Things Bulldogs Fans Should Know Do Before They Die by Jon Nelson
How did the hedges get to be that all-important, all-imposing signature to Sanford Stadium? Back in , President Steadman Sanford wanted the "best football stadium in Dixie. One problem More than 30, fans showed up for the game itself, and nine southern governors were also in attendance. Coach Dan Magill said it was the biggest athletic event ever held in the South at the time. As the story goes, Grantland Rice, the legendary sportswriter who spent time at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in his early years, used the phrase "between the hedges" first.
According to Coach Magill, Rice said that Georgia would "have its opponent between the hedges" when describing a game in Athens. There is some debate as to what kind of hedge was actually planted at Sanford — some sources say it was an English privet hedge, while others claim it is Chinese privet. Frank Henning, penning a column in the Athens Banner-Herald in , said that there are actually two sets of hedges inside Sanford Stadium. The inner hedge is Chinese privet with the outer hedge being a Chinese mix that yields "Bulldawg red" leaves in the fall.
While the hedges certainly look pretty, they actually serve another purpose: keeping ticket-paying customers from getting on to the field itself to celebrate a Georgia win. The storming of the turf only happened once in recent memory. On October 7, , when the Bulldogs beat Tennessee for the first time in twelve years, not even the hedge and low-lying chain-link fence could keep fans off the field.
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The hedges, if left unattended, will grow 3 feet per year and grow for eight out of the twelve months in the calendar. Kenny Pauley, UGA's director of sports turf and grass, oversees a staff of ten full-time employees and three students that get to trim the hedges when they need it, which is fairly regularly. No one was told that the hedges needed to be removed to accommodate the width of the soccer pitch, and when the news was broken, plenty of fits were pitched instead — even when it was later discovered that the hedges were diseased. They were stored in two separate locations.
Close to 1, of the cuttings from the hedges were kept in a nursery in Quincy, Florida, while the other half were in the Dudley Nurseries in the town of Thomson — one exit west of the Augusta metropolitan area. People lined the highway to take pictures as the hedges left McDuffie County and headed home. But Quincy, Florida, for the hedges? Housing them out of state?
Isn't that sacrilegious or something? George Hackney, owner of Hackney Nurseries in Quincy, was based 10 miles from the Georgia state line and 25 miles west of Tallahassee. He had to keep the whole thing a secret. Jemal Horton of the Chronicle. These were South Georgia hedges. But we didn't want to let it out that they were in Florida. But the bottom line was that they were returned in just as good a shape as when they were cut up and exported from Athens.
We welcome Hedges II. Billy Payne was part of the group at the re-planting. I'll make good on my final Olympic responsibility, which is putting these hedges back where they belong. All this attention for a 5' tall, 5' wide, 3,sq. One that has its own security system, alarms, and surveillance cameras? You bet — especially when it's an Athens-based Privet Ligustrum. For years, the headgear worn by the players of the Georgia Bulldogs was just a plain silver helmet.
A block red "G" was introduced in — placed in the middle of those shiny silver helmets and only seen for home games. That year, the Bulldogs finished the season 4—5—1, and Johnny Griffith was relieved of his head coaching duties. Vince Dooley was hired off the Auburn coaching staff in , and he made an immediate cosmetic impact in Athens.
Dooley redesigned the Georgia uniforms, choosing a red helmet with a black G on a white background as the dominant feature. Eales: People miss penalty kicks Formula Hamilton makes French toast of the field What's impressed you most about Braves 1st-half?
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