I've never been one to handle death eloquently. It's not my thing. I typically don't talk at funerals, I don't share my emotion when I'm sad and I most certainly don't reach out to others for support. Again, it's just not my thing.
When I heard about Uga VI passing, I was on a "set" shooting a short film for the 48 Hour Film Project. It was about 9:00 a.m. or so and Ally sent me a text message giving me the news. I immediately told Beer Blog Pong This, who was on the "set" as well. Then, the news filtered to friends and friends of friends, and so on.
Strangely enough, sadness wasn't the first emotion that came to my mind. Instead, I was more disappointed because I was no longer going to see the grown up puppy I had come to love. You see I never got to see but one game under Uga V. I was a freshman at UGA when Uga VI took over and, in fact, the "Passing of the Bone" ceremony that happened vs. South Carolina in 1999 took place just to my immediate right, about 3 rows over. Both Dawgs walked past me, and I remember see one tired Dawg literally step out of the limelight in favor of another Dawg who had the energy to do it.
Uga VI was the only Uga I've ever had my picture taken with...and it only happened one time. That photo is proudly displayed at my parents' house in Perry, on the bottom of the entertainment center, just to the right.
Disappointment, not sadness. Sadness is natural and human but it's not what I'm feeling. Am I so torn up about it that I can't function? Not really. Uga VI was a great Dawg, a wonderful mascot and one of the more livelier animals I've ever seen. However, as he got older, you could tell he was getting tired. I remember thinking this past year that I hoped they'd retire him soon since he already had that pink spot on his eye from surgery and he just looked like every game was wearing him out.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm disappointed for all the right reasons. I'm disappointed because Uga VI has been UGA's mascot since my freshman year. He's all I've really known and there's not a single football experience I can remember that he wasn't the mascot for. Every thrilling victory, every long bomb, every time we seemed out of it and climbed back and every time we seemed out of it and never got back in it, he was there, just like me.
So here's to the oldest puppy I've ever seen. I hope the next Uga shares the same spirit, tenacity and winning record.
To a Damn Good Dawg. I'm sorry we couldn't share more games together.
Until next time kids.
Labels: Damn Good Dawg