August 15th, 2012
1:01 pm

Its a shame that parents spend so much time brainwashing their kids into making the same mistakes they made. Hopefully when she enters the real world she will overcome this set back.

DawginLex

August 15th, 2012
1:02 pm

Bill

congrats to you and your daughter!

DawginLex

August 15th, 2012
1:03 pm

Good Lord GTBob, just when we thought you couldn’t reach a new low, you prove us wrong.

WDE

August 15th, 2012
1:28 pm

Congrats to the King family, make she make all the memories we did….

pdawg

August 15th, 2012
1:37 pm

DLEX
Me-biggest dawg fan there is..class of 75. I love everything about UGA
You-great fan…I typically love your posts
GTBob…an irritating Tech fan that loves to jerk our collective chain and sometimes is funny
His last post was funny. Don’t take him serious……no one else does

The Other Lake Dawg

August 15th, 2012
1:42 pm

Bill, I’m just glad you finally took down that negative “lack of killer instinct” label you keep trying to pin on Richt and Bobo. I’m sick of all the negative know-nothing so-called Dawg fans on these blogs.

GTBob

August 15th, 2012
1:50 pm

Good Lord GTBob, just when we thought you couldn’t reach a new low, you prove us wrong.

Nah, ive definitely gone lower then that before.

Pilfer Dawg

August 15th, 2012
1:57 pm

GTBob- The most depressed person in the AJC blogs. Congrats you get a free hot towel for your pain.

Pilfer Dawg

August 15th, 2012
1:59 pm

GTBob- It must be sad to be a Joke by Coke fan and be more obsessed with all things Dawgs than most of the Dawg fans who post here.

Pilfer Dawg

August 15th, 2012
1:59 pm

Then again 2008 was quite a long time ago, say buddy?

old dog

August 15th, 2012
2:15 pm

GTBob,
I’m always glad when you come over here….that way if I’m having a bad day, it brightens me up immediately remembering just how many times lately we have whooped y’alls tail!

old dog

August 15th, 2012
2:18 pm

Bill,
p.s. Once at UGA I made the mistake of eating at Bolton……road-kill began to sound good after that experience…

GTBob

August 15th, 2012
2:30 pm

GTBob- The most depressed person in the AJC blogs. Congrats you get a free hot towel for your pain.

How do anti UGA blog responses translate into depression? I think you are stretching a bit.

GTBob

August 15th, 2012
2:33 pm

I’m always glad when you come over here….that way if I’m having a bad day, it brightens me up immediately

Awe, that’s sweet.

Dawg_Mike

August 15th, 2012
2:53 pm

Please don’t feed the troll.

old dog

August 15th, 2012
3:09 pm

@Dawg_Mike,
Gotta feed GTBob (the troll.) After all, we need to have some reminder of just how superior we are….and he certainly reminds us!

SSIgator

August 15th, 2012
3:29 pm

Good for you and your daughter Bill. Always a very special time when a son or daughter turns another chapter in their lives and goes away to school. No matter what their school preference, it is always an exciting time in their lives and hopefully one that will continue for four years. Sad to say that some do not finish. Good luck to your daughter. I am sure she will do well.

UGADawg83

August 15th, 2012
3:33 pm

Aw never mind.

SSIgator

August 15th, 2012
3:35 pm

Also Bill, if that is a picture of you and your daughter within the last week, you look like you may have dropped a few pounds since your Dad passed away. If so, keep up the good work. Your family will thank you for it and you want to be their when she graduates.

Spanky

August 15th, 2012
4:06 pm

That’s awesome, Bill! Congrats to both you and your daughter!

WDE

August 15th, 2012
4:26 pm

@SSIgator I have to admit those were a couple of classy posts…

GTBob

August 15th, 2012
5:03 pm

Sad to say that some do not finish.

Nah, its not sad. Its a good weeding out process for the real world.

Ogeechee Dawg

August 15th, 2012
5:19 pm

GTBOB – actually – found your comment pretty dang funny. The rivalry lives!!!

GTBOB wrote, “Its a shame that parents spend so much time brainwashing their kids into making the same mistakes they made. Hopefully when she enters the real world she will overcome this set back”.

Yes – love the sense of humor!