ESPN reporter & Florida grad Laura Rutledge admits love for Uga X in one-on-one interview with DawgNation
ESPN sideline reporter and SECNation host Laura Rutledge has encountered quite a few intriguing experiences surrounding the Georgia football program over the last several weeks. On Thursday, DawgNation received an opportunity to chat with Rutledge on all of those subjects.
She also weighed in on Georgia’s chances of making the College Football Playoffs and the best place to get tailgate supplies for the SEC Championship.
Without a doubt, Rutledge has received the most attention off air this season for two players nailing her along the sideline during the Georgia-UMass game on Nov. 17. But on the same day prior to her sideline encounter, Rutledge experienced another blooper reel moment.
Georgia’s mascot, Uga X, appeared on ESPN’s “SEC Nation”, and Rutledge was holding his leash when suddenly, the 62-pound bulldog decided he had experienced enough of the show and tried to leave the set. Apparently his departure was coming at all costs because Uga X dragged Rutledge along the ground with him.
“I love Uga. Uga does not love me as much as I love him,” she said.
Rutledge hilariously described the moment during our conversation. She explained that she interacted with Uga prior to the show, hoping he would grow comfortable with her. But all bets were off when the cameras started.
“I got down to try to get him to give me a kiss or something, and he totally denies me (on air), which earlier on in the day, he hadn’t been doing that. He was all in. We were really vibing with each other,” Rutledge said. “But then I guess the camera lights hit him, and all the sudden, he just wasn’t feeling it anymore.
“But then he started to sort of run away and pull me. I thought ‘I cannot let go of this dog because if Uga goes on the loose, and if I lose him, I will never be forgiven.’ It would just be the worst thing in the world.”
Her father helped pay her debt. He held the camera, and ironically enough, he is a Georgia Tech fan.
“I’m not sure, as a Georgia Tech guy, he has recovered yet,” she joked. “I think that’s another fun kicker for Georgia fans — to know that a Georgia Tech grad had to film that video.”
The end of our conversation with Rutledge switched to the SEC Championship and Pilot Flying J as one of the best places to get tailgate supplies.
“I think the biggest thing with Pilot is that when you’re in the SEC or just around the country and you may be on the road and kind of figuring out ‘Ok, at the last minute, I’ve got to grab some tailgating stuff.’ They really are a one-stop shop for all of that.”
Rutledge picked Alabama to win this weekend, but she says the Bulldogs still have a chance to get into the College Football Playoffs because of the eye test.
“Georgia, to me, no matter what happens against Alabama, is deserving to be in the College Football Playoffs,” she stated. “I get it, they do have the one loss to LSU. They would have another loss to Alabama, but it’s not apples to apples because Alabama is the No. 1 team, and Georgia has to play them to try and get into the College Football Playoffs.
“I don’t think you can watch the way that Georgia plays in comparison to Oklahoma and Ohio State and say that Georgia is not better than them. They just are. They are a more complete team.”
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