Also about that lunch. I’d no sooner gotten home when the phone rang. It was Dooley. He’d heard about my Adams audience, and not from me. “What was that about?” Dooley asked. I said, “According to your president, it was so he and I could get to know one another better.” Dooley laughed and said, “What that meant was, ‘Don’t write anything else.’ ”
Being terrible at following instructions, I wrote a few — OK, more than a few — more things, the stadium-renaming suggestion among them. By then, I’d long since staked out a position on Dooley’s side. (I wasn’t nearly alone in this, I should note.) Over the years, Adams and I would hold many more conversations, nearly all of them pleasant, and I can’t say I ever disliked him as a person. I just couldn’t grasp why two really smart guys – meaning Adams and Dooley, not me – wound up haggling over six months.
But that was then, and now is different. Adams’ successor is doing right by one of the greatest servants UGA has ever had. (Dan Magill and Claude Felton would fill out that podium.) Best of all, Vincent Joseph Dooley is still around – he’s 86 – to enjoy the moment. Which he absolutely will, and he absolutely should.
There is, however, one person who will enjoy it even more. In May 2012, news broke that Adams was about to announce his impending resignation as president. Vince Dooley was driving back from Atlanta when he got the word. His passenger said, “There’s something I have to do,” and she directed him to head not for Milledge Circle but for Broad Street. And that spring night, Barbara Dooley rang the chapel bell.