[su_spacer size=”20″] You wonder, yes, you wonder . . . someone’s already touting that term and the season’s just beginning. What’s up? Must be some hardcore, who’s never stopped breathing football, since last season. Is that person already shouting, “Ditch Richt? Has this die-hard fan found his eyesight faltering from watching reruns of last season’s plays? Has a family member, either wife or husband, laid down the law about what will occur as far as this season goes? And a final guess, “Does this syndrome occur just as in school when in that particular point in a quarter, the mind is willing but the body isn’t?” Another Saturday, two hundred and fifty miles to reach the Classic City. A long haul for thousands of fans that make the trek from all over the state, the largest east of the Mississippi, don’t forget. Likewise for the out-of-state fans.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Well, wrong, wrong, to the questions above. A definition of “Football Fallout” – it’s all the incredible rewards birthed by a winning football team. Some might say the intangible or tangible gains of yet another winning season.
[su_spacer size=”40″] In the early 80s, when pursuit of a different career sent me back to graduate school at Georgia Southern, I commented to the professor that two Georgia professors had written the book we were using in a Public Administration class. He replied without blinking an eye, “That’s what comes from having a winning football team.” So one of the greatest rewards of “Football Fallout” is how it affects that mass of fans who support and endow the university. Their funds and interest breathe new life into the school each year. “Football Fallout” sustains the university and enriches the town and the state by the outcome of what happens on the gridiron on any given Saturday.
* * *[su_spacer size=”40″] I’ve paused walking into the Hargrett. It hasn’t been on my circuit this summer, but today I’m back. Back into the comfort of those marble floors and walls, where exhibits beckon, and stacks stand replete with books no one would ever be able to read in a lifetime. A stack junkie, I love to just wander there. My eyes alighting like those of a butterfly on some tome whose title attracts me. But today before I allow myself the pleasure, I’m soaking up what is current, what is on display. Current exhibits in the Special Collections Libraries include “Set Off for Georgia . . .” an exhibit commemorating the 250th anniversary of John Bartram’s visit to North America. And that is just one of the current attractions- a virtual smorgasbord, including the Pennington Radio Collection and an exhibit opening September 18 in the Russell Library Gallery-“Seeing Georgia.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] But today what catches my eye is a plaque. I read the inscription, which lists those who supported the initial offerings for the Vincent J. Dooley Library Endowment Fund, set up in 1988. With an initial gift of $100, 000, Coach Dooley and his wife Barbara shepherded the fund to more than $2.3 million. This growth reflects the admiration friends and students held for the Coach. Dooley, a scholar himself, has always shared his love of learning with his players and fans, and many followed suit in giving to the fund.
[su_spacer size=”40″] I study the names of those who have donated; I recognize players, local residents, some near and some from far away. Their gifts in honoring Coach Dooley or the library have enriched the libraries and their holdings. How lucky are we in the state of Georgia to have such a treasure, the three Special Collections Libraries, bolstered by the generosity of a winning football coach, his friends and players.
[su_spacer size=”40″] I note the name of one of the donors- a South Georgia boy from Jesup- one Hurley Jones, who lettered 1951-52. Jones excelled in football and later throughout his career as a revered cardiac doctor in the Glynn County area. Tall, elegant, somewhat reserved, Hurley was one of the most respected doctors to ever practice at the Glynn-Brunswick Memorial Hospital, later South Georgia Regional Healthcare Center.
[su_spacer size=”40″] A legend as a football player and one as a doctor. Nurses told incredible stories of a man so impassioned with his work that sometimes he would be seen wandering around the parking lot looking for his car. Its parking spot, forgotten during the hours he saw patients and took time to care and comfort. I still remember my husband commenting about the tears he heard in Hurley’s voice when he told the family that Aunt Cornelia’s heart just wasn’t strong enough anymore. We all knew what a valiant effort he had made. I have often thought of his battles saving lives comparable to his determined forays on the football field.
[su_spacer size=”40″] On the plaque I note another donation made in his honor. A fan of this great person, successful on the field and off. A mentor to many. A father to three children who followed in his footsteps and now practice medicine in Glynn County and the beloved husband of wife Mary Virginia Jones.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “Football Fallout” it’s the stories to tell as the season begins, the ones to find as the season progresses, and the rewards that such a great program endows. “Football Fallout,” it’s a sprinkling of fairy dust that makes the impossible happen.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Remember the annual football exhibit from the archives of the UGA Athletics Association is now in place. Last year’s exhibit honored Coach Dooley, “A Retrospective, 1954-1988.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Guided tours of the exhibit, “Undisputed,” will be offered Fridays at 3:30 p.m. before each home football fame, beginning Sept. 4. And as a teaser the exhibit deals with the 1980 Championship Season- Lindsey Scott’s silver britches, along with those of other playing mates, a piece of railroad track celebrating the “Track People,” and an added tribute to the late Erk Russell, who coined the term “Junkyard Dogs” and manned and coached the defensive lines that led Georgia to victory during that incredible decade.
[su_spacer size=”10″] UGA Libraries News & Events ” Blog Archive ” Tour, Annual Football Exhibit
[su_spacer size=”40″] Hurrah for winning Georgia teams, Hurrah for the UGA Libraries. GO DAWGS, 2015!
[su_spacer size=”10″] Dooley Fund :: Current Endowments :: Development Department :: UGA Libraries