Wednesday, December 2, 2009

all (Good) things must come to an end

the metaphysical nature of this post's title speaks for itself, but i'd like to take a moment to honor coach bobby bowden, who (on tuesday) announced his retirement from florida state university (football).


bobby will be remembered as the second-winningest coach in college football history, but the folks in tallahassee, florida will remember him for many other reasons, including:

* his good-natured, down-home approach to life,
* his ability to handle defeat (as well as championships),
* his humor, especially during interviews,
* his weekly t.v. show (taped live), where he'd sign autographs during intermission,
* his Spiritual beliefs,
* his humility,
* the term "dadgum it!"

...and sooooooooooo much more.

bobby, thank you for providing us with thousands of reasons to stand up and cheer:

"florida state! .florida state! .florida state! .woooooooo!" 

thank you for showing us that "there's more to winning and losing than just victory and defeat." (1)

thank you for signing your name to tens-of-thousands of pictures, t-shirts and seminole paraphernalia, allowing us to share a little piece of you with the rest of the world.

good luck, in coaching your last game (2009 bowl game not yet announced).

i (for one) miss you already.

below: a glimpse into what it's like, on seminole saturday nights (2 min).  ..the "warchant" begins after about 47 seconds.


* (1) quote from coach al morro of classical high school, circa de 1976.

* photo (top of post) taken during the bobby bowden talk show, 1997.

* drawing of heisman trophy quarterback and national champion chris weinke by steve albert martineau, 2000. ..steve (my brother) presented this drawing to me as a gift, during the martineau family gift exchange 2000, and it has been proudly displayed in my home ever since. ..(signed by bobby in 2001)

* drawing "sweet perfection" by joe belt, #141 of 999, honoring florida state's "wire to wire" season (1999) when f.s.u. became the first team in the history of college football to be ranked #1 from the first poll through the last, each week of an entire season.  ..that year, bobby bowden won his second national championship -- and he won his 300th game as head coach.

the piece is a collector's item, quadruple-matted and shadow-boxed with the silver and gold national championship coin (#2176).  ..highlighted against the backdrop of doak-campbell stadium are:

- peter warrick,
- chief osceola (atop renegade),
- bobby,
- the line of scimmage (vs. virginia tech), and
- the famous seminole logo (located on midfield -- of bobby bowden field).

also, hidden in belt's drawing are (1) the score of the national championship game, (2) the national championship trophy, and (3) the number "300." on the picture to enlarge, and see if you can find all three.

someday, allow me to tell you the tale of how i came to acquire this piece of art/his-story.

* of bobby's many, many, many, many famous quotes, my favorite comes from one of the years when fsu won the florida "state championship" by defeating both miami and the university of florida, only to see miami go on to win the national championship. ..bowden said:

"it goes to show you the caliber of football in the state of florida,
when the best team in the country isn't even the best team in the state."
-bobby bowden


  1. Hey Lenny,
    Thanks for the personal touch on this story. I have been hearing it on the news since Sunday -

    It's really cool to hear the perspective of someone who knew him and whose life he touched.

    Would love to hear more stories and the details behind that picture.


  2. hi, roberta!

    the (real) story is waaaaay too long to get into (here), but it revolves around the 1999 national championship game (fsu vs. virginia tech) in new orleans.

    the game was sooooo sold out -- that SEVERAL THOUSAND people bought very expen$ive ticket$ just to watch a PROJECTION of the game on a giant screen, in a basketball complex NEXT DOOR to the superdome. sad, but some people don't fully understand the value of live performances.

    the storyline describes how an individual with (of course) no ticket -- wound up inside of the superdome (free, of course) loooong before the doors ever opened for general admission, and how (with plenty of time on his hands), he wound up chatting with several vendors, including one who was selling commemorative joe belt artwork.

    the rest, of course, is his-story.

    "sweet perfection" was purchased (sight unseen), at what i thought was an outrageous price, but (looking back), it was a GREAT decision.

    joe belt personally completed just 999 of them, and #141 has been with me ever since.

    :) go 'noles!

  3. as long as we are getting sentimental, here, it is important to note that (for 20 years) i lived only a couple of miles away from doak campbell stadium.

    i was lucky enough to teach at f.s.u. (military science, therapeutic massage, aerobic conditioning), and i could probably jog around campus with my eyes closed.

    a few of the stories of interest include:

    * "bladder bust" at the phirst
    * the pilot house
    * the 50 yard-line
    * the late-night library
    * bullwinkles
    * "the choke at doak"
    * deepak chopra visits f.s.u.
    * wayne dyer at the civic center
    * garth brooks, rascal flatts
    * josephine and the sparkly guys
    * f.s.u. vs. miami (baseball)
    * the jingle bell run
    * springtime tallahassee
    * wakulla springs
    * kayaking on the wacissa river
    * wood ridge (condominium) parties
    * bush-gore presidential election recount (in 2000)
    * the CORE institute, school of massage therapy and structural bodywork
    * sundays at posey's
    * st. george island
    * scalloping at cape san blas, (and at steinhatchee)
    * water skiing at "the res"
    * "the fifth quarter at the forth quarter"
    * 4-for-1 at clyde's & costello's
    * the pink flamingo
    * waverunning at shell point
    * flying the cessna 182 out of tallahassee regional
    * doc's, aj's, julie's place, cw-3, the mill, the moon...
    * the indian mounds
    * the off-road bike trail at munson slough

    ...and a gazillion-billion other stories...

  4. Knowing you, that story doesn't surprise me.

    What a nice opportunity to take this fun filled trip down memory lane - how fortunate for you that you have such awesome experiences to reflect back on!!

    How many life times were involved?


  5. Hey there, Len-Baby!

    As you know (thanks to you) I'm a surrogate FSU fan (Go Sooners!) who fell in love w/ a Nole or two a few yrs. ago. I had a blast when I had the privelege of tailgating w/ the crew & scalping a ticket or two. The fans are awesome b/c they're a lively, fun, enthusiastic crowd of good natured people who know how to have a good time when they win, & more importantly, how to have class when they lose.

    I think that Mr. Bowden greatly influenced them as the proud, yet humble leader of the bunch. He's a classy, true southern gentleman who deserves a lot of respect & admiration for what he's accomplished. I wish him the best.

    Go Noles!


  6. hi, roberta!

    yes, memory lane and t-town go hand-in-hand.

    i was there for three lennylifetimes, from 1987-2007 (minus a one-year sabbatical to savannah, georgia).

    the Good thing about reflections like these are that the criticism and negatives gently fade away -- exposing a Truly Beautiful experience that In-Spires exponential Gratitude.

    there are (literally) too many GREAT memories to remember!

    Love, len

  7. hey, cat!

    i'll never forget some of those games and tallahassee times.

    i forgot to mention the paradise pub & grille (halloween), cool beanz, and of course cj's. remember that?

    here's to lee, george & patty, brett & jenny, gus, edie, robert, chris, phil & sonja, coach, and all of our other mutual 'nole-friends (too many to mention here).

    Love, len