Patrick Sheehan (COL ’81), the first to don the now-familiar Jack the Bulldog mascot costume, died in a car accident Saturday when an SUV lost control and slammed into his cab on the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx. The cab driver, Ata Noorzi, also died.
Sheehan was headed to LaGuardia Airport for a business trip when a northbound black SUV barreled over the divider into the southbound lane, tearing off the roof of the cab, according to the New York Daily News. The black SUV also hit another car in the southbound lane. The drivers and passengers of both SUVs were taken to a hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.
“He was a funny, hardworking, very talented, creative guy,” Tim Sheehan, Patrick Sheehan’s brother, told the New York Daily News. “He knew how to tell a joke and put on voices and do impressions.”
Sheehan first wore the mascot costume in 1977, after the English bulldog Jack II retired. This came shortly after a student committee raised money to restore the tradition of having a live bulldog on campus in 1962, according to a 1983 article in the Georgetown Magazine.
After selecting the University’s new mascot in late August, the Bulldog Advisory Committee has finalized many of the puppy’s living arrangements and is ready to bring the bulldog to campus. The puppy arrives this week.
Paul O’Neill (COL ’86), one member of the BAC, said in a press conference that the new mascot’s official name is John B. Carroll. He also revealed several changes to the mascot’s lifestyle, among them a move from living in a dorm to living in a townhouse. Unlike J.J., who had little privacy and room for himself due to his living in a dorm, John Carroll will have his own townhouse, complete with an official caretaker.
O’Neill explained that a townhouse leaves the mascot with his own space and some time away from the public eye.
Additionally, the Jack Crew will be drastically reduced in size to about four or five students. “It’s possible that a dog can have too many masters,” O’Neill said. The Jack Crew will also receive more training on how to handle the dog.
The BAC has begun the application process for the mascot’s caretaker. According to the position description, the University will choose someone who “who loves dogs, is passionate about Georgetown University and will facilitate visibility of the bulldog mascot on campus.”
O’Neill said that the BAC is looking for a long-term commitment from the chosen caretaker, which he explained means around five years. Ideally, the new caretaker would take care of John Carroll for his entire life. The position is open to anyone and the BAC will accept applications for the position through Friday.
NAWWW SO CUTEEEE. (Note: none of these puppies are the actual bulldog).
The Georgetown Community’s newest member is about nine weeks old, drools a lot, and snorts constantly.
Rachel Pugh, Director of Media Relations, announced earlier today that the Bulldog Advisory Committee (yes, there is an entire committee at Georgetown dedicated to dealing with the mascots) chose a new puppy to replace Jack Jr.
The BAC, formed this summer in response to the backlash towards the University’s controversial decision on J.J., went through the best offers that poured in after the University announced J.J. would retire.
The group, which is comprised of Pugh, Friar Fr. Christopher Steck, members of the Jack Crew, and alumni, settled on this new puppy Wednesday.
Pugh said the process is in its very early stages, so very little has been decided on for training, housing, care, and other needs the puppy may have. The group will take into account what they learned from caring for J.J.
In two weeks, a four-month-old bulldog puppy named Jack Jr., or J.J., will join Jack the Bulldog as a Georgetown mascot-in-training. The puppy was a gift from bulldog breeders Janice and Marcus Hochstetler, the parents of two Georgetown students. In a University statement, Jack’s caretaker Rev. Christopher Steck, S.J., noted that J.J. has “the bulldog penchant for wrestling and already enjoys ripping boxes apart.”
“J.J. has a very mellow personality,” Steck said. “He likes to sit in laps and is curious about the sights and sounds of the world.”
On the afternoon of April 13, the University will hold an official welcome party for J.J. A website will allow students to track J.J.’s progress as he travels from his birthplace in California to the Hilltop. You can also check out this Facebook page for more photos and information about J.J. He’s also on Twitter.
J.J. will live with eight-year-old Jack in Steck’s New South residence, taking classes on box-eating and nap-taking. As he has since 2003, Jack the Bulldog will still appear at Georgetown games in the fall, while J.J. learns the ropes.
“Jack’s presence will provide important support to J.J., since the older dog is already comfortable with his life as a mascot at Georgetown,” Steck said. “J.J. will be looking for signals from Jack, and Jack’s enthusiasm in different environments will encourage J.J.’s own.”
J.J.’s arrival signals the beginning of a transition period from one mascot to another, as age begins to take a toll on our current mascot. Jack tore his ACL while jumping onto a couch earlier this year, and is expected to have surgery in April.
