Fans are the constant in equation of football
By Charlie Barnes, Executive Director - Seminole Boosters
The speed of light remains constant.
Light will always travel at 186,000 miles per second relative to us no matter how fast you and I are moving, no matter where we're standing. Einstein reasoned that if the speed of light is constant, then all other factors including time itself must be variable.
What does this have to do with Seminole football? It is this: all other factors change, but the fans remain constant.
Coaching styles have changed. Television has radically changed the financial equation. The way universities compensate top coaches is surely different now than it was back in 1976 when FSU needed special permission from the Board of Regents to pay Bobby Bowden the princely sum of $37,000 per year.
There were always big conferences, but there were also big independents too, like Notre Dame, Penn State, Syracuse, Miami, and Arizona State. In 1960, Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino led independent Navy to the Orange Bowl. As recently as 1970 Dartmouth was ranked in the Top 20 and Air Force played in the Sugar Bowl.
It's unlikely we will ever again see a coach so identified with one school like Bowden or Joe Paterno, like a Tom Osborne, Bear Bryant or even Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech. Coach Bowden's grace and gentility reflects his generation. Don't look for another Bobby Bowden because he doesn't exist.
Today's hot coaches reflect the modern culture. Not too long ago in America, you spent your career with one company and collected a gold watch and well wishes after 30 years. That's not the trend now in any business, including football. On any Saturday, football stadiums across the South are filled to the brim with passionate fans who want to win. And if those coaches can't get the job done, they'll find someone else who can.
Whenever Bobby Bowden does retire, we Seminoles will enter into a new era very unfamiliar to our fans. It is a world populated by sports agents and coaches who wear your school colors on their sleeve but perhaps not necessarily in their hearts.
In our football version of physics the "constant" is the fans, as dependable and as unchanging as the speed of light. They will always remain loyal to the program even as coaches, athletic directors, and Booster guys like me come and go. Fans give the money that makes excellence sustainable.
Fans accept that you win some and you lose some, but they also possess a keen sense of direction. They may not be professional football coaches but they can read a scoreboard.