Bobby Bowden has been the coach for the Florida State Football team since 1976. He started coaching the season before my family moved from Tallahassee to South GA. My dad was finishing his senior year at FSU when Bobby came along (they are almost the same age).

Although my dad doesn’t like football, the rest of my family enjoys it. When we moved to Tallahassee after my dad retired from the US Army in 1973, FSU had one of the worst records in college football and wasn’t even in a division, they were independent.

Bobby Bowden spent the rest of his career taking the Seminoles to a non event football team to a top ranking nearly every year he was there. By the time 1980 rolled around they were the number 2 ranked team in the country before they entered into their Bowl game. They were number 2 behind GA who had Herschel Walker. This past season the team didn’t do as well as it had in years past. They weren’t ranked in the top 20 at the end of the season (before the bowl game) and were only 7-6.

Entering into the Gator Bowl they went up against the West Virginia Mountaineers who were ranked 16 and were 9-4. so….

How did FSU come up the winner? The odds were stacked against them, the Mountaineers had better statistics, a better record and with experience of team players and talent “should” have won the Gator Bowl. So what was the difference? FSU wanted to send Bobby Bowden out with a win. This game wasn’t about the most talent, skill and statistics… it was about something greater than each individual or even the team … it was their goal and they were determined not to let anyone or anything keep them from winning.

Of course the Mountaineers wanted the win, and worked hard this season for it but what they didn’t have was something greater than just the win.

This in a nutshell should tell anyone that when you set a goal and are determined… nothing can stop you. You don’t have to be the most talented, the brightest, the fastest, the best, the prettiest or what ever other superlative you want to add… you just have to be the most determined. Olympians have proven this over and over. So many times the individual or team with the most odds stacked against them wins. They face the challenge and come out the winner.

Quite simply Florida State wanted the win more.