Whether you're a Florida State fan, West Virginia fan, or merely just a college football fan, do yourself a favor on New Year's Day and watch the Gator Bowl. It is arguably the most intriguing non-BCS game in years and to be honest, it is more interesting than some BCS games this year.
Bobby Bowden experienced a whole lot of "lasts" this week. His last day of watching film on a FSU opponent. His last time walking off the practice field. His last time traveling with his assistants and players. And New Year's Day will be the last time he is the Head Coach of Florida State Football.
No more "dadgummits".
No more "gee wiz's".
No more "wide rights."
No more Bobby Bowden.
He is arguably the most universally beloved coach in the history of college sports and one can only hope that the Seminoles come out fired up and ready to win one for Grandpa Bowden. The players know the pressure that rests on their shoulders and it is up to them to deliver.
The stadium will be filled with FSU fans, supporters, and of course former players. The setting will be remarkable and the emotions will be felt like never before.
So as you sit in your living room or on your bed on January 1st, 2010, cherish what you are witnessing, cherish what you are feeling, and cherish the moment you may never want to end. If FSU wins, West Virginia fans and FSU fans will stand and applaud the man who was once the face of college football. If West Virginia wins, you can bet the very same thing will happen.
We aren't just saying good bye to a team's legendary coach, we are saying good bye to history. We are saying good bye to old school football, and after today, only Joe Paterno will be left.
This is the end of an era for Florida State. This is the end of an era for the ACC. This is the end of an era for football, period.
No other coach will have 14 straight top 5 finishes, ever. No other coach will make you think of a friendly grandpa the way that an older Coach Bowden did. And no other person will we miss more than good old Bobby.
Get your DVR ready, get your tape recorder ready, don't forget to use your TIVO.
While most of us are celebrating and embracing a new start on January 1st, 2010, Coach Bobby Bowden is celebrating and embracing the end.
And as Bobby Bowden walks or gets carried of the field for the final time Friday evening, expect chills to run through your body, expect tears to flow down your cheeks, and remember to cherish everything he stands for. Think back on old fond memories. Remember the accomplishments.
Bowden once said in an interview, "I guess I'll retire someday, if I live that long."
Well Coach, that someday is finally here and we're all blessed to be able to witness it.
The game is greater for having you as a coach, the players are better for having you as a coach, and our world is better for having you as a mentor. You will never be retired, you will always be the coach, dadgummit!