Written by Doug Apple, Wave94 Wednesday, 25 August 2010 19:28
Bobby Bowden was the legendary head football coach of the Florida State Seminoles.
He coached them through a golden era that included two national titles, and he racked up the second most career victories in college football history.
And for his success he was paid millions of dollars.
But the team struggled the last few years, and when the win totals shrink, so does the audience and the money.
And what does a team do when the wins go down? They fire the coach.
But how do you fire a legend?
Meanwhile, Florida State made Jimbo Fisher the head coach in waiting. If Jimbo wasn’t the head coach by January 2011, the university would pay him 5 million dollars.
So it looked like Bobby Bowden’s head coaching position had a built in expiration date. But when the Seminoles barely broke .500 last season, some university officials had seen enough. A change must be made, they said.
Bobby Bowden retired early this year, and we didn’t hear much more about it . . . until this week. Coach Bowden has returned to the spotlight as he promotes his new book, and yesterday he granted an interview to the Associated Press.
When asked about his departure from FSU he said, “I was pushed out, no doubt about it.”
“I didn’t want but one more year,” he said. “Gosh, I’m 80.”
He said that university president T.K. Wetherell presented him with two options: either become a hands-off “ambassador coach,” or lose the coaching position altogether.
Wetherell later said that it was one of the most difficult things he had to do as university president. It was more than just a president releasing a coach. Wetherell had actually played for Bowden in the 60’s, and Bowden knew the Wetherell family.
“He and I were pretty close,” Bowden said in the Associated Press interview.
And then came this line in the article. “Bowden said his relationship with Wetherell has likely been irreparably damaged.”
Coach Bowden said, “I doubt if I'll have a relationship with T.K. anymore.”
Well who can blame him? The man basically fired him. Is that what he gets for his years of loyalty and success? Well, that and millions of dollars, but anyway…nobody likes to be fired, and all he wanted was just one more year.
Anybody would be upset. Anybody would write off the other person. Anybody could conclude that the relationship was damaged beyond repair.
However, Coach Bowden is very outspoken about his Christian faith. He is one of the better known Christians in the country. In fact, his new book is entitled “Called to Coach: Reflections on Life, Faith and Football.”
There is no doubt that Coach Bowden is a classy guy and a man who has kept the faith, but judging by these reports, it appears that Coach Bowden faces a big hurdle.
Can he completely forgive the man who fired him?
Perhaps he has. He probably has, but these reporters make it sound like he has a chip on his shoulder towards Mr. Wetherell.
And who can blame him, right?
Probably all of us have felt betrayed, have felt the rug pulled out from under us by someone we trusted. It’s a nasty bit of business.
But here is where our Christianity is put to the test. This is the crucible that burns off the dross and reveals the true nature of our faith.
Can we forgive those who betray us? Can we forgive them, and love them?
This sounds almost impossible, and who would even want to?
But it is possible through the Holy Spirit inside of a Christian, and we should want to out of love and obedience to the Lord.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you…”
Jesus taught in Mark 11:25 that if we hold anything against anyone, we must forgive him.
So if he hasn’t already, Coach Bowden needs to forgive T.K. Wetherell, and I hope and pray that their relationship is not irreparably damaged, but through the love and forgiveness of Christ, Coach Bowden will have nothing but Christlike things to say about his former boss.
It’s one thing to watch these people who are in the public eye (and remember, we only get a small and distorted view of things through the media), but the more difficult thing is to take a look at our own life and say, “Is there someone I must forgive?”
If a reporter stuck a microphone in your face and asked about someone who had hurt you, what would you say?
Well hopefully it would be your chance to really let Jesus shine through – through the love and forgiveness that are cornerstones of the Christian faith.
E-mail me: email@example.com.
May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.
You can read the AP news story here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/08/24/sportsline/main6801523.shtml
You can find some other details about Coach Bowden’s relationship with FSU here: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3865923
You can order Coach Bowden’s new book here: http://www.christianbook.com/called-faith-career-college-footballs-popular/bobby-bowden/9781439195970/pd/195987/1107622227?item_code=WW&netp_id=806251&event=EBRN&view=details#curr
Written by :
|< Prev||Next >|
You need to login or register to post comments.
Discuss this item on the forums. (0 posts)