Today, November 3, is an important date here in Bulldog Nation, as it marks the anniversary of two momentous events in the history of the Georgia football program and a third occurrence which, while lacking the importance of the former two, nevertheless has some small measure of significance in this tiny corner of Red and Black fandom.
Exactly 89 years ago today, on November 3, 1920, the following words from the pen of sportswriter Morgan Blake appeared in The Atlanta Journal:
We now have in the south three teams with the nickname of "Wildcats." They are Kentucky State, Davidson and Georgia. . . . Football teams evidently are stuck on nicknames depicting feline characteristics, for there are many teams with nicknames of "Tigers." In the south we have the Auburn Tigers, the Sewanee Tigers and the Clemson Tigers and maybe some more. I had hoped that Georgia would adopt some original nickname that would stand out. . . . The "Georgia Bulldogs" would sound good, because there is a certain dignity about a bulldog as well as ferocity, and the name is not as common as "Wildcats" and "Tigers." Yale is about the only team I recall right now that has the name.
The following Saturday, Herman Stegeman’s unbeaten Georgia Wildcats tied Virginia in Charlottesville, and Cliff Wheatley referred to the Red and Black eleven as the "Bulldogs" five times in his Atlanta Constitution postgame report. The nickname Blake pinned on the Athenians on this date in 1920 stuck . . . so you Arkansas fans can bite me!
Exactly 64 years ago today, on November 3, 1945, the Georgia Bulldogs, led by returning star Charley Trippi following his discharge from the armed forces after the end of World War II, snapped a two-game losing skid with a 34-7 road win over Chattanooga. The Red and Black followed that up with a 34-0 win over Florida in Jacksonville, a 35-0 win over Auburn in Columbus, and a 33-0 win over Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The victory over Chattanooga on this date in the first postwar season of college football marked the start of a 17-game winning streak, which remains to this day the longest winning streak in the history of Georgia football.
Finally, albeit less significantly, exactly 41 years ago today, on November 3, 1968, I was born.
I want to thank Willie Martinez for his attempt to pay tribute to my birthday last Saturday, when he did his part to allow the Gators to score 41 points on the Bulldogs. I’d like to give our beleaguered defensive coordinator two big thumbs up for that kindhearted gesture, and I hope to return the favor in January, when I send him a going-away gift.
Anyway, I’m taking the day off . . . from blogging, I mean; I’ll be going to work and all. I don’t take my own birthday off from work. It’s not like it’s Herschel’s birthday or anything!
I’ll be back tomorrow to take you around the SEC in the first installment of this week’s "Don’t Bet On It!"