An Uga is NOT just another dog; it’s the best dog in the world

Sometimes I try to write funny captions. Not today. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Sometimes I try to write funny captions. Not today. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Am I cynical? Yep. Snarky? Guilty as charged. But Mr. Mean has this soft underbelly, this one sappy place where cynicism and snark dare not rear their malignant heads. That one place is the University of Georgia’s canine mascot.

I love all Ugas. Have since the first time I saw one in person. The date: Oct. 23, 1976. The place: Commonwealth Stadium on a dark and stormy night. Georgia was playing Kentucky. I was sitting in the student section with Mrs. Bradley, who was not yet Mrs. Bradley (and who has never become Mrs. Mean, thank goodness). And we saw Uga III in his little doggie sweater and we were smitten.

I’ve told this story before, but the next August I was in Athens on the SEC Skywriters Tour. (Back then there were no Media Days in Birmingham; the conference rented an old plane and flew us media types from school to school.) And I found a print of UGA III in a camera store on Clayton Street and bought it for the future Mrs. Bradley, who posted it on her apartment wall.

Understand: Neither of us were UGA fans. (No member of this family has ever attended the school.) We were simply Uga fans. And really, how can you not be?

Apparently that love for snow-white English bulldogs has been handed down a generation. My daughter was attending one of those old Tech-and-Georgia basketball doubleheaders in the Dome — the year was 1995; she was 5 — and she happened across the coach of the Bulldogs between games. She marched up to Tubby Smith and demanded: “Where’s Uga?”

When an Uga dies, I put  journalistic neutrality on a shelf . No, Tech fans, I wouldn’t react the same way if the Ramblin’ Wreck dinged a fender, but the Ramblin’ Wreck is just a car, albeit a nice one, and most other mascots are college kids in sweaty costumes. And the ones that aren’t are kind of creepy. (Sorry, Auburn folks, but I’ve never been fond of that eagle.) And any Uga is, in my view,  the best dog in the world.

Today Uga VIII died. Some among you will make jokes. I will laugh at none of them. I love all Ugas, and I’m sorry another is gone, this one especially. Uga VIII, we hardly knew ye.

By Mark Bradley

457 comments Add your comment

mmgtfan

February 4th, 2011
7:04 pm

Trashy

February 4th, 2011
7:07 pm

RIP UGA, damn good dog, damn shame

ak21

February 4th, 2011
7:08 pm

Delbert D.

February 4th, 2011
7:10 pm

Nice article, Mark.

Dbalcer

February 4th, 2011
7:12 pm

Great article Mark, it is a sad day for us DAWGS fans RIP Uga you will be missed.

Mark Bradley

February 4th, 2011
7:12 pm

mmgtfan with another first. And another round of kudos.

damn gone dawg

February 4th, 2011
7:12 pm

well he was the best dog in the world for about 3 weeks.

Benjamin

February 4th, 2011
7:13 pm

Dangit, Mark, I was going to tell my favorite Uga joke, but now I can’t…

Mark Bradley

February 4th, 2011
7:13 pm

Sorry, Benjamin.

guy

February 4th, 2011
7:13 pm

as if having attended the university is an any way a prerequisite for being a uga fan. 3/4 of their fans probably couldnt find georgia on a world map.

Peter

February 4th, 2011
7:13 pm

Well said, Mark. He was too young, but still a Damn Good Dawg.

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 4th, 2011
7:15 pm

Echoing Peter, well said Mark.

RIP BRUCE

February 4th, 2011
7:15 pm

VERY GOOD column Mark, Thanks for that…..

Mark Bradley

February 4th, 2011
7:15 pm

See, Benjamin, that’s the ticket. Do what guy did: Make a joke about Georgia fans.

Pepe

February 4th, 2011
7:15 pm

D@mn, this is no way to start the weekend…RIP Uga VIII

newlifegloves

February 4th, 2011
7:16 pm

Damn good dog…sad day

dawggirl

February 4th, 2011
7:18 pm

Very sad, I feel horrible for the Seiler family. He was so young. Ugas are special to so many of us. No jokes, just not in the mood.

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 4th, 2011
7:19 pm

And for the season you endured maybe the Junkiest of all.

David Granger

February 4th, 2011
7:22 pm

Looks like we need to get a little more DNA variety in the canine UGA gene pool. (Though after the year Georgia had, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he committed suicide.)

Thanks for the nice comments, Mark…means a lot, especially coming from a non-UGA grad.

Jason

February 4th, 2011
7:22 pm

Guy, you are so funny. What a tool. Comments like that show what a true idiot you are. Thanks for playing. Good article Mark.

BiggdawgK

February 4th, 2011
7:23 pm

RIP UgaVIII A Damn good Dawg

Very nice blog Mark. Damn it, this will make me think twice before I insult you next time you slam Mark Richt.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, ajc sports editor, Rena Ball, disneymomatl, Bill Armour and others. Bill Armour said: RT @MarkBradleyAJC: Uga: More than another dog; more than just a mascot. http://bit.ly/fgP3FF #fb [...]

Sanjay

February 4th, 2011
7:26 pm

Mr. Bradley, not often on the same page with you, but this was very nice and very well written. My own dog died just last week so maybe my nerves are still a little tender about the subject, but this post really touched me. Thank you and well done. Sanjay UGA ‘98

1eyedJack

February 4th, 2011
7:28 pm

A sad day indeed. We have all lost a part of us. RIP Uga VIII. We loved you Bruce.

1eyedJack

February 4th, 2011
7:29 pm

Sometimes on the weekends some people have NO CLASS!

