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Bowden: How Bobby Bowden Forged a Football Dynasty Paperback – Bargain Price, August 10, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; Reprint edition (August 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061474207
  • ASIN: B007K4MN1S
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mike Freeman is an NFL Insider for CBSSports.com. Before that, he was an NFL writer, investigative reporter, and columnist for the New York Times; a columnist for the Florida Times- Union; and a sports reporter, features writer, and investigative writer for the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Dallas Morning News. In all, Freeman has covered professional football for more than two decades. He has twice received honorable mention in the Best American Sports Writing anthology series and is one of only a handful of writers to have multiple top-ten finishes in the same year in the Associated Press Sports Editors writing contest. He lives in New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ManUfan on February 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Disclaimer: Seminole fan for life. While this book is a must-have for any Seminole fan or college football fanatics, I feel this could have been written/put together a little better. Mike Freeman does an excellent job of providing a deep picture of Bobby's life and the Seminole football program through the years. There are many, many great stories of the building of Bowden's career and how his character and wit have contributed to his coaching wins, not just X's and O's.

However, I feel the book relatively lacks continuity and leaves out many details along the way (how the championship teams/seasons were put together). Also, the chapter titles barely provide insight into what is actually contained in the chapters themselves. For example, the chapter on Ann, Bowden's wife, starts off about Ann, and the final half is back to stories about Bobby. The chapter "Wide Right" (about the 4 missed field goals against Miami through the years) is mostly about Deion Sanders and Terrell Buckley, and does not touch on the said field goals until the final 2-3 pages of the chapter. I was also left scratching my head when Freeman begins to tell us about Bowden leaving West Virginia, and taking the job at FSU in the mid 1970s, to find out that the next chapters will be about Bowdens' coaching sons Tommy and Terry. I was hoping to get a continuous glimpse into Bobby's transition to FSU. I feel the chapters regarding Tommy and Terry could have been placed in different spots, perhaps in the section of the 1990s when they were coaching at Clemson and Auburn, respectively.

Like I said before, this book contains great details and stories, however, I was left wanting to learn more about how Bobby "Forged a Football Dynasty" and how he built his two championship seasons.
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Format: Hardcover
Even a hard-core Gator fan like myself ends this book with a lot of appreciation for Bobby Bowden's accomplishments. The author, while clearly sympathetic to Bowden (he considers him the greatest college coach ever), presents a fair and balanced portrayal of the Florida State legend (I hope Fox News doesn't sue me!) Bowden's accomplishmants are highly praised, but his faults are also acknowledged (e.g. Peter Warrick, Laverunes Coles, etc..)This book is not just about Bowden as a football coach, but also as a husband (of a fascinating woman in her own right) and as a father of six (one of them even coaches against him in the ACC). I highly recommend this book to any college football fan.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nole76 on April 10, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
A tad rambling, but the most grevious error is in fact checking. How on earth did Mike Freeman come to the conclusion that FSU beat Florida in Bobby's first season 1976. DUDE, FSU LOST THAT GAME. Your entire book is suspect. Am I the only person on earth who caught that?
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