The pre-game match-up between the mascots at the Sugar Bowl seems to be getting as much attention as the Texas Longhorns win over the Georgia Bulldogs. The moment was broadcast live on New Year’s Day, but the replay of the encounter between “Bevo” and “Uga” has gone viral.
It was over as soon as it started, but lots of fans are calling off-sides on Bevo the longhorn steer. During a pregame photo-op with Uga, the English Bulldog that’s the University of Georgia’s beloved mascot, Bevo busted out of her corral, knocking at least one person to the ground in what some say was an attempt to go after Uga.
The confined space and massive crowd were factors according to Uga’s handler, Charles Seiler. He says his counterpart for Texas told him the steer is not used to crowd and noise of the Sugar Bowl, combined with cramped quarters.
Bevo then went out of bounds while Seiler was getting Uga to sit for the photo of the two mascots.
“I heard a noise behind me and peripherally out of the side vision, I could hear girls screaming and so I just pulled on his leash, and I didn’t really have to tell him anything. He heard the noise too so we ran,” said Seiler.
The meeting with Bevo is not Uga’s first rodeo when it comes to photo-ops with other live mascots according to Seiler. But he doesn’t think Bevo was trying to maliciously attack Uga, adding he believes the media and certain fans are taking the video out of context.
“I think the Texas people kind of get a kick out of it looking like that Bevo was running Uga away, when actually, if you study it, and if you look at the depth of it, I don’t think it’s that kind of thing, but, whatever,” Seiler said.
Uga, Seiler, and everyone around weren’t hurt. Seiler says the Longhorn’s handler apologized profusely.
A Texas athletics spokesman says all established safety and security measures were in place for Bevo at the Sugar Bowl, including two halters, two chains and six handlers to hold him.