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Mandy Mitchell

Bowden, competitive in sickness and in health

Posted September 17, 2011

— We learned this week that former FSU head coach Bobby Bowden is a cancer survivor. We didn’t know about it when he had the illness because he wanted to keep his recruiting advantage. That’s Bowden. He is one of the most competitive coaches of all time.

I got to know Bowden a little bit back in 2001. I worked on his Coach’s show in Tallahassee for two seasons. Overall, he is the guy you see on TV. He’s a very good man who treats everyone he meets like a great friend.

He wasn’t good at remembering names, including his players. Since we didn’t wear numbers, he called all of the men “Buddy” and all of the ladies, including me, “Missy”.

The one thing I noticed while working with him is how private he was. He was not the kind of guy who was going to share anything about anything outside of football. He stuck to conversation about the Tallahassee weather and the game.

It was all part of his very old fashion southern boy style.

Bowden said in his interview that he would have spoken up about cancer if he was more educated about how dangerous it was. I am just betting he would not have actually done that. Bowden is as “macho” as it comes and I don’t see any way he would have revealed a weakness before beating it.

It is an interesting contrast in the “information now” world we live in where an NFL player has no problem tweeting out an MRI. I understand and respect Bowden for speaking out now to educate others about prostate cancer. In the end though, I think there is something to be said for keeping your private life private.

Maybe we all share too much, and that could cause much more than a disadvantage in recruiting.

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