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10 University of Georgia Quirks, Facts and Traditions
o “The Arch”, an iron gate found on everything from the UGA logo to t-shirts, is representative of The Arch on campus which was an original gateway to the school. Legend has it that if a freshman goes under the Arch in their freshman year, they will never graduate.
o When the UGA Bulldogs have won a home football game, the school chapel bell traditionally rings until midnight. Except when Georgia defeats Georgia Tech, one of their biggest rivals, the bell rings all night long! It used to be the job of freshmen to do the hard work of ringing the bell – today fans, students and alumni take turns.
o In the 2007 season, the bell rang after UGA’s loss to the University of Florida when the 877-pound bell fell. It has since been put back on the platform.
o Bulldogs like to take their opponents “between the hurdles”. This is a reference to the hedges that grow all around Sanford Stadium’s playing field and dates back to the 1930s when a sportswriter referenced it.
o In 1939, trainer Wally Butts decided that silver slacks would go well with red jerseys – so began the beginning of the Bulldog’s “silver breeches”. Although coach Vince Dooley changed the pants to white for several years, the silver breeches were brought back in 1980 and were worn during the school’s national championship season.
o UGA has a student card and travels in its own doghouse with air conditioning! Because bulldogs are susceptible to heatstroke, he spends football games perched on ice packs. If opposing teams get too close to his precious ice, he growls fiercely. He’s a tough pup, wearing a jersey with a Varsity lettering and a spiked collar.
o The bulldog’s costumed mascot is called “Hairy Dawg”.
o Football players go through the ‘Dog Walk’, which features players walking through crowds of fans on their way to Stanford Stadium, led by the Redcoat Band.
o Georgia’s original colors included “old gold”, until the intense rivalry between Georgia Tech and Georgia culminated in a skirmish over colors – Georgia students declared yellow an unsuitable color for Georgia Bulldogs, considering it a loose color, and yellow was phased out – and Crimson (also called “good old Georgia red”) and black have been the official colors ever since.
o College football was nearly banned in 1987, after UGA quarterback Richard Gammon was so badly injured in a game against the University of Virginia, he died. At that time, players did not wear helmets. Football was immediately disbanded in Georgia schools, and just as the Georgia legislature was preparing to officially ban college football, Richard’s mother wrote a letter, published in the newspapers, asking the legislature to save football, claiming it was her son’s dearest object. “The ban was overturned and college football in Georgia survived! Today, visitors to Rome, Georgia, Gammon’s hometown, can stop and pay their respects at family graves, with plaques detailing the sad death and the great call of a mother to save the sport so loved by her son.
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