What makes someone a Georgia Bulldog?
Certainly, having attended the University of Georgia and/or played a sport for the school is one criteria. For many, their time in Athens is the defining period of their life.
But I’ve known people who graduated from UGA and yet were not at all invested in the university or its athletic programs. Athens was simply a way station on their educational journey.
On the other hand, I’ve also known many folks who never attended UGA and yet were lifelong, ardent Georgia Bulldogs fans. A recent study of fan loyalties on Facebook found that only Notre Dame and North Carolina drew a larger percentage of “likes” on their Facebook page from non-alums than did Georgia.
Those fans, I maintain, are Georgia Bulldogs, too.
I think college football fandom is more a state of mind than a reflection of actual school ties. Does anything with the famed Power “G” catch your eye? Does the sound of the Redcoat band quicken your pulse? Do the words “hunker down” bring a smile to your face? Do you own an article of clothing with a UGA logo?
Then, congratulations, you’re one of us! And if you are, you know that there are many reasons for your devotion to all things Dawg. Six years ago, I came up with 101 of them. Now, I’ve revisited that list, refreshing, revising and updating it with the help of a couple of younger fans. (About half of them are new.)
So, here, in no particular order, are 101 reasons why we are who we are … Georgia Bulldogs!
1. “It’s Saturday in Athens!”
2. The most recognizable — and, as Sports Illustrated said, the best — college mascot in America.
3. “The ball ain’t heavy.”
4. Herty Field, where it all started, once a forlorn parking lot, now the most beautiful spot on the UGA campus.
5. The Arch.
6. Krypton Fanfare at the beginning of the 4th quarter.
7. The most beautiful stadium in college football.
8. The power “G” helmet design.
9. Hines Ward.
10. Silver britches.
11. Knowshon Moreno and Todd Gurley hurdling defenders.
12. Ringing the Chapel bell after a victory.
13. David Greene and “70-X-Takeoff.”
14. The spirit videos by rising UGA junior Frank Martin (dubbed “Frank the Intern” by some students).
15. Walking through North Campus.
16. The Redcoats’ post-game concert.
17. The Spike Squad.
18. The “Commit to the G” video narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.
19. A drive down Milledge Avenue during Pledge Week.
20. “Between the Hedges.”
21. The Dawg Walk.
22. The 36 Bulldog statues around Athens.
23. Bubba Watson.
24. Tailgating on Myers Quad.
25. Chris Conley’s “Star Wars” film.
26. The men’s swimming and diving team’s underwater “Harlem Shake” video.
27. Rooster Call.
28. “Get the picture …”
29. Champ Bailey.
30. Red and black, the best color combination in sports.
31. Verron Haynes in the checkerboard end zone.
32. Erk’s bleeding forehead.
33. Downtown Athens and the music scene.
34. Mark Fox.
35. Superfans Mike Woods and Pierce Wallace (the Georgia Joker).
36. Fireworks at commencement.
37. Grown Man Football.
38. The Gym Dogs’ 10 national championships.
39. “We Run This State.”
40. Manny Diaz.
41. Kim Basinger, UGA tennis concession girl.
42. Jack Davis stadium cups.
43. “Keep your seats everyone, the Redcoats are coming!”
44. Dominique Wilkins.
45. The atmosphere at the 2013 LSU game.
46. Uga V lunging at Auburn’s Robert Baker.
47. A crisp fall day in Athens — as close to heaven on earth as you can get.
48. UGA is the only school to have three different Super Bowl MVPs: Jake Scott of the Miami Dolphins, Terrell Davis of the Denver Broncos and Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
49. “How ’bout them Dawgs!”
50. Black jerseys.
53. Five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards.
54. Kevin Butler kicking it “a hundred thousand miles” against Clemson.
55. Herschel Walker gaining 150 yards playing with a dislocated shoulder against Notre Dame.
56. The original Junkyard Dogs defense of 1975.
57. Aaron Murray.
58. David Pollack stripping the ball and scoring in Columbia.
59. “Let the big Dawg eat.”
60. David “Boss” Andrews’ fist-pumping run to the sideline after Nick Chubb’s second-quarter touchdown in last year’s Auburn game.
61. The Peabody Awards, the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting, presented annually by UGA’s Grady College.
62. Calling the Dawgs.
63. The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.
64. Clean Old-Fashioned Hate.
65. Freshman Welcome and forming the big “G” on the field at Sanford Stadium.
67. Late-night Snellebrations.
68. “Glory, Glory Dixieland!”
69. The Stinchcomb brothers and Countdown to Kickoff.
70. Drew Butler.
71. Sonny Seiler.
72, D.J. Shockley leading the Dawgs over LSU in the SEC Championship (being shown twice Friday as part of the UGA Takeover of the SEC Network).
73. Matthew Stafford’s ESPN commercials with Hairy Dawg.
74. Vince Dooley.
75. Alton Brown.
76. Jake Scott in the College Football Hall of Fame.
77. Former UGA cheerleader turned Pultizer Prize-winning poet and two-time U.S. poet laureate Natasha Trethewey.
78. Munson breaking “a metal steel chair.”
79. Hairy Dawg.
80. That Bill Bates moment in Knoxville living forever on the video screen at Sanford Stadium.
81. A.J. Green’s circus catches.
82. “It’s still 10 to 9 in Dallas.”
83. Bill Goldberg.
84. “If your blood runs red and black … ”
85. “Ain’t nothing finer in the land …”
86. Reggie Ball wore a Tech uniform.
87. Going back to Athens town.
88. The annual performance by the Redcoat Alumni Band.
90. “Unbeaten, untied and unbelievable!”
91. Greeting the heir to the British throne at halftime with “Damn good prince!”
92. 42 years of Larry Munson, and all those ESPN hosts imitating him.
93. “One and done, baby!” in Tuscaloosa.
94. Clisby Clark’s “Bulldog Bite.”
95. There’s only one “hobnail boot,” and everyone knows who wore it!
96. Great names: “Catfish” Smith, Jiggy Smaha, Happy Dicks, Buzy Rosenberg, Bucky Dilts, Hiawatha Berry, Wycliffe Lovelace, Bacarri Rambo.
97. “God is a Bulldog,” as Bulldog “legend” Dorsey Hill famously noted to Lewis Grizzard when UGA moved to No. 1 in 1980 with the help of a Georgia Tech tie with Notre Dame.
98. The electricity in the air when you step on the Sanford Drive bridge before a game.
99. Uga V on the big screen in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
100. A jersey number retired for good reason.
101. The solo trumpeter in the southwest upper deck.
(Special thanks to Olivia and Ryan.)
There are, of course, many more reasons to be a Georgia Bulldog. Feel free to share some of your own!
I’m taking the Independence Day holiday, but if there’s something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics or a question you have for the Junkyard Blawg, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg
Bill King is an Athens native and a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. A lifelong Bulldogs fan, he sold programs at Sanford Stadium as a teen and has been a football season ticket holder since leaving school. He has worked at the AJC since college and spent 10 years as the Constitution’s rock music critic before moving into copy editing on the old afternoon Journal. In addition to blogging, he’s now a story editor.