(Picture Credit: David J. Griffin / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Earlier this month, the University of Georgia Bulldogs claimed their second consecutive national college football championship. Uga, the school’s official mascot, is among the most recognizable faces in college football. However, the English Bulldog is just one in a long line of collegiate canines, a tradition spanning over 50 years.
How One Family Claimed the Right To Represent the Georgia Bulldogs
According to 11 Alive Atlanta, “ Since 1956, the Seiler family has owned and cared for all of Georgia’s mascots, starting with Uga I, Hood’s Ole Dan.” Interestingly, the tradition began when Cecilia Seiler was gifted a Bulldog by a friend during the season opener. Amazingly, Seiler would take children’s clothing and hand-sew them into red jerseys, according to the University’s website.
Fast forward to Sonny Seiler, Cecilia’s son. One fateful afternoon in the ’50s, Sonny and his wife—both UGA students—brought the family Bulldog to a football game. Afterward, the pair received a call from former coach Wallace Butts. “Coach Butts looked my dad in the eye and said, Sonny, we like what you did. Can you have him at every game? And that’s how it started,” said Charles Seiler, Sonny’s son.
The rest, one would say, is history.
No Plans To Stop Anytime Soon
According to Charles, the Seiler family looks forward to providing the school with its beloved mascot indefinitely. Currently, the title belongs to Uga X, otherwise known as Que. Amazingly, Que has served the role since 2015, a long time for any dog. Unfortunately, the Bulldog was unable to attend the championship game. According to Seiler, long-distance travel was just too risky for the pup.
“It’s too far for him to go,” said Seiler. “Now the dog’s nine and a half and there’s no way we could have put him through that,” he said.
In the meantime, Que will continue his reign as the official Georgia Bulldog. When he does eventually retire, however, the Seiler family already has two replacements in mind. “One, the youngest dog, is named Boom. He’s six months [old]. But we also have one about a year old, and his name’s Mac. And they’re both great dogs,” explained Charles Seiler.
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