August 10, 2009

FOTOBALL: damn good dog

I fell in love at the University of Georgia fan event "Picture Day" in August of 2007. His name was Uga VI. He was about 2 feet tall, 60 lbs, and ugly as sin, but I loved him. The University of Georgia mascot, a solid white English Bulldog, is one of the most well known college mascots in the country. He even had a cameo in the 1997 movie, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” When I met him at the tail-end of a photo shoot with fans he was exhausted and ready to get the hell out of there.

081807 PictureDay11_kl
VI rests after a two hour picture session with fans Saturday August 18, 2007, at the Georgia Fans' Picture Day at Sanford Stadium.

081807 PictureDay09_kl
Uga VI waits by the door to leave after a two hour picture session with fans Saturday August 18, 2007, at the UGA Fans' Picture Day at Sanford Stadium.

I made a point at every game to get a photo of him. He was usually lounging on bags of ice in his doghouse on the sidelines of Sanford Stadium. His pre-game ritual usually consisted of him rolling lazily on the field as the Red Coat Band played, that is, when he wasn't barking vigorously or lunging at the end of his leash at anyone who happened to stroll by.

110307 ugaVI_kl
Uga VI barks in his doghouse on the sidelines of the Georgia game against Troy Saturday November 3, 2007 at Sanford Stadium.

110307 uga_kl

101307 UGA_uga_kl

111007_uga_Kl

111007_uga02_kl
Uga VI pulls on his leash on the field before the Bulldogs' game against Auburn Saturday November 10, 2007 at Sanford Stadium.

2008 Sugar Bowl_Uga VI
Uga VI takes in the sights at the Louisiana Superdome during the Allstate Sugar Bowl Tuesday Jan. 1, 2008, in New Orleans, LA.

I remember the summer Saturday he died of congestive heart failure vividly. I was sought out to find pictures of him because everyone knew I loved him and photographed him often. It took just minutes for me to compile enough pictures for a gallery as I had most of them at the ready on my desktop. That Monday I came in on my off day to photograph his memorial ceremony.

063008_ugaVI9_kl
The vault of Uga VI is at Sanford Stadium.

063008_ugaVI8_kl
A bulldog statue sits in front of the vaults containing all of the Uga mascots.

063008_ugaVI10_kl
Sonny Seiler, owner of Uga VI, picks up Uga's jersey, leash, and collar after a memorial service held for the Georgia mascot Monday afternoon at Sanford Stadium. Uga VI passed away Friday night from congestive heart failure at his home in Savannah, Ga.

063008_UGAVI_kl-1
Uga VI's jersey, leash, and collar lay on top of his crate during a memorial service held for the Georgia mascot Monday, June 30, 2008, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.

Uga VI memorial
Members of the Arch Society takes photos of Uga VI's vault with camera phones after the memorial service held for Georgia's mascot Monday, June 30, 2008, at Sanford Stadium.

063008_ugaVI4_kl
The remains of Uga VI are held in his crate before being entombed in a vault at Sanford Stadium.

I was there when Uga VII was introduced the first game of the next season. He was young, a little nervous, and most of all dumb looking. I missed Uga VI. As the season progressed I slowly found myself falling in love with him too. He lacks the tenacity of Uga VI, but he is a friendly faced mascot with a very gentle spirit. I think with a little time he will be as beloved as Uga VI, well almost.


083008_Uga VII
Uga VII is surrounded by photographers and videographers after being announced as the new Georgia mascot Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008.

083008_Uga VII
Uga chills in his doghouse.

083008_Uga VII
Uga VII poses with Georgia cheerleaders for pictures.

083008_Uga VII
Uga VII shakes on the sidelines.

101108_fb_uga_UGaVIIb_kl

111508_fb_uga_ugaVii_kl
Georgia mascots Hairy Dawg pets Uga VII before the Bulldogs beat the Auburn Tigers 17-13 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

010109_fb_uga2_kl

101808_fb_uga_UGAVII
Uga VI

4 comments:

Mom said...

I love your dog photos, Mom

Kelly Lambert said...

thanks mom!

Kristin said...

Ha, you called it - Uga VII is totally "a little dumb-looking."

dixiedawg said...

Sorry this post is a few years late!
What an amazing tribute and photo collection. R.I.P. to all the UGAs l-Vll.