December 14, 2011 12:00 PM

To understand Jason Aldean’s devotion to University of Georgia football, look no further than his dog. Infatuated with the Bulldogs since he was a kid in the ’80s, Aldean decided he wanted an English bulldog like Uga, the Georgia mascot. But not just any English bulldog would do. “I wanted the same bloodline as the actual mascot, so I found a breeder who had one of the sons of Uga,” he says. Not long after, Athens (named for the town where UGA is located) joined the family. “The day we brought her home, I had a Georgia helmet on the floor, and she went right up to it. She’s a natural-born fan.” Good thing, since sports are serious business in the Aldean household, where a barn that’s been converted into the singer’s man cave is festooned with sports memorabilia from UGA and his beloved Atlanta Braves. Daughters Keeley, 8, and Kendyl, 4, are already Braves and Bulldogs fans. “There’s no other way,” jokes Aldean, pointing to Keeley’s softball uniform number-3-that honors legendary former Braves outfielder Dale Murphy. And even when his teams are losing, Aldean keeps the faith. “When you’re a fan, you live and die by what your teams do each year,” he says. “But there’s always next year. I’m an optimist when it comes to my teams.”

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