Photo: AP Photo/Phil Coale
"Okay Jimbo, you will be my coaching Avatar and I will continue to coach through your body."
Coach Bobby Bowden’s swan song was a memorable one as Florida State beat West Virginia 33-21 in the Gator Bowl Friday, extending Bowden’s streak of winning seasons to 33. More than 350 of Bowden’s former players gathered in Jacksonville to watch the 80-year old coach his final game versus the Mountaineers. The win gave Bowden a 22-10-1 (yes, a bowl tie!) career bowl record, the best winning percentage (.682) in NCAA history among coaches with at least 20 bowl games. Bowden leaves college football with the second most wins of all-time (behind that Paterno guy), garnering two national championships, 12 ACC titles and inspiring little girls all over the country to put on a headdress and do the tomahawk chop.
Bowden began his 44-year career as a head coach with Howard College in 1959, but a lot has changed since then. Did Alfred Hitchcock ever attempt a 300-million dollar 3-D film with blue people flying around forests? We think not! We hope this doesn’t make Bobby feel too old, but we compiled a list of some important changes since he began his college coaching career over 50 years ago.
- The average movie ticket price in 1959 was $0.51 (and used to be referred to as a "picture show"). Now it’s $7.18.
- Dumping Gatorade on coaches didn’t begin until the 1985 New York Giants bathed Parcells. We’ll assume back in ’59 they dumped egg creams on Bowden.
- Bobby and his wife Ann have been married for 60 years. When their relationship began, "dating" was called "courting" and Bobby probably had to ask Ann's father's permission before they could stroll off to a picture show. eHarmony.com was launched in 2000 and now people can have entire relationships without ever meeting in person. Plus, "courting" has a much different connotation these days.
- In 1964, the Beatles rocked the U.S. with their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. In 2009, Adam Lambert sang a unique version of Ring of Fire on American Idol.
- At school dances in the 60’s kids would do the Twist. Now they pop n’ lock.
- Boise St. had green turf when the stadium opened in 1970. As of 2009, their blue turf is the only non-green field in college football.
- Who needs charades when we can play online Halo versus someone in another continent?
- In 1969, Neil Armstrong shocked the world when he stepped foot on the moon. In 2009, you can fly Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic into space (for a cool $200K). Prices should drop shortly when Southwest gets its "no assigned seats" space shuttle off the ground.
Congratulations Bobby Bowden. Best wishes from ESPN.