The Bulldog Nation lost one of its best ambassadors and greatest Dawgs last week with the passing of Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler. He will be laid to rest on Wednesday joining his wife Cecilia high above in heaven. Cheri and I loved Sonny (and Mrs. Seiler) beyond words, so we are greatly looking forward to our Sonny Seiler tribute that will come out in our UAB issue in a few weeks. Until then, we send an abundance of prayers to all of Sonny’s family, friends and associates.
While last week started with sad news, it ended with joy as everyone in Bulldog Nation reconvened to finally see the 2023 Dawgs.
For some, the slow start against UT Martin was alarming, which I find both comical and annoying. As Greg Poole points out in his From the Field column (page 42), this 2023 team is a work in progress.
Didn’t we kind of expect this?
After all, the 2022 undefeated, National Champions consisted of a Heisman Trophy finalist (who also was just shy of being a three year QB starter) leading the offense. And Bulldog fans should never under value what safety Christopher Smith (another three year starter) meant to the Georgia D’s contribution to back-to-back titles.
To further enhance my point here, I could rattle off a few more positions where new personnel is taking over for departed great Bulldogs, but I don’t think it is necessary. I sincerely hope any fans who are disgruntled with a 41 point victory perhaps got too early of a start in the hydration department this past weekend.
Seriously, this week’s game versus Ball State is a great opportunity for this 2023 Georgia team to take another step towards playing championship football. And as our cover displays, it’s also part two of the four-game September homestand.
Yes I know Georgia football isn’t a baseball organization and that it would be preferable if the schedule this month had a bit more pizazz. But one could also counter that the month ahead is perfect for a team trying to gel with a host of new players and leaders. That is why it is imperative that the best fan base in the country continues to be loud and proud each week their Dawgs take the field, no matter the opponent.
This issue of BI should get you ready for Saturday’s noon kickoff.
In Sports, you will find our usual offerings, plus the new bells and whistles we added in last week’s issue. With one game in the books, that means Bulldog legendary place-kicker Kevin Butler is back with his Players of the Game (page 45). And this season each week, KB will also name an Unsung Dawg of the Week. I won’t ruin the surprise, but I suspect you know whom his inaugural nod went to.
In our Social section, be sure to first turn to pages 24-27 to see photos from the Appointments at Five Farewell Party for Kitty Culpepper and Jenny Sligh. After almost four decades (36 years) of owning and running their Five Points shop, there is no telling what Kitty and Jenny have up their sleeves next. In my opinion, the recent boom of the Five Points area has a ton to do with these two ladies. Their spunk is unmatched. Cheers to them and best of luck to Jarrett Kemp as she carries on the legacy built at Appointments at Five.
You will also find over 60 fan photos from the UT Martin game (pages 30-38). The excitement for the first game of the new season certainly shines through with the images the BI camera captured.
Finally, in the Social section, our Georgia Girls (Mimi Whelan, pages 28, 29), Proust Q&A (Troy Lanier, page 40) and MixTape (Gary Warenfelt, page 39) series continue. As a UGA history major, I loved reading that Troy, Gary and I are kindred spirits. Can I get a “Go Dawgs” for the Franklin School of Arts and Sciences? And if you are into design and fashion, you will love getting to know Mimi Whelan in Georgia Girls. Is it bad that I’m familiar with many of the brands she mentions because of Cheri’s closet? Or is it from credit card statements?
That’s going to do if for me. Please enjoy our Ball State issue, which is also part two of Georgia’s four-game September homestand. Play ball and Go Dawgs!!