Something may pop, and I'm afraid that it may be this fellow's bulbous eyes.  

In honor of Black Friday, I present the first appearance of an African-American in Gotham City in Batman #13 (1942). Batman had been on the scene for over three years before he encountered this fellow, but that's not to say that he had never interacted with minorities before. Batman had already battled several Chinamen, all of whom were intrinsically evil yellow monsters with limited magical abilities in as true a case of art imitating life as you're apt to find.

It should be noted that this large-lipped, bug-eyed fellow is a porter on a passenger train traveling between Gotham City's Grand Central Station and California. Therefore, he's several steps better off than most of the jobless, cut-throat Caucasians that fill Batman's exploits. And he is aware that something strange is afoot on the train, making him far more clever than his clueless boss: the bumbling, white conductor.

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Uga Update: PETA wants Georgia to replace live Ugas with a robotic dog. While I'm intrinsically opposed to anything that PETA wants (see "Sea Kittens"), I happen to think that a robot Dawg would be awesome, and would be a great addition to the sidelines as it paced menacingly back and forth, glaring at the opposition with steely laser eyes and baring titanium teeth in a continuous growl. So way to go on finally having a kick ass idea, PETA. Here's to robot mascots!

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I'm sure that Uga VII would be pleased to know that we played football in his absence the same as we played it in his presence. That is, terribly.

Kentucky 34, UGA 27

Kentucky beat Georgia in Athens for the first time since 1977. (My brother wasn't even born at the time.) Georgia turned the ball over 4 times, solidifying our lock on the 119th ranking (out of 120) in the country for turnover margin on the season. Joe Cox threw two interceptions, including the final turnover in the game at 1:44 remaining as the Dawgs began a final drive for the tying points. On the upside, Uga VII thankfully didn't live to see it.

And so ends another home season of Georgia football. Sure it was exciting, but it wasn't very satisfying.

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The University of Georgia's football season has been so bad, it killed our mascot: Uga VII died of a heat attack yesterday, November 19, after a mere 23 games as mascot and only 15 months after the death of his predecessor, also from heart failure. Uga VII (born Loran's Best) was only 4 years old at the time of his death and had the shortest reign of all Ugas to date. As a result of his sudden departure, no live mascot will be lounging in his custom-built doghouse for Saturday's prime-time home game against Kentucky.

Uga VII: Lucky dog. Photo by Kelly Lambert of OnlineAthens.com. Used without permission.

Though it is too soon to tell, there is an indication that Uga VII may be the last Uga. "There may not be an Uga VIII," said Uga VII's owner, Swann Seiler, in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, What this means is still up for debate, as reporter Alexis Stevens followed typical AJC procedure and did not follow through on this intriguing line of inquiry, but it would not be unprecedented to have a differently named english bulldog mascot in future seasons. Prior to 1956, Georgia had bulldog mascots named Mike, Butch, and Mr. Angel. And lest we not forget more recently the 1986 temporary Uga IV replacement named Otto. Heck, our next mascot need not necessarily be a bulldog at all.

The historical record reports that Georgia's first football mascot was a goat. Columns, the University's internal newsletter, indicates that inaugural football coach Charles Herty nicknamed the team the "Goats" in February 1892. "At that time the goat was a mascot for everyone," UGA Associate Director of Alumni Relations Charles McBride is quoted in the Jan. 20, 1988 edition of the student-run Red and Black newspaper. "They would just decorate an old goat from the University farm and take it to the game." The Athens Banner-Herald newspaper claims the goat was our mascot for some time, at least two years, though the official mascot may have been the goat for as long as 3 or 4 decades. A paucity of recorded information makes ascertaining the time of the shift between official mascots uncertain, much less the name of that original goat.

Sorry, but I couldn't finda picture of a goat in the Red and Black.According to the University's Athletic Department and other sources, the unnamed live goat was replaced by a bull terrier named Trilby in 1894. From Trilby the University would generate the nickname "bulldogs," which took several decades to saturate the popular consciousness as team mascot despite many people claiming credit for the idea. The Feb. 4, 1938, Red and Black contains reminiscences by Herman J. Stegeman and Robert L. McWhorter -- both men who now have buildings on campus named in their honor -- who debate the exact dates but agree that the team was known internally as the Bulldogs prior to 1921. (Historical note: the game that Stegeman recalls against Yale discussed in the linked article above took place in 1923, not 1921.) The Bulldog was not made the official mascot of the University until a ceremony at halftime of the annual game versus Georgia Tech on Nov. 26, 1938.

