I was listening to an interview with Bobby Bowden on ESPN Radio over the weekend. Whether or not you like Florida State football, you gotta love Bobby Bowden.
As you probably know, this will be the first year in 56 years that Bowden, now 80 years old, will not be on the sidelines in some capacity. He was uncerimoniously ousted as head coach at FSU after the university’s board of trustees voted not to renew his contract. He wanted one more year. FSU said no.
He talked at length about his ouster, but this was a man that was not bitter one bit. He was hurt, to be sure. He felt the university owed him better than what he got. But he took a perspective you rarely see.
This is a man with his priorities in the right order. You see, Bobby Bowden is a man of faith. Mickey Andrews, Bowden’s defensive coordinator for years at FSU, when he talks of Bowden, he says,
“But again, it’s not about the stuff on the field. It’s about a man who reads Scripture every morning at 4am and then goes out and lives it day after day.”
He was asked about fearing death because he once said that death was the next big event after retirement. The interviewer mentioned that a month after Bear Bryant retired, he passed away. So the interviewer asked, “Are you afraid of anything?”
“Nothing. My faith is stronger than that. I didn’t ever want football to be my god. All these guys that burn out (in coaching)… well, dadgummit, don’t make football your god because you’re not going to win them all. I’m not afraid of anything. I’m not going to coach football anymore, but I’m not going to retire. There are more important things than football.”
Bowden went on to say that after he was ousted, instead of being bitter, he looked at as, “You know, the Good Lord wants me to do somethin’ else.”
That’s perspective. That’s faith.
I was never a FSU fan, but I’m a Bobby Bowden fan.