Check out this exchange between FSU coach Bobby Bowden and a reporter during the postgame press conference Saturday night following Clemson’s 40-24 win over the Seminoles:
Here is an exchange he had with reporters.
Bowden: “Both of us made errors. We probably scored on some of their errors — I didn’t keep up with it. But we’d turn the ball over and they’d go down and score. Then we’d turn it over and they didn’t score. They’d turn it over back. And the game kind of went that way. We felt very comfortable. We knew it was a battle.
“How late was it 24-21 in our favor? How late did it get? Did that get into the fourth quarter?”
Reporter: “Nine and a half minutes left.”
Bowden: “Left in the game?”
Bowden: “So you’re feeling comfortable, but you know that it ain’t won yet. Then of course the dam broke.”
A few minutes later, Bowden was asked this question by another reporter.
Reporter: “In the second half, when it seemed like momentum started to switch, how hard was it to try to reverse that?”
Bowden: “You mean when they got it (momentum)? Well, actually … you know, they had to kick off to us. We had a what? A three-point ….? Did we have the lead at the half?”
Bowden: “We had a three-point lead at the half, I think. Then they had to kick off to us. We needed to take it down and win the darn game right there. We didn’t do it. They stopped us. Then we kicked it to them and then they probably scored.”
Reporter: “They went ahead and then you guys came back.”
Reporter: “They went ahead and then you guys came back again.”
Bowden: “Did we get ahead of them again after that?”
Bowden: “Then we got back ahead, huh? Umm, it was going that way, you know it? I felt very comfortable that if they could score, we could score. That’s the way I felt, you know it? We’ve done it all year. But then we started turning the ball over.”
I know Bowden has earned leeway the size an aircraft carrier in terms of when he finally hangs it up. That being said, this is just painful. Bowden cannot even remember basic details about time and score from a game that ended a half hour prior. If he doesn’t remember whether his team was ahead at halftime shortly after the game ended, what are the chances he has a clue of what is actually happening during the game?
Respect for Bowden and his long history of accomplishments if offered as reason #1 for permitting him to retire when he chooses. However, doesn’t that respect also mean you save him from these types of embarrassments by nudging him towards the door when it is obvious he can no longer do the job?