As you know, the passing of Uga VI on June 27 set a somber tone here in Bulldog Nation for a summer that has been anything but celebratory in spite of the high expectations for the Red and Black, in light of a series of unpleasant intervening events in the first 48 days of what we now know will be a 64-day interregnum.
This has gotten me thinking.
I believe there should be an Uga and a Vice Uga.
Uga, of course, is and always will remain our official mascot. The Vice Uga would have no formal responsibilities---well, O.K., if I had my way, the Vice Uga would break ties in the State Senate (hey, like the state wouldn’t be as well served by a dog as by any lieutenant governor of the last 30 or 40 years?)---but he would stand ready to assume the mantle of being the mascot if, Heaven forbid, something were to happen to Uga.
The Vice Uga would be a mascot-in-waiting. He might never get the call, but, if the call came, he would be ready. Naturally, the Seiler family would have full authority to change the Vice Uga at any time; it might be that, upon the ascension of a new mascot, the reigning Uga was without issue, so his younger brother could serve as Vice Uga until he had sired a litter containing a suitable understudy.
In this respect, the Uga line would function a lot like the British monarchy, only with more practical utility and dignity, and with a lot less inbreeding.
The need for a Vice Uga is clear. We have spent what should have been a splendid summer in the doldrums in the wake of the passing of Uga VI, which was the first awful occurrence in a line of toppling dominoes dealing blow after blow to the program in what ought to have been (and, admittedly, might yet be) our finest hour.
It is in the best interests of Bulldog Nation that the line of succession be clear, predetermined (one might even say "foreordained," if one is a believer in the divine right of dogs), and immediate.
Bear in mind, as well, the events of 1986, which point out vividly the need for an official Vice Uga. During the course of that campaign, Uga IV leapt from a hotel bed before the Vanderbilt game and injured the ligaments in his left hind knee. His older brother, Otto, was called upon to fill in for him for four games. (Uga IV and Otto served as co-mascots for the season ender against Georgia Tech.)
We all admire Otto for coming through in the clutch, but let’s be honest . . . as was the case with Vice President John Hoynes in the "West Wing" episode "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen," Otto’s authority was murky at best. The solution is simple: appoint a Vice Uga, set up something similar to the 25th Amendment, and allow a mascot in a situation analogous to that involving Uga IV to put his pawprint on a written declaration transmitted to the head football coach and the athletic director that he temporarily is unable to discharge the duties of his office. Make Otto official.
There would, of course, be complications; for instance, the Uga and the Vice Uga could never travel in the same vehicle, for the sake of preserving our Bulldog National security. These, though, are logistical minutiae with which we are capable of coping. When Uga VII takes up his high office on August 30, his second-in-command ought to be introduced as such, in order that all the Georgia faithful might know that government of the ‘Dawgs, by the ‘Dawgs, and for the ‘Dawgs will not perish from the earth.