Owe him a world of thanks.
Thanks Bobby Bowden, you were a great coach for a young sportswriter.
Thanks Bobby, for giving a 20-something sportswriter an inside look at big-time college football.
Thanks for letting that young writer go just about anywhere he asked. Thanks for allowing him inside the locker room before that first national championship game with Oklahoma.
Thanks for meeting him in the end zone during pregame warmups and going over your game plan.
It just isn't done these days, no how, no way.
You taught that young writer a lot about the college game, how it's coached, how it is played, how games are won and lost.
Bobby, you were nothing more than a great, honest, straight-laced teacher of football.
You were simply one of the best, ever.
That's old news to the 3,000-plus players who have stood in your locker room all these years.
Bobby, it was an honor to write and tell stories of how you built the Florida State football program.
You invited an "outsider" to the "inside."
My, how times have changed.
That's the way life is. Things change, not much stays the same.
You built an amazing dynasty at FSU and it was the treat of a lifetime to get that inside look. It was a treat to be up close with your players.
In the early days, you did it with kids the University of Florida didn't want. You took decent players and taught them how to overachieve. You and your staff coached them "up."
You made an unheralded program heralded.
You did it year after year after year.
You kept doing it long after that young writer had moved on.
You were, and are "The Man," Bobby Bowden.
Thanks for everything you have done for Florida State. It was heart-breaking to see them force you out, yet uplifting to see you go out as the consummate winner in the 2010 Gator Bowl.
The writing was on the wall when you went for the "head coach in waiting" deal.
Those guys don't like to wait long.
But nonetheless, thanks Bobby.
You taught me oh so very much about you, about myself and about this wonderful game of college football.
You did it the right way, Bobby.
You gave me a highlight reel of life's memories.
You taught so much to so many.
And isn't that what life is all about?