G-Day is kicked off with a “Boom”


G-Day, the University of Georgia’s (UGA) spring training football game, played on April 15, was a big day for Dawg Nation in various ways. Championship rings were given to the graduating class, the collar was switched from the 10th Uga (Uga X) to the 11th Uga (Uga XI), and Brock Bowers, football player, was presented the John Mackey Award. 

“This G-Day game was the best first G-Day game I could have gone to. With the switching of the bulldog and giving out the rings, it made this day a game to remember. I even had chills the whole time,” Megan Busbee, junior, said. 

UGA is known for being the Bulldogs and has always had a real dog represent the school, taking on the name “Uga” during their time as mascot. At G-Day, Uga X, also known as Que, retired from being the mascot and Uga XI, named Boom, offically took on the position. Que was the mascot during both the 2021 and 2022 College Football National Championship wins. His retirement news came out only a few weeks before the offical day, leaving many fans wondering why the information was released so late. Unfortunately, closer to his retirement, news came out that the bulldog had started having health issues, so UGA decided to switch the collar to a new dog before anything happened to Que. 

 “The switching of the collar to a new bulldog is very rare, and was really amazing to actually see. It is something that I could very well never see again, so I am so glad I got to see Boom being brought in as the next Uga,” Jarrod Dobson, sophomore, said. 

During the 2022 season, the UGA football team won the Peach Bowl, the South Eastern Conference (SEC) Championship, and the National Chamionship, with each game earning the players a ring. At the G-Day game, the graduating team members were presented a box with their custom rings. The sets included a ring for each of the three wins along with an additional one the university provided for the undefeated season overall.  

“It was really cool to be in the stadium and watch as players, like Stetson Bennett, being presented with the champion rings,” Tyler Bickerton, freshman, said. 

Brock Bowers was presented the 2022 John Mackey Award, which is given to the most outstanding tight end in college football. This is an offensive position in which the player blocks the defense and catches or runs the football down the field. The award was a huge honor as it is only given to one player per season out of all of college football. Bowers also became the first UGA player in history to win the John Mackey award. 

“The success we had last year has helped me out, and I could not have done it without my coaches or my teammates,” Bowers said. 

G-Day has been a tradition since 1941 and is still being played to this day; however, the 2023 spring training game has arguably been the most eventful one yet.