“We are extremely grateful for the Hochstetlers’ gift of a new bulldog puppy to the Georgetown community,” said University spokeswoman Stacy Kerr in a statement. “We are thrilled that J.J. will be joining Jack the Bulldog on campus.”
Jack, Our beloved mascot and the dog who eats boxes so we don’t have to, tore an ACL on Sunday. According to Fr. Christopher Steck, Jack likely injured himself jumping on a couch. Steck tweeted Monday that the hobbled bulldog will need two months to recover.
Initially attended to by the mother of former Hoyas basketball player Ryan Dougherty (COL ’11), who is a veterinarian, Jack will visit a canine orthopedic surgeon to plan his recovery. Steck initially suggested that surgery is probable.
The NCAA confirmed to USA Todaythat Jack will be allowed to attend the Final Four if he has recovered from his injuries and, of course, if the Casual Hoya Delusion Train makes a stop in New Orleans. Mascots do not travel to regional sites.
Jack had to be carried to the Selection Sunday party in Leo’s Sunday. He is not allowed to use stairs for the time being.
The bulldog is the quintessential college mascot. He’s strong, he’s pugnacious, but he’s still cuddly and adorable enough to dress up and take for walks. But according to a recent article published by New York Times Magazine, this perfect breed of mascot is running into some serious trouble.
The story focuses on the practices of breeders of the English bulldog, the breed to which Jack, along with other famous mascots like Yale’s Handsome Dan and UGA’s creatively named Uga, belongs. According to the article, breeders have practiced so much rampant genetic manipulation on English Bulldogs, including inbreeding and targeting “extreme traits,” that English bulldogs as a whole have developed a wide array of health problems. The breed now has a high incidence of respiratory illness, neurological disorders, and difficulties in reproduction and birth, to name a few on the Bulldog’s unusually long list.
The deterioration of the English Bulldog’s health has led some to consider whether continued breeding is ethically sound. And although the article focuses mostly on Uga as its example of a college bulldog, we can’t help but think about the fate of our own poor little Jack. After all, he helps us when we’re stressing about finals, he’s inexplicably gained us street cred as a dangerous school, and he rips apart boxes adorned with opposing teams’ logos like we’ve never seen. We can only hope the poor guy’s health isn’t flailing like those of his relatives.
What the article doesn’t explain, however, is what kind of sick breeding practices led to this. Those are the ones we’d really like to see eradicated.
Last Thursday was “Puppy Day” at George Mason’s law school, when the school paired with a local rescue organization to bring cuddly puppies to campus as a study break for stressed law students.
The Washington Post‘s description of the event makes it difficult not to say aww (video included at link):
The stress of looming exams at George Mason University School of Law lifted for a couple of hours Thursday, thanks to the arrival of 15 homeless and adoptable puppies with velvety ears, soul-searching eyes and names like Doughboy, Sugar and Sue.
It seems that Jack the Bulldog has read on Facebook and Twitter that a lot of Hoyas wanted something similar at Georgetown. From noon to 1 p.m. tomorrow, Jack will be in Shea Commons on the first floor of the Hariri Building, according to an e-mail sent to students in the McDonough School of Business. Charitably taking a break from his entitled, luxurious lifestyle that includes transportation via golf cart and personal service from a crew of doting undergraduates, Jack will supposedly allow students to pet him for good luck.
While only students in the MSB received the e-mail, that doesn’t mean stressed students from the College, the SFS and the NHS shouldn’t descend on Hariri. But you might want to wear the school’s colors of green and silver to blend in.
After entering the Society of Jesus, Pilarz returned to his alma mater in 1996 to teach as an English professor. Before he left to become the president of the University of Scranton, Pilarz also served as interim University Chaplain.
While at Georgetown, Pilarz got involved in the “Bring Back Jack” movement, which led to the purchase of Jack the Bulldog in 1999. (Later that year, the Class of 1999 awarded Pilarz the Edward B. Bunn, S.J., Award for Faculty Excellence.)
As Jack’s caretaker, he ultimately brought the dog with him to Scranton when he left in 2003. Jack, now 11, is set to move to Marquette with Pilarz next summer.
The University of Scranton thrived under Pilarz’s leadership, launching a $125 million capital campaign that led to the construction of new residence halls, a student center, and a science building. And despite the distance, Pilarz still maintained a close relationship with Georgetown; he received the Alumni Association’s highest honor, the John Carroll Award, in 2009.
Pilarz will replace Fr. Robert A. Wild, who will step down at the end of the 2010-2011 academic year.