Critics say when President George W. Bush appeared on that aircraft carrier with the words “Mission Accomplished” emblazoned across a banner, he was just asking for a continuation of the war in the Middle East. And when he defiantly said to the enemies of the USA, “Bring it on,” that did it.
He came to regret both.
In this morning’s USA Today, the discussion is whether Bobby Bowden should retire from coaching Florida State’s Seminole football team. This year’s record was 5-5, a vast difference from the championship calibre teams he has usually fielded over his 35 seasons at that school. His 387 victories over 44 years of coaching puts him second on the all-time list, behind Penn State’s Joe Paterno, another octogenarian who arguably needs to hang it up.
Bowden is 80 years old. The FSU fans and alums are calling for him to retire. But the decision is not theirs to make, although they can bring incredible pressure on the president of the university and the athletic director who will be making the call one way or the other soon.
What struck me–I’m no FSU fan and have no dog in this fight, but am always interested in the strangeness of human behavior–is the way Bowden is insisting the school is going to have to fire him to get him to leave. No one knows but the coach, but since the university brought in Jimbo Fisher as his assistant a year or two ago with the understanding he would succeed Bowden, guaranteeing him $5 million if he’s not the coach by January 10, 2011, it would appear that Bowden is maneuvering for one more year, after which he would step down.
Here’s what Bowden said, and then a quote from his wife Ann.
“You can figure it out. Here I am, 80 years old and I’m just as excited now as I was 50 years ago as far as going on the field and looking at film and making decisions here in the office.”
“They’ll have to fire him for him not to go another year….If they’ve got guts enough to do it, let them do it.”
That did it for me.