The 1897 Georgia Bulldogs football team competed as a member of the SIAA for the 1897 college football season and completed the season with a 2–1 record. In the 1897 season, Georgia beat Georgia Tech for the first time and met both Clemson and Virginia for the first time. This was the Georgia Bulldogs' first season under the guidance of head coach Charles McCarthy.
It was in the Virginia game of 1897 that tragedy struck the Georgia Bulldogs. In the second half of that game, a Georgia fullback named Richard Vonalbade ("Von") Gammon, was fatally injured in a play. In reaction to his death, the Georgia, Georgia Tech and Mercer football teams disbanded, the Atlanta Journal ran a headline proclaiming, the "Death Knell of Football" and the Georgia legislature passed a bill to outlaw football in the state of Georgia. As the bill sat on the desk of Georgia Governor William Yates Atkinson, a letter that Gammon's mother, Rosalind Burns Gammon, had written to the state legislature was revealed. In her letter, she pleaded with the legislators not to pass the bill because her son so loved football. As a result reading her letter, Governor Atkinson vetoed the bill to ban football in Georgia.
Reed, Thomas Walter (1949). Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press. History of the University of Georgia; Chapter XVII: Athletics at the University from the Beginning Through 1947imprint pages 3441-3445