TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Esteemed colleague
Osborne came out swinging with an oldie but a goodie.
"You can tell from looking that Bobby and I are getting on in life, getting a little older," Osborne said. "This was driven home to me a little while ago. A lady came up to Bobby, and she said, 'My goodness. Drinking makes you look so much better.' He said, 'Ma'am, I'll have you know, I'm not drinking.' She said, 'No. I am.'"
OK, so Osborne wasn't
For 100 minutes Wednesday, Bowden could laugh off his recent travails. The NCAA wants to strip Bowden of 14 wins because of an academic fraud scandal. Florida State president
If Bowden took anything from Wednesday's panel of roasters, it's that it shouldn't matter what the NCAA does. Osborne, former players Weinke and
Paterno might be able to pull
"If I've been asked any question the most in my career, it wasn't about
I would have guessed the most common question Reynolds receives involves either
When Reynolds first met Bowden, he marveled at how brilliantly Bowden enunciated his nickname. "I always marveled at the fact that he always knew my name," Reynolds said. "Buddy! Get over here. Buddy! Come on in. Sit down. Tell me what's happenin', Buddy!. Then I found out that everybody was Buddy. But it is my name, and I just loved to hear him say it."
Richt, a former Bowden assistant, told the tale of his decision in 1986 to become a born-again Christian. Richt made the choice at a time of great turmoil, and Bowden was thrilled to help Richt into the flock. So the men went into Bowden's office and kneeled to pray. According to Richt, Bowden did the talking with the almighty. "Dear Lord," Richt remembered Bowden saying, "I'm here with ... What's your name again, buddy?"
Weinke remembered that after the Seminoles beat Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl to win the 1999 national title, Florida State trooper
In the first game of FSU's wire-to-wire No. 1 season in 1999, Bowden itched to run a reverse with star receiver
A year earlier, Bowden had yanked Weinke in favor of
Weinke said Bowden naps in the police cruisers that take him from the airport to the Seminoles' hotel on road trips. He said Bowden dreams up big plays - a 99-yard bomb Weinke once threw to
Sometimes, the themes blur. As the Seminoles were losing the 2000 national title in a 13-2 debacle against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl - Stoops, in his video tribute, said he was sorry for that beatdown - Weinke heard another bit of radio chatter. "Son, I'm the one that's supposed to be taking naps out here," Weinke remembers Bowden telling Richt. "Not you."
Of course, Bowden gave as good as he got Wednesday. Turning to Osborne, Bowden recalled a conversation with an official that may or may not have happened during a Fiesta Bowl against the Cornhuskers. Bowden said the official came to the sideline to inform Bowden that Osborne, on the other sideline, had been complaining all game that the Seminoles were cheating. "Tom," Bowden said, "it's just called the forward pass."
Truly, if FSU wants the NCAA to give back those vacated wins, the Seminoles should just send Bowden to make the oral arguments. Just as he's forgotten more trick plays than the average hotshot coach will ever know, his catalogue of one-liners seems limitless. The members of the Committee on Infractions either will be charmed into handing over the wins, or they'll give them back just to make Bowden stop.
Even if the committee refuses to return the wins to Bowden's record, he shouldn't lose sleep. The fraud happened on his watch, so he may have absorb some of the punishment. His legacy, at least among those whose lives he's touched, will remain undisturbed.