Yale is not the only school who has their own bulldog, the University of Georgia has UGA, a white English bulldog who wears a football jersey with a varsity letter and is a fixture at all home games and many of the away games. UGA has a customized airconditioned doghouse where he spends most of the game. It is filled with ice bags to help keep the warmly dressed dog from suffering heatstroke in the southern heat.
Although UGA’s signature look is a spiked collar and a red jersey with his name on the back, he does occasionally mix things up. He wears a green jersey on Saint Patrick’s Day and even rocked a tuxedo while attending the Heisman Trophy Ceremony in New York City. When a UGA sadly passes away, there is a special ceremony in which he “passes the bone” to his successor.
Rumored to be the first-ever living mascot, Yale’s bulldog Handsome Dan is the official mascot of the university. The first Handsome Dan took on the role in 1889 and was chosen for his ability to tolerate loud noises and children and to dislike the color crimson and tigers (which represent the athletic teams of rivals Harvard and Princeton respectively).
Handsome Dans throughout the years have either retired or passed away. The current Handsome Dan is number 16. The bulldog is an important part of Yale lore and even has his own menu item at the New Haven branch of the Shake Shack. A concoction of beer-battered deep-fried onions served with two kinds of cheese.
Since 1961, the Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech has been leading the football team onto the Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. The Wreck is a 1930 Ford Model A Sports Coupe, which serves as the official mascot for the school’s student body. The car’s maintenance has been the responsibility of the Ramblin’ Reck Club since 1987. Not surprisingly. It has been targeted by rival schools. On one occasion, the University of Tennessee took it upon themselves to paint the Wreck and it was stolen by the University of Georgia at least twice.
The Ramblin’ Wreck even has its own fight song, which is played whenever the football team scores, after a field goal or safety and during basketball game timeouts. These are the spirited lyrics:
I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer—
A helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva, hell of an engineer.
Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear.
I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer.
Oh! If I had a daughter, sir, I'd dress her in White and Gold,
And put her on the campus to cheer the brave and bold.
But if I had a son, sir, I'll tell you what he'd do—
He would yell, 'To hell with Georgia!' like his daddy used to do.
Oh, I wish I had a barrel of rum and sugar three thousand pounds,
A college bell to put it in and a clapper to stir it round.
I'd drink to all the good fellows who come from far and near.
I'm a ramblin', gamblin', hell of an engineer!
The Hawaii football team knows how to intimidate the competition. They have developed their very own war dance which is known as the Ha’a. The dance is centuries old and is based on ancient Hawaiian traditions, but the players have managed to make it their own.
The team used to perform the Haka, which was based on Mauri traditions from New Zealand but have in recent years focused on their own version of the dance with Hawaiian melody and lyrics. Despite the change, the special dance still manages to get the crowd’s blood pumping and intimidate the competition.
Created by Fredrick Plummer in 1884, the Little Red Flag is just a piece of red silk with an olive H in the middle attached to a walking stick, but it has become a symbol of super fan status in the Harvard stands. Plummer himself carried the flag with him to 59 Harvard and Yale games over the years. He believed that the flag was a talisman of good luck.
When he passed away, the honor of carrying the flag was passed down to Spencer Borden, who attended even more Yale games than Plummer. The flag is now in the hands of the tenth in a long life of devoted fans. Bill Markus, who has been carrying it since 2001, can proudly call himself Harvard’s “most loyal fan. He has not seen as many Yale games like the original flag holders but is definitely a dedicated superfan traveling from his home in Pittsburgh to every game.