10 University of Georgia Quirks, Facts and Traditions

Lisa R. Parker

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 walks under The Arch during his first year, he will never graduate.

o When the UGA Bulldogs have won a home football game, the school’s Chapel Bell traditionally rings until midnight. Except when Georgia beats Georgia Tech, one of their biggest rivals- then the bell rings the entire night! In the old days, it was the job of freshmen to do the hard work of ringing the bell- today, fans, students, and alumni all take turns.

o During the 2007 Season, the bell was ringing after UGA’s defeat over the University of Florida, when the 877 pound bell fell. It has since been returned to the platform.

o The Bulldogs like to get their opponents ‘Between the Hedges.’ This is a reference to the hedges that grow all the way around the playing field of Sanford Stadium, and dates back to the 30’s, when a sports writer made the reference.

o In 1939, Coach Wally Butts decided silver pants would pair well with red jerseys- thus began the start of the Bulldog’s ‘silver britches.’ Although Coach Vince Dooley changed the pants to white for several years, the silver britches were brought back in 1980, and were worn during the school’s National Championship season.

o UGA has a student ID card and travels in his own dog house- with air conditioning! Because bulldogs are susceptible to heat stroke, he spends football games perched on bags of ice. If opposing teams get to close to his precious ice, he growls ferociously. He’s a tough pup, who wears a jersey with a Varsity letter and a spiked collar.

o The costumed bulldog mascot is called ‘Hairy Dawg.’

o Football players go through the ‘Dog Walk,’ which features players walking through crowds of fans on their way into Stanford Stadium, led by the Redcoat Band.

o Georgia’s original colors included ‘old gold,’ until the intense rivalry between Georgia Tech and Georgia resulted in a skirmish over colors- Georgia students declared yellow an unfit color for the Georgia Bulldogs, deeming it a cowardly color, and yellow was removed- and Crimson (also referred to as ‘Good old Georgia Red) and black have been the official colors ever since.

o College Football was nearly outlawed in 1987, after UGA Quarterback Richard Gammon was injured so severely in a game against the University of Virginia, he died as a result. In those days, players did not wear helmets. Football was immediately disbanded in schools across Georgia, and just as the Georgia Legislature was gearing up to formally outlaw college football, Richard’s mother wrote a letter, published in newspapers, asking the legislature to save football, saying it was her son’s most cherished object.” The ban was defeated, and college football in Georgia survived! Today, visitors to Rome, Georgia, Gammon’s hometown, can stop and pay tribute at the family graves, complete with plaques detailing the sad death and a mother’s great plea to rescue the sport so beloved by her son.

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