With about 30 minutes until kickoff against Missouri Saturday, the filled-to-capacity Georgia football student section let out an overwhelming roar. Then the noise shifted into a chant as one of the several honored guests made his grand arrival.
Blooper, the high-wired mascot of the Atlanta Braves, walked in front of the student section and was welcomed by cheers and chopping. Hairy Dawg accompanied Blooper, fresh off a parade Friday celebrating the World Series champions.
The Braves’ mascot jumped around, took pictures with fans and interacted with Hairy Dawg. He wore his red No. 0 Braves jersey before taking it off to reveal a white Hairy Dawg UGA jersey.
He’s real and he’s spectacular. pic.twitter.com/rLLmD1UsNQ
— McClain (@McclainBaxley) November 6, 2021
After exiting the field with Hairy Dawg, the two mascots returned to witness former Georgia football coach Mark Richt call the Dawgs and listen to the playing of the national anthem.
During the game, Blooper and Hairy took a picture with Uga and hung around the cheerleaders in front of the student section.
“I saw Blooper," said Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, who attended Game 5 of the World Series in Atlanta. "He kind of fired us up on the Dawg Walk.”
In the timeout after Georgia's first touchdown of the day, Braves outfielder Joc Pederson was welcomed on the 10-yard line, standing next to Blooper. Pederson joined the Braves in July and hit several home runs in the Braves' NLDS wins against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Throughout the Braves' playoff run, Pederson wore a pearl necklace and the trend caught on. All throughout the Battery in Atlanta, Braves fans wore pearls and beads to show their support of the hard-hitting outfielder.
The trend continued in Sanford Saturday.
“All our water boys had the beads or pearls on," UGA head coach Kirby Smart said. "My son is a big Joc fan."
Pederson tagged former UGA running back Todd Gurley, Cincinnati Reds and former UGA shortstop and Kyle Farmer and San Francisco pitcher Kyle Wood, but the Banner-Herald didn't see them.
Throughout the stadium there were fans wearing different Braves memorabilia. From jerseys with Freddie Freeman's name on the back, to hats and even the spike squad came prepared with a special set of blue-painted shoulder pads, which Blooper wore for much of the afternoon.
Georgia linebacker Nolan Smith is a long-time New York Yankees fan, but he found himself rooting for the Braves this postseason.
"I wanted (Freddie) Freeman, you know he was one of those guys who stuck it out with that program," Smith said. "That’s something that, you hear a lot of guys will stick around a program for a fifth or six years, but to see him win it and tuck (the ball) in his back pocket, I’ll never forget that."
The Braves won their first World Series since 1995 in a Game 6 victory over the Houston Houston Astros on Tuesday.
McClain Baxley is a recruiting reporter for the Athens Banner-Herald and the USA TODAY Network. Reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @mcclainbaxley.
This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Georgia v. Missouri: Joc Pederson, Braves mascot in Sanford Stadium