I got some sad news last night.....
The University of Georgia's beloved and Churchillian English bulldog mascot Uga VI died peacefully Friday night in Savannah of congestive heart failure after serving nine seasons on the sidelines as the Bulldogs' winningest mascot.
Uga VI, owned by Savannah attorney Frank W. "Sonny" Seiler, was the heaviest in the line of six solid-white English bulldogs to serve as UGA's mascot since Uga I became a Georgia football game fixture in 1956.
"He was a good one," Seiler said in a prepared statement. "What can I say? He had a marvelous record. He was a very strong and healthy dog. He was the biggest of all the dogs, and he had the biggest heart. It just played out."
Damon Evans, UGA athletics director, bestowed the highest praise on the beast that he could Saturday, in a statement:
"Uga VI was a damn good mascot and a damn good dog," said Evans.
With the passing of one Uga there's always speculation regarding which bulldog will be heir to the throne, which comes with a few perks, including an air-conditioned doghouse, travel by Delta Airlines to away games, celebrityhood (Uga V was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1997 as the nation's best mascot) and a fanbase that's paparazzi-like in its obsession.
"People pet him so much his head gets sore," Seiler once said of his line of Ugas. "He's like a politician who shakes too many hands."
Seiler said Saturday that the "lineage is secure" and a successor will be announced by the Seilers and the UGA athletic association later.
Uga VI will be buried in a marble vault in the Southwest corner of Sanford Stadium with his ancestors in private ceremonies expected to be held early next week.
Go dawgs, Sic 'em!