Saturday, November 28, 2009

BOWDEN: HOW BOBBY BOWDEN FORGED A FOOTBALL DYNASTY-REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY


GIVEAWAY ENDED
BOWDEN

HOW BOBBY BOWDEN
FORGED A FOOTBALL DYNASTY

by Mike Freeman


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Bowden is the definitive biography of one of the greatest college football coaches of all time, Bobby Bowden, and the first family of football. Journalist Mike Freeman provides an in-depth and insightful look inside the life and mind of the iconic Florida State University coach and family man. Sweeping and emotional, Bowden not only highlights Bobby’s gridiron glory but also chronicles the family members’ very human events, including tragic deaths, criminal indictments, and loss of jobs and fortunes.

He is a giant among coaches, a Hall of Famer with a legacy that spans six full decades of coaching, and arguably the greatest Division I college football coach in history. And now Bobby Bowden finally has a biography that befits his stature: Bowden by award-winning journalist and author Mike Freeman.

Based on six years of research and interviews with Bowden himself, not to mention the Bowden family, former players, and opposing coaches, Bowden is the complete stunning story of the making of a legend.

Despite growing up in the segregated South and witnessing the ugly racism of the time, Bowden still developed into one of the most race-sensitive coaches in college history. When sick as a child, he listened to the radio and gained a taste for war strategy and for Alabama football games on Saturdays. He played football in high school but decided he wanted to be a coach. After years of turning around smaller football programs, and following a tumultuous but successful head coaching tenure at West Virginia University, Bowden accepted the post at Florida State University (FSU), a failing program that was regularly beaten by in-state rival University of Florida. In fact, just the year before Bowden became coach, in 1975, the president of FSU contemplated terminating the program altogether, particularly because the team had won only four games in the past three years.

What Bowden accomplished at FSU is nothing short of miraculous: twenty-one bowl wins and two national championships. And he was the only coach to secure a top-five ranking in the Associated Press polls for fourteen straight seasons. A brilliant tactician, he helped usher the pro passing game into college football, after initially doubting it could work on the college level. He has been an unrivaled recruiter, not only coaching his players but also becoming a surrogate father to many of them, all while producing thirty-one consensus All-Americans over the course of his tenure. He spawned one of the greatest rivalries in sports against the University of Miami. He trails only Penn State's Joe Paterno in career victories.

Along the way he has had to deal with family tragedies, scandals, and the rise and fall of his three sons' coaching careers. But he has been steadfast, with his good humor intact and with Ann, his wife of sixty years, at his side, raising a family of six children and now twenty-one grandchildren. As he nears the end of his career, though, the critics have their knives out, claiming, among many other things, that he has become a dinosaur who clings to his job so that he can win more games than Paterno.

This work examines the total Bowden and is the first of its kind on a one-of-a-kind coach. Poignant, blunt, and eye-opening, Bowden is a towering biography of a man who has left his mark on FSU and the game of college football.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mike Freeman is a national columnist for CBSSports.com. Previously, he covered the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and several college sports, and was an investigative and enterprise reporter for the New York Times and a columnist for the Florida Times-Union. He has also been a sports reporter, features writer, and investigative writer for the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the Dallas Morning News. Freeman is the author of three critically acclaimed books: ESPN: The Uncensored History; Bloody Sundays: Inside the Dazzling, Rough-and-Tumble World of the NFL; and Jim Brown: The Fierce Life of an American Hero. His most recent book is The All-Time Biggest Sports Jerks: And Other Goofballs, Cads, Miscreants, Reprobates, and Weirdos (Plus a Few Good Guys).

MY REVIEW/RESPONSE ABOUT "MY" COACH:

Please let me state up front I am a Florida State University alum as well as a HUGH college football fan. In my home, like many homes spread across the country, and the world, Bobby Bowden is synonymous with all that football, especially FSU football, should be. His statistics you can see in the review about the book. As a young man Bobby's interests in football began as he watched the high school team from his backyard in Birmingham, Alabama where he grew up. He played with friends and practiced as he got older with the team in high school. When attending Samford college, he watched and was a keen listener of Paul Bear Bryant, the dynamic coach of the University of Alabama. His love for the sport grew during those times and later when he played quarterback at Samford. His skills improved but so did his knowledge of the game as he grew to be a fine young man and joined different coaching staffs. He worked at South George Junior College, FSU (as an assistant), and the to West Virginia where he was sorely tested.

Coach Bowden's talent however, came in the form of a combination of things and they are the what goes into making a great coach. His vision, leadership skills, talent and that charming and magnetic personality are what gave him the strength to take the assignment at Florida State. When he returned, this time in the role of head coach, he knew his team needed special handling and he could give it to them. This was a team that had been losing so badly that the year before he went, they had considered closing the football program. Oh, are they glad they didn't as Bobby Bowden went in and after only one losing season that first year, brought Florida State University's Football program to national prominence.

Coach Bowden led the Seminole Football team to a bowl game for 26 consecutive years and has just clinched another bowl spot with a win this past week. The game is rought, but he loves it. His players are family and when he goes to their homes to recruit new young men, he tell their mothers he will care for them, nurture them, and make men of them. That is how he has recruited so many fine players over the years. He is second among active coaches for winning the most games in what had been a neck and neck tie, week by week , with Penn State's own legend, Joe "Pa" Paterno. Paterno and Bowden were the only two actively coaching men to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December of 2006. They were also presented with the Gold Medal which is the highest achievement you can receive and joined the company the likes of Eisenhower, J. F. Kennedy, and Norman Schwarzkopf. Paterno has slowly eeked ahead of Coach Bowden in the past two years as the FSU players have just not been able for some reason to connect the dots between the talent that comes in and the discipline they need to produce for him.

Bowden's players and fans (I can attest to this) adore him and his wife of 60 years, Ann. Bobby has a family of children involved with football as coaches or broadcasters or married to coaches! The university named the field at Doak Campbell Stadium after Coach Bowden in 2004. They wanted to rename the stadium after Coach but he put his foot down and said no. He does not seek accolades and yet he is one of the most sought after speakers in the country. His down home sensibilities and sense of humor, endear him to all. He has a huge grin and lives life to the fullest. He has almost reached the status of a folk hero as he is somewhat bigger than life. He continues to be a religious man and works for his church and can be found there every Sunday. He has a special interest in World War II history and is a reader all bloggers would take to heart for his enthusiasm for books. He loves to travel and if he retired tomorrow would be just fine...except for the loud weeping that would be heard across the country at the loss of our beloved coach.

Coach Bowden's words, mannerisms, boyish humor, and dedication to his players and the fans is what most people love about him the most. I have heard him say more than once that he loves football but it doesn't come first. He realizes it is just a game---a very important one, but not more important than his family and his God. This man is the real deal. He is what all of us who like to think we know him on a first name basis idolize and adore. Coach Bobby Bowden can be heard on the tape below and from that, those few of you who haven't heard him before will realize what a fine man he is and what a sad loss it will be when he does decide to take his "dad gum" hat and hang it up for good.
GIVEAWAY
WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK?
WHO WOULDN'T????
THANKS TO MICHAEL AND GREAT PEOPLE
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE
5 COPIES OF COACH BOWDEN'S
BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT
YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!


RULES:
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!



+1 ENTRY: COMMENT AND TELL ME ABOUT A FOOTBALL TEAM, SPORTS TEAM, OR SUCH, THAT YOU LIKE AND FOLLOW.

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT AND TELL ME IF YOU PLAY AN ORGANIZED SPORT NOW, OR EVER DID AND WHAT KIND IT WAS.

+1 MORE ENTRY: IF YOU BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY, LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW

ALL ENTRIES ARE DUE BY
6 PM, EST, DECEMBER 15



19 comments:

sharon54220 said...

OMG!! I'm the first one. I hope that's good.

Living in Wisconsin we have the Badgers (football) and of course the Green Bay Packers. I am a big fan.

This sounds like book I would love.

sharon54220@gmail.com

sharon54220 said...

The only sport I was ever involved in was bowling. I just quit a couple of years ago.

Bethie said...

Please count me in. My family follows the NY Giants. Every Sunday my husband and sons don their Giant gear and watch the game.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Bethie said...

+1 I played softball years ago. Does bowling count? I am on a bowling team.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

amanda18228 said...

The Seminoles! My husband and I are both FSU alums. Have you seen the commercials for Allstate that talk about Bobby and the Seminoles? Look them up on youtube, if you haven't. They are hilarious!

amandarwest@gmail.com

amanda18228 said...

I played softball and soccer when I was little.
amandarwest@gmail.com

amanda18228 said...

I tweeted this giveaway.
http://twitter.com/amandawk/status/6153913716
amandarwest@gmail.com

Martha Lawson said...

I'd love to win this one for my hubby!! I'm not a football fan at all. I like the Braves bb team! My husband on the other hand is a big fan of Ole Miss (University of Miss.). I know he would enjoy this book, keeping fingers crossed!!

I am a follower.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

Never played any kind of sports!!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Bingo said...

I am enjoying everyone's comments. Even though we lost to Florida today, and it was quite emotional in many respects, I am glad I was able to run this post today and hear from many of you. I AM a football nut. My husband played quarterback in high school and I keep telling him how lucky he is that we both share this love of football...I do believe I am more of a football fan than he is! It is a sad time of year as the season draws near the end....good luck to you all who are entering as football fan or not, Bobby Bowden is a class act and his book is funny and inspirational. I have an autographed photo and football but both were given to me...to meet him, or just hear him speak in person, would be a dream come true for me!

g.g. said...

I like the Patriots and the Yankees

anjamie4 AT gmail dot com

g.g. said...

I play tennis and also was on a badminton team


anjamie4 AT gmail dot com

Glenn said...

Love the Philadelphia Phillies - finally won it all last year after a 28 year drought, and came close again this year but fell a little short. Thanks for the giveaway.

glenn_pessano AT yahoo DOT com

Benita said...

I've always been a bit of a baseball fan. I love the Yankees, always have, ever since I was a little girl and my dad took me to see the games.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I was on the volleyball team in high school. I don't play sports now.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Susan said...

I'm a big sports fan I like both NCAA and pro teams. For football my favorite college team is the Nebraska Cornhuskers. It's kind of a given since I lived in Nebraska for 25 years. The Huskers had Devaney and Osbourne that really brought the whole system to where it is today.

The other NCAA football teams I follow are Boston College, Air Force, Wyoming and the USF Bulls.

I do admire Bowden. He built a great system at Florida State. HE is a coach a lot of schools wish they could have hired.

Susan said...

I played JV volleyball in high School. after I started working I played catcher on a women's fast pitch league and was a sub for the co-ed league. During the winter months I was on 3 bowling leagues.

Anonymous said...

I am an FSU fan but also a UT fan now that I am in Texas. Would of course love the Bobby book.

wickham dot mark at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I was on the cross country team, tennis team, and played flag football in college besides all the typical little league and soccer growing up

wickham dot mark at gmail dot com

CLICK HERE TO
SEE MY POLICY