When Yale’s first ever “Handsome Dan” bulldog died in 1898, his remains were stuffed and put into a glass case in the trophy room of Payne Whitney Gymnasium. But starting today, he will make a comeback on the fields of the Yale Bowl.
A quarter-ton bronze statue of the bulldog — modeled off his still-preserved remains — will be permanently installed at the Yale Bowl today, the Associated Press reported. That’s just in time for the bronze bulldog to strike fear (we hope) into the hearts of Harvard students at the annual Harvard-Yale football game on Nov. 19.
Apparently Handsome Dan was “old and scrawny” at his death, so the makers of his statue got creative. They made a mold of his stuffed body and blew it up to one-and-a-half times life size, then “bulked him up with the kind of muscles he once had in his youth,” the Associate Press writes.
So that Harvard fans won’t be able to abduct him, Handsome Dan the Statue will be firmly bolted down to a granite base, connected to another concrete base. Mark Simon, a founding partner of the firm Centerbrook Architects & Planners that created the statue, said he will be “very, very secure.”
Simon told the Associated Press that ideally he would create a whole line of Handsome Dans to adorn the western entrance of the Yale Bowl, but the deadline before The Game was too tight to make that possible. Maybe next year?