Heaven knows, we in Bulldog Nation could use some good news after the way this week started, so here (for what it’s worth) is the best I can do under the circumstances:
On Tuesday afternoon, I attended the weekly meeting of the Henry County Kiwanis Club in McDonough, where the featured speaker was Vince Dooley. Coach Dooley was scheduled to appear at a book signing at Park Avenue Bank later in the afternoon and, from what South Metro Bulldog Club president John Wadsworth told me, Coach Dooley likes to couple his afternoon book signing engagements with speaking appearances before local civic clubs.
While Coach Dooley did not have any earth-shaking news to share, he did offer one bit of reassurance, which merely confirmed what we already had been led to believe, but which was good to hear from someone in the know, just the same: Uga VII will be introduced formally at the season-opener against Georgia Southern.
That isn’t news, per se, but it is comforting, nevertheless, and, as someone who was there for the "passing of the bone" ceremony at the ascension of Uga VI, I will feel a sense of closure and calm when the anointed successor is enthroned.
Other points of interest from Coach Dooley’s remarks:
- The night before the Sugar Bowl game against the Fighting Irish for the national championship, Barbara Dooley approached the president of Notre Dame and expressed her belief that he would have his supporters praying for the Golden Domers. When the priest replied that his God was not concerned with football, Mrs. Dooley said she was glad, because hers was. Given the outcome, I find it difficult to fault her theology.
- Derek Dooley, Vince’s youngest son and the head coach at Louisiana Tech, was offered the post of athletic director at the Ruston, La., institution three times before finally accepting it. When Coach Dooley fils initially refused the offer, he called Coach Dooley pere, who told him he had made a wise decision. After being asked a second time, the younger coach told his famous father that he felt obligated to become what used to be commonplace but is now a rarity---an athletic director who also serves as the head coach for his school’s most important sport---because, if he didn’t, his boss would turn him down the next time he asked for a favor. I’d have told Derek to take it because, if your immediate supervisor is yourself, your chances of getting fired are very slim.
- When asked about the Evil Genius and the hatred for Georgia acquired by Darth Visor during the 1966 Cocktail Party, Coach Dooley observed as part of his answer that, if Bill Stanfill could have one wish, it would be to sack Steve Spurrier one more time.
- If he had it to do over again, Vince wouldn’t blitz Dan Marino on fourth and five the second time around. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s probably a good call.
Even at his age---Coach Dooley will turn 76 on September 4---Georgia’s winningest head football coach knows how to work a room and, after the loss of the Red and Black’s most experienced offensive lineman, it was a good time to hear from him and be reminded that, all things considered, it’s still a great time to be a part of Bulldog Nation.