There will soon be a new dog filling the role of college football’s most famous mascot.
Uga IX is set to retire this fall, according to Charles Seiler, whose family has bred the line of English Bulldog mascots for nearly six decades. And the main candidate to be Uga X was on display Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
His name, for now, is Que, and he’s a year-and-a-half old. Uga IX is his grandfather. Seiler brought Que to the stadium for the 10th annual Countdown to Kickoff event, in what was a sort of tryout to be the new Uga.
Many Georgia fans were lined up on the concourse thinking they were meeting and getting their pictures taken with Uga IX. In fact, they may have been doing so with Uga X.
“We’re training Que to see if he can be the new Uga,” Seiler said. “We’ve got two others that we can choose from, but it’s his turn first. So this is his first gig.”
The other two candidates are younger than Que, who is a year-and-a-half.
“The good thing about being a year-and-a-half is we know what he’s gonna look like,” Seiler said. “The bad thing about puppies is we don’t know what they’re gonna look like. So he’s got a little edge on those other two.”
Uga IX, otherwise known as Russ, turned 11 in June, meaning it’s time for him to retire, Seiler said. They would prefer to have the collaring ceremony when the weather isn’t as hot, so Seiler mentioned the Kentucky game on Nov. 7 as one possibility.
The Uga line began in 1956, and at one point Uga V was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. But the mascot had an unfortunate string of premature deaths, with Uga VII (2008-09) and Uga VIII (2010-11). Russ served as an interim mascot on and off from 2009-12, then was given a “battlefield promotion” in 2012.
Now the hope is Uga IX can quietly retire. Que, the potential replacement, looked away on Saturday when asked for comment.
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