One of the most beloved scoreboards from Sanford Stadium featured a bulldog holding a 2×4 with a nail sticking out of the end. Georgia has always been known for defending the hedges and for opposing teams defacing them for “souvenirs,” but there’s a story behind that bulldog with the nailed board.
In 1935, Georgia played LSU. Here’s a brief history of that game by Thomas O’Toole, a sports writer for the AJC in 1986:
The year was 1935. Huey Long, who ran Louisiana, wanted LSU to play at Georgia.
“He called Harold Hirsch, who was big in the Coke company (as an attorney),” recalled Bill Hartman, a Georgia player then and an assistant coach now. “Harold told him that they couldn’t play that year because schedules were made up too far in advance. Huey told him Louisiana was thinking about putting an additional tax on Coke. Harold told him whenever you want to play, we’ll do it.”
The teams met Nov. 16. LSU brought nearly the entire student body – mostly military cadets – and won 13-0.
“The cadets wanted to come down on the field and tear down the goalposts,” said Hartman. “They didn’t know there was a fence in the hedges. They started to go through the hedges and got hung up at the fence. It had been some kind of souvenir day, and the Georgia fans had been given 18-inch bats. When the cadets got hung up, the Georgia students descended on them and started beating them with the bats.”
Growing up, I remember my father receiving letters from the Georgia Bulldogs Club featuring the motto “The Majority Party of the Empire State of the South” and the illustration to the left at the top of the letterhead. I can’t quite make out who drew it – John someone. If you know anything about this drawing, please let me know in the comments below!