Bowden pre-game speech

I saw this linked in a thread on

It has been about an hour since I watched it.

I watched it about 5 times.

It evokes a number of thoughts an emotions in me.

It is .....

... painful


...a little shocking

I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill here, but ....

Well, first, you should all know where I'm coming from with regards to Bobby Bowden.

I was a child of the 70s and 80s. My first FSU-Florida game was when we got killed in 1974 -- 42-14 or something like that.

Then came Bowden in 1976 and everything changed. I remember the "Beginning with Bowden" bumper stickers. (Soon thereafter, the Gators came up with "Give em hell Pell" bumper stickers. After Pell's struggles on and off the field, a Seminole fan came up with "Hell, give 'em Pell!).

Anyway, I can't possibly explain to you what is was like to witness the birth of the program. And at the center of it all was Bowden. He was as quick-witted a person as you'd ever talk to. As a play-caller, I've never seen a coach so fearless. He would run any play at any time from any place on the field.

We were out-athleted in so many games back then but still scored points like crazy. You may not know that Bowden installed the option in the early 80s for Kelly Lowery and, to a lesser extent, Eric Thomas. He would run 5 or 6 reverses a game.

Some coaches innovate over a matter of years, he would innovate multiple times during a SEASON.

Almost as important, he advocated for the program by barnstorming the state and feeding funny lines to a fan base voraciously craving any morsel they could find.

And the Gators! Oh, it was more than they could handle. You've got to understand, there was no "cycle" of winning and losing back then. We were Rice and they were Texas. We were Tulsa and they were OU. We were San Diego St. and they were USC.

Can imagine what it would be like to be a Tulsa fan and have your program CATCH and then PASS Oklahama on the national scene. And then can you imagine what it would be like to be an Oklahoma fan when  that happened?

It was ugly and beautiful at the same time.

Now, here's the reality - if Bowden hadn't come to FSU, we could still be San Diego State. That's a good example because it's a good school in a talent-rich state with lots of things going for it -- that doesn't guarantee your program is great,.

So, that brings me back to this video.

I can't have more respect for what Coach Bowden has done for the program. But I find this video to be the equivalent of that clip when Nancy Reagan is whispering the right answers to then-President Reagan late in his second term.

Again, I don't want to overstate things or be melodramatic, but for me personally, seeing that pitiful attempt at a pre-game speech tells me it's time for me to let go of all the history, all of my great memories ... of my recognition that without Bobby Bowden, this blog might not even exist.

It's time for me to let go of all of that and say this:

It's time for Coach Bowden to retire.

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