Many oldtimers say Georgia acquired the nickname "Bulldogs" because of the strong ties with Yale, whose nickname is Bulldogs. Georgia's first president, Abraham Baldwin, was a Yale man and the early buildings on campus were designed from blue prints of the same building at Yale. But on Nov. 3, 1920, Morgan Blake of The Atlanta Journal wrote about school nicknames and said, "The Georgia 'Bulldogs' would sound good because there is a certain dignity about a bulldog, as well as ferocity." After a 0-0 tie with Virginia in Charlottesville on Nov. 6, 1920, Atlanta Constitution writer Cliff Wheatley used the name "Bulldogs" in his story five times. The name has been used ever since.
Uga is one of the best-known mascots in the country. The bulldog is from a line owned by Frank W. (Sonny) Sieler of Savannah, GA. since 1956. The current line began with Uga I, a solid white English Bulldog who was the grandson of a former Georgia mascot who made the trip to the 1943 Rose Bowl. Perhaps the most famous Uga was Uga V who made appearances in the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." He also graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. Uga IV was the first mascot invited to the Downtown Athletic Club and was escorted through the banquet hall by the president of the Downtown Athletic Club and was photographed with Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker.
The nickname didn't grow out of the familiar six-legged insect, but that the insect, known as "Buzz," grew out of the nickname. As far as can be determined, the first reference to Tech students as "Yellow Jackets" appeared in the Atlanta Constitution in 1905, and came into common usage at that time. Historians say the name, spelled as one word, was first used to describe supporters, who attended Tech athletic events, dressed in yellow coats and jackets. The actual mascot was conceived at a later date, still undetermined.
Between the Hedges
This reference to Sanford Stadium dates back to the early 1930s. The famous English privet hedges that surround the playing field were only one foot high when the stadium was dedicated in 1929 and were protected by a wooden fence. It was natural for a clever sports writer, referring to an upcoming home game, to observe, "the Bulldogs will have their opponent 'between the hedges.' " At least one old-timer says the phrase was first coined by legendary Atlanta sportswriter Grantland Rice.
Rambling Wreck car
On Sept. 30, 1961, the official Rambling Wreck car was unveiled to 43,501 fans at Grant Field, leading the Georgia Tech football team onto the field for the home opener against Rice. It has happened at every home game since.
Tech has several customs especially created for freshman class members. One of the oldest is Tech's gold colored rat cap, originated with the ANAK society in 1915. The term rat, originally used for the first-year military students, gradually expanded to include all freshmen. Freshmen are to decorate their rat caps by writing winning football scores upright, losing scores upside down, and tie scores sideways.
"Silver Britches" were an innovation of coach Wally Butts, who took over as head football coach in 1939. The handsome pants, complimented by a bright red jersey, made for a striking uniform. Through the years, fans referred to the Bulldogs' silver britches in their chants and on banners, but the phrase really caught on in the early fifties with a cheer, banners and colorful vests that proclaimed "Go, you Silver Britches." Coach Vince Dooley re-designed the uniform when he came in 1964 and used white pants; however, he re-instituted the silver britches in 1980 just prior to what turned out to be Georgia's national championship season.