BiggdawgK

February 4th, 2011
7:29 pm

As much as I love the Seiller family’s Uga line, maybe it’s time UGA looked outside their family for UgaIX.

That puppy Crowell had on Wed was amazingly cute. Maybe someone adept at web design could start an online petiton.

Dr. Jesse

February 4th, 2011
7:30 pm

I have loved one UGA after another for 50 years. I saw a miracle UGA in 1980 and a sad one here in 2010-11. I know we have had a special run of Dawgs [SI cover} but this one will be one I will not forget. He soldiered on in pain. Down boy, Good DAWG.

[...] webmaster@technorati.com wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

BiggdawgK

February 4th, 2011
7:33 pm

Come on AJC administrator. How amy loathsome inflammatory comments does 5150 UOAD have to make before you ban him?

You do understand women and children read these comments too don’t you?

boots

February 4th, 2011
7:34 pm

Nice, Mark. Well written and true. Sad day for animal lovers, sports fans and for all Dawgs.

Maconga Dawg

February 4th, 2011
7:35 pm

I love the UGAs as much as any Bull Dawg fan. That said, I was recently looking back at pictures of previous UGAs. Let me tell you, fun seekers, UGA’s end of the gene pool is getting more and more shallow. We now have a mascot/dog that could not even reproduce in nature. Take a look at what a bad-ass UGA I was:

http://tinyurl.com/UGA-One

Now, take a look at what a tub of goo our mascot has devolved into:

http://tinyurl.com/UGA-Eight

A plea to the Seiler family; please give us a healthy (genetically and otherwise) and athletic mascot that we can be proud of, not some genetic freak that appeals only to the nut jobs that have spent years breeding these mutants.

5150 UOAD

February 4th, 2011
7:35 pm

Sorry MARK BRADLEY
I love Dogs and Animals. I have more than I want to count, but Sonny S is trying to keep a sickly to inbred BLOODLINE alive. the Ugas could never be what the original bred was supposed to be. I thought the DAWG fans wanted a JUNK YARD DAWG. Well the Ugas Sonny is breding are sickly BAS.RDS of the BULLDOG DNA.

Buzz29

February 4th, 2011
7:36 pm

Tired of the dog dying drama every 6 months. How many arrest went unnoticed because a dog died?

That’s why Buzz is the best mascot. He’ll never die or get parvo.

lady dawg

February 4th, 2011
7:37 pm

Mark, very nice article. Thank you. Sad day for UGA and Sonny and his wife and children. Now…would the uneducated, classless, trailer park trash go to their own page or better…back to the trailer park….and you know who you are. Guess you didn’t have a decent momma to raise you to be a gentleman.

Artie

February 4th, 2011
7:39 pm

Not a UGA fan, but hate it that UGA VII passed away.

Artie

February 4th, 2011
7:41 pm

Oooops…sorry, UGA VIII.

Longevity Risk?

February 4th, 2011
7:42 pm

UGA mascots have, like the UGA football team, has had it tough lately. I say let’s get the puppy that Isaiah Crowell boosted up at his signing announcement. He can be a member of the Dream Team, too!

5150 UOAD

February 4th, 2011
7:44 pm

BiggdawgK
What Did I just say that is not true about the CROSS/ INBREDING of the Ugas? It is causing a nBAD BLOODLINE. Brothers, sisters mothers fathers all mixing have created a BAD BLOODLINE for the Ugas. RUSS was better built and has the Attitude. MSU uses the MACK TRUCK looking Bulldog. The English Bulldog needs more than its Mom and Dad as the DNA provider. Even You hve to UNDERSTAND that. I HATE the UGA BullDawgs as a football team, but I love ALL DOGS and BULLDOGS included. I HATE what Sonny S has done to his pets. If I am wrong then so be it, but the LAST few Ugas have proved me right. Why did they have to paint Russ’ butt white? GET a JUNK YARD DAWG and leave the sickly babies on the sideline.

icedawg

February 4th, 2011
7:44 pm

Too bad. Hope the replacement lasts a bit longer. Russ has been a good replacement. He looks like he enjoys being at the games. A “people” DAWG.

icedawg

February 4th, 2011
7:45 pm

Yeah, the puppy Isaiah held up would be a fine replacement.

What's Important

February 4th, 2011
7:45 pm

5150 UOAD: You are a truly despicable waste of air.

kral

February 4th, 2011
7:45 pm

well poady my last blog did not seem to clear the censors.. to bad..

Jim Doannan as in Doans Pills

February 4th, 2011
7:47 pm

DAMN GOOD DAWG ! RIP !

kral

February 4th, 2011
7:48 pm

this is hilarious I seem to be scorned from a blog completely..dang am i in detention hall are banned forever

kral

February 4th, 2011
7:49 pm

my post before that was reasonable

gtme87

February 4th, 2011
7:52 pm

From a Tech Fan – RIP UGA VIII

kral

February 4th, 2011
7:52 pm

poady poady poady where art thou

kral

February 4th, 2011
7:53 pm

for some reason i am being blocked but I am patient

Scott

February 4th, 2011
7:54 pm

I think Russ should be the new mascot. I understand and love the tradition of the solid white English bulldog; however, I think Russ has earned the job. Lets start a campaign to make Russ the new Uga because he has earned the job.

UGA Class of 07

February 4th, 2011
7:54 pm

Finds it funny that tech fans talk about our terrible season, but If I remember correctly we still beat that wreck of school from down south…. Go DAWGS….. UGA you will be missed.