ATHENS – Finally arriving at Sanford Stadium a little later than usual Saturday, Charles Seiler was a little anxious. He left Boom – the latest in the line of the famous Uga mascots – sitting in the back of the family SUV underneath the East grandstand while rushing ahead to survey the setup around Uga’s doghouse in front of the Georgia student section. A cluster of security personnel and UGA administrators waited for him there.

The thing about Boom, Seiler said, is he’s still a pup. And because of a myriad of circumstances since the dog officially was “collared” as UGA XI at the G-Day game in April – including the illness and recent death of family patriarch Sonny Seiler – the family’s 14-month-old English bulldog hasn’t really been properly trained for his duties as the most famous live mascot in college football.

Georgia's new mascot, UGA XI, made his game day debut at the Bulldogs' opener vs. UT Martin. UGA honored Sonny Seiler, patriarch of the Bulldogs mascot family.

“Usually, we would get another dog when the weather was cooler,” Seiler said before escorting Boom onto the field. “But we brought him on at G-Day, which was hot, and now it’s hot, and it’s been hot in Savannah all summer. So, we haven’t been able to walk him, and he doesn’t really know how to walk on a choke collar. He spins like a top, and I can’t point him, and he can’t pose. So, we’re behind on getting him ready.”

The Seilers did make three consecutive trips from Savannah to Athens late this summer attend events and get their puppy used to their travel routine. They stayed in their designated room at the Georgia Continuing Education hotel.

“We just had to put him in his box and hoped he looked in the right direction,” Seiler said. “He’ll get it, eventually. We just need some cooler weather to get him right.”

The Jumbotron shows an image of the late Sonny Seiler before Georgia's home opener against UT Martin in an NCAA football game at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, September 2, 2023, in Athens. (Hyosub Shin /


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The Seilers are forgiven for not having the mascot in midseason form. Their father, Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler – the patriarch of the Uga tradition – died Monday. He was 90.

Sonny Seiler became really sick a little over a month ago, according to his daughter, Swann Seiler. After a battery of tests, it was determined only recently that it was cancer.

A visitation will be held at the Savannah Golf Club from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday. There will be another visitation at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Lutheran Church of Ascension in Savannah, followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service.

Swann Seiler carried flowers to the mascots’ burial site in the southwest corner of Sanford Stadium shortly after arriving. A video tribute to Seiler was played on the Jumbotron shortly before the national anthem, and the Seiler family was presented with painting by artist Steve Penley in a brief ceremony.

Georgia fans take their pictures in front of a memorial for the late Sonny Seiler before the home opener against UT Martin in an NCAA football game at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, September 2, 2023, in Athens. (Hyosub Shin /


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Through it all, Boom did just fine. He succeeds “Que,” who retired just shy of his 10th birthday at the end of last season. Though his age prevented him from making the long trip to Los Angeles for January’s College Football Playoff Championship game, Que was credited with overseeing two national championships and, with a 91-18 record, left as the Georgia mascot with the most wins of all time.

Boom is the 11th in the line of the Uga mascots bred by the Seilers. However, he is Georgia’s 17th official mascot overall.

The first was an unnamed goat that wore a black coat emblazoned with red U.G. letters in 1892. Trilby, a solid white bull terrier, took over in 1894. Mr. Angel, Butch and Mike were brindled English bulldogs who reigned as official mascots from 1944-55.

“Hood’s Ole Dan” became the first in the Uga line. He was a wedding gift to Cecelia Seiler from Sonny, then a UGA law student, in 1956. So handsome was the all-white English bulldog that coach Wally Butts asked Sonny, who volunteered in the athletic department, to bring him to the sideline for that season’s football games. Thus, the Uga mascot tradition was born.