ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – On the eve of the College Football National Championship Game, one of the sport’s legendary figures was honored right here in the Bay area.
The Bowden Dynasty Event premiered on Sunday night in hundreds of theaters all over the country. The film showcases the life of longtime Florida State University head football Coach Bobby Bowden. With a handful of family members by his side Bowden attended a viewing at the Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Petersburg.
His wife Anne accompanied the coach on the ‘Red Carpet,’ prior to the event, that was also attended by a number of former FSU players and folks who put the project together. Bowden thoroughly enjoyed the film.
“One of the most enjoyable was going to my boyhood home, which I hadn’t been in in 68 years,” Bowden explained. “They let me walk in and go through it and see my old kitchen and where we used to sit and all of that; boy that’s great memories.”
Fans of the program and the coach also attended the showing at the Mahaffey. Many admitted to learning much more about the coach than they previously had known. Brian Goodwin is one of the directors, and admits, he too was surprised at his first meeting with the coach.
“I don’t think I ever really thought he’d be as humble as he is,” Goodwin said of his first meeting with Bowden. “Just like winning championships means something to him, but it’s not everything. He doesn’t brag about winning championships and he doesn’t wear his championship rings. He wears a ring that [actor, former FSU football player] Burt Reynolds gave him because that means something to him.”
Derrick Brooks, a National Football League Hall-of-Famer, was one of Coach Bowden’s prized pupils. The former ‘Nole and Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker says Bowden had a huge impact on his life and many, many others during his career.
“He just wanted their lives to be changed; to know that he’s special,” Brooks said. “For him to coach the generation of players that he’s coached for all these number of years, he changed so many lives.”
The coach says it was never his intent meant to leave such a legacy in the state’s capitol. He wants his legacy to be serving God in the best way possible and at the talk about FSU’s ‘so-called’ dynasty during his tenure, he shies away from the accolades.
Bowden: “You know, when we, when the dynasty was going on, it’s 14 years, you don’t realize it. You never say, oh boy, we’re in a dynasty. Oh boy….now it’s over and they say look what’s happened.”
Sunday night was the only night to see “The Bowden Dynasty” on the big screen. It is scheduled to be released on DVD and other video formats in 90 days.