They Just Don't Make 'em Like Bear, Joe Pa, and Bobby Anymore!!
Talk about a few good men. Can anyone name a better trio of college football coaches in the entire history of the game. One could argue that any one of these coaches is the greatest to ever walk a sideline and not be wrong. Combined, they have 10 national titles, 26 conference titles, 59 bowl victories, 10 unbeaten seasons, and over 20 coaching awards.
They are not just legends, they transcend the sport and the universities. When Bear died in '83, the nation mourned. It was as highly publicised as the Challenger explosion would be. People came over the intercoms in grocery stores to tell those in ears reach that the Bear was dead. In Alabama, it was more devastating than the Kennedy assassination.
Tuscaloosa, AL is a shrine to Bear Bryant. From Bryant-Denny stadium located on Paul Bryant drive to The Paul Bear Bryant Museum covering all of Alabama football history. There is even a Bryant Bank!!! Restaurants where he ate might as well be historical landmarks.
More books have been written on the man than any govenor the state has ever had. Other teams' fans make fun of us because they don't realize that the man was FOOTBALL!!!
Penn St. football did not exist before Joe Paterno arrived. Sure, they may have played some games, but nobody cared like they do now. The fans wear mask of his face to games!!
FSU was FSwho before Bobby Bowden turned it into a National Power House.
These men are bigger than football, the universities, and in some cases, the states. Say Alabama and not think of Bryant. Joe Paterno is Penn St. The university will never be bigger than the man. Bobby Bowden made FSU.
Alabama and Penn St. had glimmers of success before Bear and Joe Pa, but FSU was nothing, NOTHING before Bobby came along. It is undescribable to tell someone else how much these men meant to millions of fans. No one can understand how you hold on so long, except those who have been there with you.
That is why I am writing this article to let Penn St. and FSU fans know that we may not like you, but we understand what these men mean to you. FSU, let Bobby go out on his own terms. If you don't, you will never get over it. Everyone associated with his removal will be blackballed by fans for generations.
I don't care how many fans are screaming for change; they will turn on you just as soon as Jimbo does not win two national titles and put FSU in the top-25 15 years in a row.
Here is the worst case scenario for you FSU. What if you force Bobby to retire? He will have an emotional tear jerking and moving scene on TV. Fans will see his emotion and how hurt he is by all this. Former players will slander the university and tell how Bobby was the only reason they even came to FSU.
Then the fans and media will start to think it was not fair and who are we to tell the man who brought us from nothing to stardom that he is not good enough. Then what if a few months later he dies? How will the board of trustees, Jimbo Fisher, the president of the university, football players, and the university ever recover.
The entire FSU fan base and college football nation will forever despise all those associated in his removal and Bobby will forever be the best thing at FSU. Think it can't happen, you're wrong!!
Joe Pa has already said his biggest fear is retiring and dying like Bear. When men who have been in this kind of authority position and put some much of their lives into it retire it is as if they no longer have the will to live. It happens to CEO's, business owners, Generals, Sgt Majors, and Preachers all the time.
Penn St. will be watching FSU like no university has ever watched another before to see how this all plays out. How thankful do you think the bigwigs at Penn St. are right now that Joe Pa is still winning big.
These men are as important to your university as the name on the main building. They are your universities. If you don't believe me, go to an Alabama game and try to count the number of people with Houndstooth on, or listen to the pregame video of a man dead more than 25 years fire up the crowd with his voice.
You will never recover from them leaving, ever. As long as the university exists, they will forever be a part of it. I don't care how painful losing seasons are, they do not come close to compare with how bad life will be if you force them out. Just remember Bear retired on his own mostly and look how lasting he has been, just imagine if he had been forced out.
Thousands of Bama fans would have left football forever, even more would have turned Auburn fans, and worst of all the University of Alabama would have never recovered!! Heck it is barley starting look like the Bama of old. As big as a coach gets at Alabama, he will forever be in the shadow of the Bear.
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