For weeks now all right-thinking Georgia Bulldog fans have been calling for Athletic Director Greg McGarity to implement a change in leadership in the Bulldog football program. Now it's finally happened. Mascot "Russ" is set to be relieved of his duties following this weekend's contest against the Tennessee Volunteers. He will be replaced by Uga VIII, the next in the line of white English Bulldogs which have represented UGA athletics since 1956, in a ceremony before next week's Vanderbilt game.
Frankly, it's about time. Russ seems like a friendly enough dog. He posed patiently at picture day, and even adorably licked a couple of toddlers. But none of us pays for a nice mascot. We pay to see a winner. And Russ is only 3-5 during his tenure on the sideline. Sure he was on hand for that 30-24 victory over Georgia Tech last November. But it's hard to give him much credit for that as the guy who currently wears the "Buzz" suit for Tech isn't nearly as annoyingly insectine as his predesecors. Plus he's just not fiery enough. Russ has been getting more and more docile as he matures, losing the edgy yet adorable puppy rambunctiousness which led to his appointment. His conditioning program is also suspect, as he has appeared more than a little flabby this season, especially around the jowls.
McGarity released a brief public statement this afternoon regarding the transition:
We are deeply indebted to Russ for his months of service to the University of Georgia Athletic Association. However, at this time, we felt the need to bring in somedog with a fresh perspective on the mascot position. I asked him to stay on until the end of the season in an advisory position, but Russ has decided instead to retire to his home in Savannah to pursue his interests outside of football: squirrel chasing, napping in the sun, and licking his own testicles. We wish him the best of luck with that.