10 Quirks, Facts, and Traditions of the University of Georgia

o “The Arch”, an iron gate found on everything from the UGA logo to jerseys, 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 win a local football game, the school chapel bell traditionally rings until midnight. Except when Georgia beats Georgia Tech, one of their biggest rivals, then the bell rings all night! In the old days, it was the freshmen’s job to do the hard work of ringing the bell; today, fans, students and alumni take turns.

o During the 2007 season, the bell was ringing after UGA’s loss to the University of Florida, when the 877-pound bell fell. He has since been brought back to the platform.

o Bulldogs like to have their opponents ‘Between the Hedges’. This is a reference to the hedges that grow around the playing field at Sanford Stadium, and dates back to the 1930s when a sportswriter made the reference.

o In 1939, Coach Wally Butts decided that silver pants would go well with red jerseys; thus 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 worn during the school’s National Championship season.

o UGA has a student ID card and travels in their own dog house, with air conditioning! Because bulldogs are susceptible to heat stroke, he spends football games perched on ice packs. If opposing teams get too close to his precious ice, he growls fiercely. He is a tough pup, who wears a t-shirt with a Varsity letter on it and a spiked collar.

o The mascot dressed as a bulldog is called ‘Hairy Dawg’.

o Football players take a ‘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 intense rivalry between Georgia Tech and Georgia resulted in a skirmish over colors: Georgia students declared yellow an unsuitable color for the Georgia Bulldogs, considering it a funky color, and yellow was removed. Crimson (also known 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 badly in a game against the University of Virginia that he died as a result. In those days, players did not wear helmets. Football was immediately dissolved in Georgia schools, and just as the Georgia Legislature was preparing to formally ban college football, Richard’s mother wrote a letter, published in the newspapers, calling on the legislature to save football, saying that it was his son’s most precious object. “Prohibition was defeated and college football in Georgia survived! Today, visitors to Rome, Georgia, Gammon’s hometown, can stop and pay respects at the family graves, with plaques detailing the sad death and the great plea of a mother to rescue the sport so loved by her son.

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