The Famous and the Infamous !!
In the last century of intercollegiate athletics, no mascot in the country has become more well known than the University of Georgia's "Uga", a line owned since 1956 by the Frank W. (Sonny) Seiler family of Savannah. The original Uga was given to Seilers then-girlfriend (and later his wife), Cecelia, in 1955. The couple took the dog to a UGA football game, where it caught the attention of school officials, who asked Mr. Seiler if the dog could be the university mascot. (The university had had two previous bulldog mascotsButch, from 1947 to 1950, and Mike, from 1950 to 1955.) The Seilers agreed, and when the 1956 football season began, so did the reign of Ugas. The current representative of the dynasty is Uga VI, who began his tenure in 1999.
Uga is undeniably a member of the mascot elite. He was named best mascot in the country by Sports Illustrated, and also appeared on the magazines cover for an issue devoted to the countrys best "jock" schools. Hes the only live mascot to ever travel to the Final Four basketball tournament (in Albuquerque in 1983), and also appeared in a movie, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."
"Jack" the Bulldog - Georgetown University Mascot
Though the nickname for its sports teams (and students in general) is "the Hoyas," Georgetown University adopted the English bulldog as its mascot in 1962. A group of students had lobbied for the move, arguing that Georgetown athletes were, like bulldogs, "tenacious." A student committee purchased a two-yr old bulldog which they had hoped to name "Hoya." However, the dog stubbornly refused (as bulldogs do) to respond to anything but his given name, "Jack." The dog won, and students began to call him "Jack" -- beginning a tradition that continues today.
Over time, the tradition of a permanent, on-campus mascot was replaced by a student in a bulldog suit. However, seniors in the class of 1999 began a "Bring Jack Back" campaign and succeeded in welcoming a new Jack to campus in March of 1999. Unfortunately, this Jack (now "the elder") had to retire in 2003 when his caretaker, Hoya alum Scott Pilarz S.J., became president of the University of Scranton.
Our present Jack was born on May 3, 2003. He arrived at Georgetown on July 19th of that same year. While not related to his immediate predecessor, Jack is from the same line as "Rocky," GU's mascot during Patrick Ewing's time on the hilltop.
One of the most recognized figures on campus, Jack the Bulldog spends his time celebrating life on the Hilltop and cheering for Hoya sports. When not occupied with his mascot duties, Jack passes his days resting in the lobby of the Jesuit Residence and the evenings at his apartment in New South (which he shares with Fr. Steck, S.J., Associate Professor in the Department of Theology).
The Marines Mascot
Sergeant Chesty XI is the official mascot of Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. The canine leatherneck is affectionately referred to as "Molly" by her fellow Marines at the "Oldest Post of the Corps." Molly gets her name from the term Molly Marines, the name given to the first women in the United States Marine Corps.
The brindle and white-colored pedigreed English bulldog enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Aug. 24, 1995 during a ceremony at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.
The duties of this devil dog include serving as official mascot of Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., and appearing weekly at the renowned Friday Evening Parades held at the barracks during the summer months.
Yale Mascot Gracing the Cover of Sports Illustrated in 1956
Back in 1889 when Yale students wanted an animal to symbolize their football team's grit and pluck, the process was simple: One of them bought a bulldog for five dollars from a local blacksmith. Handsome Dan, they called the fierce little creature, and a tradition was born. But when Handsome Dan XV died of a possible heart attack last January after nine years on the job, finding a suitable replacement for America's longest-running live-animal mascot was not easy. First, came a press release, followed by stories in newspapers and on radio about the school's search for canine candidates, as the release put it, "athletic enough to climb stairs, walk the sidelines of a game for four quarters and dodge out-of-bounds football players." Then Steve Conn, Yale's director of sports publicity, evaluated essays and photos from 40 applicants, and enlisted Chris Getman, Handsome Dan XV's caretaker, to help him winnow the field to 10. On April 26, as the Yale Precision Marching Band played How Much Is that Doggie in the Window and several hundred spectators gathered on the New Haven, Conn., campus to watch, the finalists competed to become -- with apologies to Georgia's UGA -- college sports' boss bulldog.
Even though Handsome Dan earns no money for prowling the sidelines at home games (and, often, away games, graduation ceremonies and hockey matches as well), the stakes felt high and the tension was palpable. Five judges evaluated the dogs on their ability to walk near the band without getting flustered, and also observed the animals' reactions to a crimson blanket (symbolizing Harvard, of course) and a stuffed-toy tiger (Princeton) that band members waved. Judge Jeff Mroz, Yale's quarterback, said he was also interested in "how the dogs interact with little kids." Cheerleader Christie Yang, another judge, said she was "looking for a dog that smells clean."
The dogs quickly sorted themselves out according to ability. A four-month-old male named Genugh seemed terrified by the proceedings and spent most of the day nestled in his female owner's arms. Meanwhile, five-year-old Lars emerged as an early favorite after he repeatedly lunged for the tiger with a fury that would have made Handsome Dan I proud. (Legend has it that the original mascot, who now sits stuffed in a gymnasium trophy room, would work himself into a foamy rage when told to "speak to Harvard.")
The winner, though, was two-year-old Mugsy, who impressed the judges with his size (69 pounds, the largest there) and his decision to focus on the red blanket instead of the tiger. "We beat Princeton three of four years," Mroz said. "We want to beat Harvard." Mugsy's owner, Bob Sansone, a 63-year-old middle school language arts teacher from nearby Hamden, said he looked forward to attending games with his pet: "He loves big crowds," Sansone said.
Finally, the band played the school's Bulldog fight song, and Mugsy put his paw print on a contract, agreeing "to serve as the Yale University Athletics mascot, to be patient with young and old alike and to bring good fortune to the playing fields." As the crowd thinned and the losers trotted back to anonymity, Sansone took out Mugsy's favorite toy, a football, and hurled it across the quad. Then Handsome Dan XVI tore happily after it, his tongue flapping in the wind.
Issue date: May 9, 2005