A few kind words for the Seminoles
By Charlie Barnes, Executive Director - Seminole Boosters
The punch line of one of Bobby Bowden's favorite jokes hinges on the request for "a few kind words."
As we meander into the long summer, fretting and impatient that the September kickoff seems so far away, let's offer a few kind words about Seminole football.
We had a long run unlike any other in college football history. Jimbo Fisher will return the Seminoles to glory and Bowden will always be acknowledged as the one who set the enduring standard.
There have been spirited discussions among our fans about the rise and fall of The Dynasty.
One preposterous notion is that pre-Bowden football is defined entirely by those three dreadful seasons of 1973, '74 and '75.
In other words: Seminole football was "nothing" before 1976.
The truth is that even during the unfortunate Larry Jones era (1971-1973) the Seminoles featured an All-American Heisman candidate in quarterback Gary Huff, an All-American first round NFL draft pick in receiver Barry Smith, and played in the Fiesta Bowl.
After Florida State's first campaign (five losses) in 1947 Don Veller (1948-52) took command and won 30 of the next 34 games, including three Dixie Conference titles without losing a single conference game. Tom Nugent (1953-58) emphasized innovation and tradition. He is credited with inventing football's I-formation while at FSU.
The beloved Bill Peterson (1960-1970) brought the pro-style passing game to college football, and national attention with signature victories over Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia and that memorable 37-37 tie with Alabama. Even Darryl Mudra (1974-75) recruited the talent that Bobby Bowden credits with giving him a fast start.
We haven't fared well against the Gators lately, but FSU can take pride in having been the first to win the state championship (1904), first to go to a bowl game (1949 season), first to appear on television (1958), first to win a conference title (1948), first to post an undefeated season (1950), first to win a national championship (1993), and first (and still the only) to go No. 1 undefeated wire-to-wire.
In 1958 the 'Noles and Gators played again for the first time since 1904. Florida won but FSU scored first.
For now, we'll take our small comforts where we can.
By the way, here's Bowden's joke.
He sat down to breakfast with his friends at the restaurant. The waitress was surly so he decided to counter her attitude with a smile. When he ordered, he asked for "bacon and eggs, and a few kind words."
She brought the food and slung the plates into the table.
"Here's your bacon and eggs," she snarled.
As she walked away, Bowden called, "Hey. What about a few kind words?"
She turned and glared at him, glanced at his plate and said, "Don't eat them eggs."