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Winning's Only Part of the Game: Lessons of Life and Football
     

Winning's Only Part of the Game: Lessons of Life and Football

by Bobby Bowden
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Bowdens are indeed a gridiron dynasty: father Bobby, head coach at Florida State for 20 years, has built a powerhouse team; son Terry is the head coach at Auburn University; son Jeff is an assistant to Bobby; son Tommy and son-in-law Jack Hines are assistants to Terry. Writing with USA Today reporter Brown, they here engage in an ongoing conversation also involving mother, Ann; son Steve, a philosophy Ph.D.; and daughter Ginger, a lawyer. Most of their talk about football is clichd: winning is fun and losing is hard; football teaches discipline and teamwork and trust; if an offensive plan doesn't work, change it; aggression is good but must be channeled on the field. The only disagreement occurs when religious fundamentalist Bobby encounters Steve's view of the Bible as metaphor, but it is a genteel clash. The book should sell like sunblock in Florida, where Bobby is almost deified, but it's all rather hackneyed stuff. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
Bowden family values rule in this curious mixture of football and inspirational philosophies.

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 childrens—two girls and four boys—five of whom have, in one capacity or another, followed their father into football (eldest son Steve remains the holdout—he 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446565059
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
09/26/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
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.

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