Winning's Only Part of the Game: Lessons of Life and Footballby Bobby Bowden
The Bowdens are the First Family of college football. Bobby, the father, built the winningest program of the decade at Florida State. Son Terry took over an Auburn team on probation and led it back into the top tier of the sport. Son Tommy is Auburn's offensive coordinator and will likely get his own program in the next few seasons. Son Jeff, now coaching Florida State receivers, will earn his own head coaching opportunity one day. So will the boys' brother-in-law Jack Hines - who played for Bobby, married his oldest daughter, Robyn, and now coaches with Terry at Auburn. Reading this book is like accepting an exclusive invitation to a Bowden family gathering, where discussions range from informal debates about the best winning strategy to disarmingly candid appraisals of the racial undercurrents of college athletics. Listen to inside stories of key moments in Games of the Century, of the recruiting and coaching of famous athletes such as Deion Sanders and Charlie Ward. Hear how it feels to be trapped inside a locker room with angry fans pounding on the door, to be the son of a coach hanged in effigy, to have to choose between the interests of a troubled young athlete and the image of a football program. Learn, with the Bowdens, the lessons of careers measured in clock ticks and place-kicks.
For those familiar with big-time college football, the Bowden name is synonymous with winning. Bobby, the close-knit clan's partiarch, is coach of the Florida State University Seminoles, a one-time NCAA champion and perennial powerhouse. Bobby and his wife, Ann, have six childrenstwo girls and four boysfive of whom have, in one capacity or another, followed their father into football (eldest son Steve remains the holdouthe is a minister/educator). Less well-known, however, is that the Bowdens are devout evangelical Protestants. This book takes the form of a kind of dinner table discussion about life, kids, faith, love, leadership, loyalty, competition, and gender issues, conveniently couched in the lexicon and contexts of the occasionally inconsistent realms of gridiron life and individual salvation. Scattered among the scores of platitudes ("Most of the time when you lose, it's because the other team is a little better than you. . . . The key, I think, is to make sure you take something away from those losses") are some genuinely perceptive thoughts, many provided by Steve, who gently opposes Dad's fundamentalist point of view. Wife Ann describes Bobby, her husband of 47 years, as a man of unshakable faith who "accepts the Bible as the Word of God." This and other highly personal insights the Bowdens share about one another should intrigue football fans who associate Bobby's Seminoles or Terry's Auburn Tigers (or, for the record, most other successful football programs) with the frequent misdeeds of some of their players. To be fair, all the Bowdens seem comfortable, sincere, and mostly nonjudgmental in their faith. However, with their highly successful personal and professional lives, they seem at times to be a bit out of touch with other aspects of life.
Surefire inspiration for those who are inspired by the Bowdens; not much of anything for anyone else.
- Grand Central Publishing
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Hachette Digital, Inc.
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 466 KB
Meet the Author
Bobby Bowden is the second winningest coach in the history of major college football. In his 34 years as the head coach at Florida State, he has had only one losing season, his first in 1976. He is the only coach in Division I-A football history to have enjoyed 14 straight seasons of 10 or more wins. His Florida State Seminoles finished an unprecedented 14 straight seasons in the top 5 of the Associated Press College Football Poll and won the College Football National Championship in 1993 and 1999.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews