Herschel Walker...Dominique Wilkins...Theresa Edwards...Charley Trippi...
That's just a few. And every Dawg has their own favorite, assuming they can narrow the list to one. But who is the greatest living legend in Georgia Bulldog sports history? What name is most synonymous with UGA Athletics?
There are a number of ways to take on this challenge. You could argue first that football is the biggest of sports in Athens and that Vince Dooley roamed the sidelines 'tween the hedges for a quarter century. Or maybe you prefer to talk impact for his/her team. If so, it'd be hard to argue against either Walker or Edwards.
For me however, I choose to look at impact over time. Who is the historical Dawg figure who's bark is as distinctive as their continuing contribution? Here's my top five living legends in Georgia Bulldog history:
5. Sonny Seiler - this should likely read the Seiler Family I guess. They're singularly responsible for the world's greatest mascot. And Uga is as steeped in Georgia Bulldog lore and tradition as...well, as anyone or anything. Much more so in fact. The mascot is adored by fans, but will always be first and foremost the Seilers' labor of love.
4. Herschel Walker - UGAs greatest athlete is also one of its greatest ambassadors. He left us a year early and craving for more, but has never forgotten his roots. He's the type of player the sport of football only glimpses once in a lifetime, so it's hard to argue against him being in the top five. His mere presence 'tween the hedges may have been decided by the toss of a coin, but it also brought to Athens the greatest three year run in Georgia football's storied history.
2. Larry Munson - the gravelly voice helped us get the picture for 42 seasons and is legendary in itself. But the words Munson chose during those years were what made him unequalled, remarkably unique and adored by so many. Great plays on the Georgia football field are not simply known for their athleticism and grace, but also the voice that brought them to life over the airwaves. In my mind Munson stands a bit taller than all except one man...
1. Dan Magill - Plain and simple, Coach Magill is UGA Athletics. He not only embodies the spirit of being a Dawg, but he's been around the campus for decades, nearly a century to tell the truth. He started as a bat boy but has since been an athlete (tennis and swimming), coach, SID, Georgia Bulldog Club secretary and longtime historian. He even had two Ugas named after him. What bigger honor is there than that?
To put it plainly, whenever the time comes that Dan Magill is no longer in the midst of the Dawg Nation but has ventured on to bark with the Ugas named after him, Lewis Grizzard, Francis Sinkwich, Wally Butts...and a host of others, there will be a resounding sigh among our legions of barkers. The loss will not garner the headlines that some others would, but his absence will be a chasm that no other could fill.
So there's my five. What are yours? What's wrong with mine? Who'd I miss? In other words, it's your turn...