Ballad of Bobby Bowden

Matt's "Onion"-worthy post on premium info drew out a reference by me to "The Ballad of Bobby Bowden."

That got me a tad nostalgic and also made me wonder if I could remember all the lyrics. I can't, but I can remember quite a few.

Below the jump, I'll take a shot.

My nostolgia carried past that catchy little tune and reminded me (yet again, for many readers of this blog) of the glory years of the late 1970s.

You whippersnappers ought to place yourself back in that time every once in a while.

Our stadium seated under 50,000 people. The "erector set" criticism Gator fans often leveled was valid. It was a giant high school stadium, truth be told.

The "Chop" had not yet been invented. Our uniforms were still sharp, but probably didn't make the Top 100 of merchandise sales. WE were the OTHER TEAM's homecoming opponent.

And yet, FSU football has never and will never be more fun. To go from having nothing to having something is one of the greatest feelings on earth.


Which brings me to the ballad...

 "He came from West Viriginia

to the sunshine of the south

He backed up his performance

what he said with his mouth

When he came to Tallahassee

the only good thing was the band

but now them fighting Seminoles

Are the best team in the land.



Bobby Bowden

You're the coach for me

Bobby Bowden

please stay in Tallahassee

them Gator fans used to joke and clown

when Florida State would come to town

But they've stopped laughin'

Thanks to Bobby B.


Now Jimm J. and Wally

Love to put it up

They fill the air with footballs

They've really got the touch

Passing is their specialty

All Seminole fans know

That when them boys are throwin right

They offense has to go




The defense is the bright spot

For FSU this year

With Simmons in the middle

The fans can really cheer

The linebackers and linemen

Turn quarterbacks to junk

Will Butler, Jones and Ivory Joe

Help answer prayers with Monk.



I think there is at least one more verse I can't remember.

The song was written by Murray Goff. My parents still have the 45 single of that (hmmmm... an E-bay moment waiting to happen???) Next time I visit them, I'll listen all the way through.

For those of you still in diapers, some clarification of the song.

It was written in 1979 at a time when Bowden was considering leaving FSU. At that time, the big suitor was LSU. At the very time he was mulling leaving, we played a regionally televised game AT Baton Rouge. (Never forget that game -- Jim Lampley was the announcer; at that time it was VERY rare for us to be on TV). Anyway, as it turned out Bowden used that game as a barometer of the program -- if we had gotten blown out, he might have left.

Well, in typical Bowden fashion, he pulled a fast one on the Tigers. "Jimmy J. and Wally" referred to Jimmy Jordan and Wally Woodham, our two-headed quarterback. Woodham was precision short passter, Jordan was the gunslinger. Woodham would always start the game with Jordan coming on in relief.

But vs. LSU, Bowden started Jordan, feeling LSU was vulnerable to the deep ball. Sure enough, we hit a couple bombs and beat LSU 24-19. Bowden decided to stay (which helped the song enter FSU lore) and the rest is history.

FSU would go on to its first undefeated regular season that year.

Slight detour: Another momento of my parents is a framed picture, signed by Bowden, of the front page of the Democrat from Nov. 26, 1978. The headline  is "Two in a row!" and the picture is Bowden being carried off the field by Scott Warren and Willie Jones after a 38-21 win over UF. Back then, " two in a row" was a BIG DEAL.

Anyway, back to the ballad, the verse on the defense refers, obviously, to Ron Simmons.

Then, the final lines talk about what I believe was the greatest secondary (as a unit) in FSU history -- Bobby Butler and Ivory Joe Hunter at CBs, Keith Jones at SS and "Monk" Bonasorte at FS. Man, those guys could cover and hit and were incredibly opportunistic. (Monk had 8 INT's AS A FREE SAFETY in 1979, second most in a single season by an FSU player).

Anyway, Matt, you created this monster. Perhaps you can throw in a copy of "The Ballad .." as an incentive for new subscribers to your service?!?!?

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