To Georgia fans, this comes as no surprise: Uga, the university's beloved English bulldog, was named the top college mascot in the country in a recent 2017 USA TODAY index poll.
Since 1956, all of the University of Georgia’s mascots have been part of the same pure English bulldog line owned by Sonny Seiler. In 2014, Seiler told CBS News the story of how Uga became Georgia's mascot. After his marriage in 1956 to his wife Cecelia, Seiler received a English bulldog puppy as a wedding present.
"We took him to the Sigma Chi fraternity house before the first home game," Seiler said. "Cecelia had made a shirt for him to wear out of a child's T-shirt and sewed a 'G' on the front made from felt. We took him over there never intending to take him to the game. But after several iced teas — you know how that goes — everybody's just, 'Let's take him to the game!'" Then, he was asked to be the University's mascot and they named him Uga.
Since Uga I, nine Ugas have followed in his pawprints.
Uga has been defined by his spiked collar and his football jersey, which were originally made by Cecelia but now are made of the same material as the Nike jerseys the players wear.
“Uga has always been a part of our lives,” Swann Seiler, daughter of Sonny Seiler, told The Red & Black in a previous article. “It has been such a privilege for us to hold the leash and see history being made over all of these years.”
Uga is a beloved member of of the Seiler family as well as the UGA community. Uga has his own car and bedroom and each Uga is buried within the stadium. Before each home game, flowers are placed on their graves.
Below is the full list of Ugas, their years of service and season record.
Uga X, 2015-present
Uga IX, 2012-2015
Epitaph: He endeared himself to the Georgia people. His dedication to duty when called upon was exemplary.
He was the half-brother of Uga VII who served as interim mascot but later received a "battlefield promotion" and became Uga IX.
Uga VIII, 2010-2011
"Big Bad Bruce"
Epitaph: He Never Had A Chance
Was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2011 and later passed away due to heart failure.
Uga VII, 2008-2009
Epitaph: Gone Too Soon
Uga VII loved to take pictures with fans. He passed away unexpectedly in November 2009.
Uga VI, 1999-2008
"Uga V's Whatchagot Loran"
Epitaph: A Big Dog For A Big Job, And He Handled It Well
Was the largest of the Ugas, weighing 65 pounds, and had the biggest winning percentage.
Uga V, 1990-99
"UGA IV's Magillicuddy II"
Epitaph: "Nation's Best College Mascot" – Sports Illustrated
Starred in a movie and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He famously lunged at Auburn wide receiver Robert Baker after he scored a touchdown.
Uga IV, 1981-89
"Seiler's Uga Four"
Epitaph: The Dog of the Decade
Declared "Dog of the Decade" by Vince Dooley in 1991, he was the only one to attend a bowl game every year of his service and he was the first mascot ever invited to a Heisman trophy presentation.
Uga III, 1972-80
"Seiler's Uga Three"
Epitaph: How 'Bout This Dawg
He took the Bulldogs to the 1980 national championship.
Uga II, 1966-72
"Ole Dan's Uga"
Epitaph: Not Bad for a Dog
He succeeded his father at a pregame ceremony where the Georgia Redcoat Band lined the field while the student body cheered: ''Damn Good Dog!''
Uga I, 1956-66
"Hood's Ole Dan"
Sanford Stadium Epitaph: “Damn Good Dog”
He began the current line of solid white English bulldogs. Cecelia Seiler frequently remade his jersey out of children’s tshirts, as the hedges used to tear them