Many old-timers say Georgia acquired the nickname, Bulldogs, because of the strong ties with Yale whose nickname is Bulldogs. Georgia’s first president, Abraham Baldwin, was a Yale man and the early buildings on campus were designed from blueprints of the same building at Yale. But on Nov. 3, 1920, Morgan Blake of the ATLANTA JOURNAL wrote about school nicknames and said “The Georgia Bulldogs” would sound good because there is a certain dignity about a bulldog, as well as ferocity.” After a 0-0 tie with Virginia in Charlottesville on Nov. 6, 1920, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION writer Cliff Wheatley used the name “Bulldogs” in his story five times. The name has been used ever since.
One of the best known mascots in the country, Uga is from a line owned by Frank W. (Sonny) Seiler of Savannah, GA. since 1956. The current line began with Uga I, a solid white English Bulldog who was the grandson of a former Georgia mascot who made the trip to the 1943 Rose Bowl. Perhaps the most famous Uga was Uga V who made appearances in the movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. He also graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. Uga IV was the first mascot invited to the Downtown Athletic Club and was escorted through the banquet hall by the president of the Downtown Athletic Club and was photographed with Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker. He was also the only mascot to make it to the Final Four basketball tournament.
Silver Britches were an innovation of Coach Wally Butts, who took over as head coach in 1939. The handsome pants, complimented by a bright red jersey, made for a striking uniform. Through the years, fans referred to the Bulldogs’ silver britches in their chants and on banners, but the phrase really caught on in the early fifties with a cheer, banners, and colorful vests that proclaimed “Go, You Silver Britches.” Coach Vince Dooley re-designed the uniform when he came in 1964 and used white pants; however, he re-instituted the silver britches in 1980 just prior to what turned out to be Georgia’s national championship season.
The Georgia “G” Helmet
In 1963 after becoming the Bulldogs’ Head Football Coach, Vince Dooley redesigned the football uniform choosing a red helmet with a black “G” on a white background as the dominant feature of the new uniform for the 1964 season.
He discussed with his staff that a forward-looking “G” would be an appropriate emblem for the helmet of the Georgia team. Dooley had just hired John Donaldson, former Georgia player from 1945 to 1948, as backfield coach. John was keen on the idea of a new image and volunteered his wife, Anne, who had a BFA in commercial art from UGA to design a logo for the new Georgia helmet with the general specifications Dooley had outlined. Dooley accepted Anne’s original “G” which fit his vision for a forward look to Georgia’s new emblem.
Since the Georgia “G”- though different in design and color- was similar to Green Bay’s “G”, Coach Dooley thought it best to clear the use of Georgia’s new emblem with the NFL team. Athletic Director Joel Eaves called for permission which was granted. However, since its inception in 1961, the Green Bay “G” has been redesigned several times and now looks like Georgia’s original 1964 “G.” Georgia is proud that the Packers apparently liked the special nuances of the Bulldogs’ forward-looking “G.”
Georgia’s oval “G”, eventually replacing Georgia’s old block “G” as the official UGA symbol, has stood the test of time. It made its first appearance in the opening game in 1964 and was an immediate hit with the Georgia fans, especially after Dooley’s first three teams were so successful–highlighted by the 1966 SEC Championship.
Among the University’s oldest and most lasting traditions is the school fight song, “Glory, Glory” which is sung to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It was sung at games as early as the 1890’s, but arranged in its present form by Georgia’s immortal musician-composer Hugh Hodgson in 1915. There have been many Bulldog songs through the years and at least two collections dating back to 1909 have been published, but none have enjoyed more acceptance than “Glory, Glory.”
A 375-member marching band. First directed in 1905 by R.E. Haughey, the band has only had seven directors. It is considered by many to be the “heart” of the Bulldog spirit.
The Chapel Bell
The ringing of the chapel bell after a Georgia victory is a tradition that continues even though freshmen are no longer ordered to do the chore. In the 1890’s, the playing field was located only yards from the Chapel and first year students were compelled to ring the bell until midnight in celebration of a Bulldog victory. Today, students, alumni, and townspeople still rush to the Chapel to ring the bell after a gridiron victory.
“How ‘Bout Them Dogs”
This is a slogan of recent vintage, but one that has become a battle cry of Bulldog fans probably because of its obvious grammatical slur. It first surfaced during the mid to late 1970’s especially during the 1978 season when the Bulldogs posted several remarkable, come-from-behind victories. It gained national attention and exposure when Georgia won the national championship in 1980. A major wire-service used the phrase in its story of Georgia’s victory over Notre Dame and many newspapers picked it up in glaring headlines across the country proclaiming “How ‘Bout Them Dogs!”
“Between The Hedges”
A reference to Sanford Stadium that dates back to the early 1930’s. The famous Chinese privet hedges that surround Sanford’s playing field were only one foot high when the stadium was dedicated in 1929 and were protected by a wooden fence. It was natural for a clever sports writer, referring to an upcoming home game, to observe “that the Bulldogs will have their opponent “between the hedges.” At least one old-timer says the phrase was first coined by the legendary Atlanta sportswriter Grantland Rice.
The historic Arch which sits on the edge of North campus was installed in 1864. For years, freshmen were forbidden to walk under the Arch. Violators risked punishment from upper classmen. Once rigidly enforced, the tradition of hazing of freshmen became passe’. However, many freshmen, learning of the tradition during orientation or from other sources, still choose to honor the century-old tradition.