Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Legend Retires

Coach Bowden in his first season as coach of the Seminoles. Thanks to CNNSI.com for the use of the photo.

Earlier this afternoon around 2:15 eastern time the rumors from Tallahassee became official and Bobby Bowden has retired from Florida State University. Bowden not only put the football program on the map he also put the school on the map. All in all he won 388 games in a career that started at South Georgia College and continued to Howard College and West Virginia before spending the last 34 years at Florida State.

Known almost as well for his compassion toward others as his coaching ability, Bowden was a first year head coach at West Virginia University when the tragic plane crash of the Marshall University football team occurred. Bowden asked NCAA permission to wear Marshall jerseys and play Marshall's final game of the 1970 season against Ohio, but was denied. In memory of the victims of the crash, Mountaineers players put green crosses and the initials "MU" on their helmets. Bowden allowed Marshall's new head coach Jack Lengyel and his assistants access to game film and playbooks to acquaint themselves with the veer offense, a variation of the option offense which aids teams with weak offensive lines. Another story comes from Tony Barnhart is todays AJC when he described a postgame press conference when the Noles lost to Miami 16-10 in overtime just one day after the funeral of his grandson. All of us had a job to do but when you’re talking to a man who just lost a grandson named after him, a football game just doesn’t seem very important. But as always, Bowden answered our questions, even the personal ones about his pain. When Bowden turned to leave for what was going to be a difficult trip back to Tallahassee, he took off his Florida State cap. He signed his name underneath the bill of the cap and then threw it to Joe Henderson, the fine columnist from the Tampa Tribune. “Hey, Joe,” Bowden said. “Give that to your grandson.” Then he walked away.

I need to see this movie. The film is called "The Good Fight." Here is a quick look at the first feature length documentary inside a college football season.

I will let the FSU graduate and historian The Captain give his take on the situation later in the week. In the meantime here are some Bowden clips to keep you entertained.

Bobby Bowden Waldorf-Astoria Story -youtube

FSU Coach Won With a Smile - Ivan Maisel, espn.com

On Bobby Bowden, What Happens Next - La Times

Ending Shouldn't outweigh Bowden's Greatness - USA Today

Bowden last in his kind -CNNSI

Goodbye Bobby - News Herald - Panama City

From 2008 Bowden's Booster Tour Has Nostalgic Feel - Tampa Tribune

Bowdon Bows Out - Orlando Sentinel

Game Won't Be Same -ESPN.com

Dadgummit, Bowden Was an Original - Fanhouse

Coaches aross the nation pay tribute to Bowden -Tallahassee Demorcrat

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