This is a column I didn’t want to write, but the column I was afraid of for nearly a year may be unavoidable.
And on Wednesday afternoon, the news came that no one with an ounce of humanity would want to hear: the legendary Florida State University football coach. Bobby Bowden He announced that he had unspecified terminal illness. And a subsequent uninterpreted statement-“I am peaceful.” -For many of us, it’s just added to the intestinal punch.
Immediately from Tallahassee to Walla Walla, Washington. Millions of hearts It was certainly broken and definitely shed some tears.
A faith-based 91-year-old southern gentleman like Bowden was able to make all strangers feel like he was their best friend in about five minutes, so everyone at this time of his I didn’t want you to cry because of it.
“I am peaceful”:Bobby Bowden of FSU diagnosed with end-of-life medical condition
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He lived the most extraordinary life and often told people that he was immeasurably blessed. It begins with marrying the same woman, Anne Estoc, for 72 years and raising six children, but his fame is the result of editing the coach record of 377-129-4, second only to Joe Paterno. This is the second victory.
But dad, it’s still painful to think that in the next few days, weeks, or months, you might lose the best ambassador college football you’ve ever played.
Bobby Bowden: College Football’s Greatest Ambassador
To be honest, Robert Klekler Bowden will never be there again. So many coaches are really good people, but it is doubtful that any of them have duplicated an element of his hospitality. Whether you’re an old acquaintance or a relatively new acquaintance, Bowden has brought that warm “How are you, I’m glad to meet you” persona to everyone he meets.
“I remember he telling us to be friendly to our fans. Don’t exaggerate our fans,” said LeRoy Butler from Jacksonville in the cornerback of a former FSU star. “He said,” Hello, let them sit down and tell them the story of their favorite FSU. “When you think about it, it was also the way he was with people. ”
Even fans of rival football programs who hated Seminoles couldn’t really hate Bowden. Not at least if they met him in person. No one killed people as kindly as a man roaming FSU bystanders during the 34 turbulent seasons (1976-2009).
Chuck Walsh, Director of Media Communications at FSU Basketball, briefly describes Bowden: “He wrote a book on how to be kind to people.”
It didn’t matter if Knolls had just lost to Miami in another “Wide Light” and was in the national championship, defeated Clemson in “Pantrusky”, or was talking at a Baptist tournament. Bowden was an undisputed no. .. 1 When it comes to entertaining the crowd.
Bowden’s Other Stories
For players, fans, colleagues, or anyone who happens to come across him, Bowden’s influence goes far beyond the soccer field.
That’s why the news of his “terminal” medical condition comes to many. Bowden is one of those who makes everyone feel special just because of his charming and warm self.
Bowden’s humor cut everyone, including himself
He may be the most media-friendly coach ever. In the 1980s sit-in for “Breakfast with Bobby” on Sunday morning after every Saturday night home game, I’ll never forget what he said: story. ”
They no longer just make such coaches. On the contrary, many coaches want to block us in the sense of football rather than actually talking to us. All members of the media may be given extra time on the phone or in a crowded room as needed.
Bowden’s humor, especially the self-deprecating kind of reputation, was also legendary. When his career was nearing the end, he liked to say, “Once you retire, there’s only one big event left.”
After he retired, I asked him to set a record for another coach that most people don’t know about. Legendary coach Amos Alonzo Stag laughed and laughed after informing him that he had lived longer than the head coach of Division I college football (102 years, 7 months, 1 day). I answered.
But deeply, I was serious. I wanted Bowden to live over 100 just because this world is a better place for him to be still there. He is one of the people you don’t want to say goodbye to.
Butler, who is part of the daily sports talk show in Milwaukee at 1250 am, was particularly pleased in January when Bowden agreed to attend as a guest. He then publicly confirmed how difficult the recovery was with a positive COVID-19 test, then stopped broadcasting and gave Butler some personal thoughts.
At the time, Butler was a finalist in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and wanted to join this year, partly because of the long-term potential for Bowden to fulfill his desire to be his presenter.
“I don’t want to wait for someone to die to show gratitude for what someone has done for you,” Butler said. “So I was very happy to have him appear on the radio show. After we talked, the first thing I thought was that he wanted to be inducted into the Hall of Fame so he could introduce me. That is.
“He saved me a lot of my life. I don’t know what happened because I was Proposal 48 and no school wanted to give me a scholarship. [academic casualty] In 1986. He helped me become the player I was in and the person I was in. The man is amazing. I owe him a lot. ”
Many of his players, coaches, fans and media who featured FSU during the Bowden era feel the same. Given his age and the fight for COVID, Wednesday’s news about his terminal illness was shocking, but it still surprises you.
I don’t want Bobby Bowden to leave us. Again, that is impossible because he lives in the hearts and minds of so many people that he has influenced.
We must be peaceful with it.
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The legendary tenderness of FSU makes it difficult to lose him
Source link The legendary tenderness of FSU makes it difficult to lose him