While I don't expect a return to the Georgia Goat (a nickname possibly already claimed by current quarterback Joe Cox), I wouldn't be surprised to see a lineage change for the bulldogs. Like the University itself, the Ugas have been growing all too fat and indolent in recent years. Whether the Seilers have tired of the spotlight, the weekly journey from Savannah, or the minefield of internal UGA politics, perhaps a return to the likes of Mr. Angel would do us some good.

So long, Uga VII. It was nice knowing you.

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Facebook wins again: the 2009 New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year is "unfriend", a term that apparently defined "to remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook." Now in addition to promoting the decay of polite society, Facebook is ruining my language.

"Unfriend" was chosen over such universally accepted words as "netbook," "sexting," "tramp stamp," and "teabagger," which it turns out is now used with a complete lack of irony to describe participants in the Tea Party movement. (Let's just say that "teabagger" means something completely different where I come from.) This proves the voice of Facebook dominates that of the traditional mass media, at least within the offices of the New Oxford American Dictionary. And yes, Google assures me that the publisher of the NOAD, the Oxford University Press, does indeed have a Facebook page. Not that I'd go to Facebook to confirm it. Sure, that may be bad journalism, but I've got my principles.

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This is what 92,000 people standing in concern for a single person looks like:

Auburn 24, UGA 31

With 1:16 remaining in the game, UGA's Bacarri Rambo suffered a severe concussion that left him motionless on the field. It was the first time I've seen the cart have to carry a motionless player off the field in person, and I must say that the crowd, including the many Auburn fans, was quite supportive.

And despite a dismal first quarter played by the Bulldogs (no first downs, 14 points scored by Auburn), the game itself turned out to be another in a series of fantastic games this season. It is a shame that our record isn't better considering how entertaining the home games have been this season (with the exception of the Tennessee Tech blowout last week). Once more to go as Kentucky visits next week for the final 2009 home game, our UGA-record setting fourth night game this year.

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Remember those stories about computer-illiterate people who thing that a cd tray is a coffee holder? I've spent over 7 hours this week helping my aunt pick out a new desktop computer. Her biggest purchasing criteria: that the tower case be large enough to entirely fill its designated cabinet space so as to keep her cats from crawling behind it.

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In response to recent allegations of an existing sex tape, Carrie Prejean, the former Miss California who lost her shot at being Miss USA when she spoke out against gay marriage, has now come out against "sexting." I really have to say that I'm losing all respect for this girl. Once upon a time, she was a carefree lass who was willing to film naughty moving pictures to please her long-distance boyfriend. Later she sold her own flesh, accepting breast enhancements from beauty contest producers in order to help her win. But in her new book Still Standing, she says that her body is now a "temple of the Lord" and that she should be respected for her heart, "not for showing skin to look sexy."

Look, lady, I find it hard to respect anyone who willingly submits themselves to the degradations of a fixed beauty pageant and then whines on non-stop press junkets once they lose. But don't compound your problems by discouraging young women from sending naked pictures of themselves to their boyfriends. Think of the harm you're doing to all the poor young men with hot girlfriends that really need to show them off. You're damaging the self-esteem of millions of young Americans. Is that really the Christian thing to do? If all those hot young women stop sharing their bodies with young men, those men will turn to the only available alternative: other men. And we know that's not really what you want, Carrie. So, please, do the right thing and release your sex tape to the public. America is counting on you to save heterosexual marriage.

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Tennessee Tech 0, UGA 38

UGA homecoming weekend results in a huge win for the dogs. Huge win on the scoreboard, anyway, as UGA wins easily 38-0. I'm not sure that a defeat of Tennessee Tech University counts as a huge win in any other way. TTU certainly didn't seem to be trying very hard. Even their mascot didn't seem to care about his job, preferring to mingle with our cheerleaders instead of livening up the limited TTU fans in attendance. (Not that I blame him.) Whatever the case, it sure felt nice to win a game again after the latest Florida debacle, so I offer a hearty thanks to Tennessee Tech.

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Stop! Clobberin' Time meets Hammer Time.

I promise that I did not doctor this panel from Fantasic Four #136.

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To be continued...

 

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