Bobby Bowden is back at FSU where he belongs

Running off at the typewriter

It's great to see that Bobby Bowden, the greatest coach in major college football history, is finally back in the fold at Florida State and today will attend his first FSU game since being forced out after the 2009 season.

Bowden never felt comfortable coming back to games after his ouster — until now. Why now? A couple of reasons: First of all, Bowden finally feels enough time has passed where it won't seem like he's looking over successor Jimbo Fisher's shoulder. And No. 2 — and this always helps — he's getting paid.

FSU recently hired Bobby for $250,000 a year as a fundraiser for Seminole Boosters (no word yet on whether Bobby will try to convince the school to hire son Jeff Bowden as an assistant fundraiser). Personally, I think Bobby deserves at least $500,000 a year for the rest of his life.

At any rate, it's good to have The Legend back at the place where he belongs. Bobby will be planting the famous flaming spear at midfield before kickoff today. Question: Is this the same spear former FSU president T.K. Wetherell used to stab Bobby in the back four years ago?

Ah, we kid because we love. …

SHORT STUFF: My daughter Jessica wants to be something really scary this Halloween. I told her to dress up as the Gators' offensive playbook. … UCF coach George O'Leary is right when he says the UCF fan base needs to progress to a point where it doesn't matter who the Knights are playing, only that the Knights are playing. Today against winless UConn, we will see how passionate UCF fans are about their program. The Knights are nationally ranked; they have an exciting offense and they're in contention for a BCS bowl. "I used two words with our players this week — hungry and humble," O'Leary said. "We have to stay humble and be hungry. Our fan base has to be hungry, too. Not just sit around and talk about a game, but show up and support the team." …

Mikey likes: UCF over UConn by 28, FSU over NC State by 34, Wake Forest over Miami by 5 in Upset Special, Alabama over Tennessee by 30, Oregon over UCLA by 17, Missouri over South Carolina by 10, Jags over 49ers by 3 in Jolly Good Show Upset Special in London, Patriots over Dolphins by 10, Unemployment line over Greg Schiano by Monday. … Louisville coach Charlie Strong, after UCF rallied from three TDs down in the second half to beat the undefeated Cardinals last week, said his team "gave away" the victory and that the "best team lost." And then Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, after his team was pummeled 51-14 by Florida State, said that if the Tigers played FSU 10 times, "We'd probably win five; they'd probably win five." ESPN sometimes touts a big-game weekend as "Showdown Saturday." Maybe somebody should set up a game between Strong's Louisville team and Swinney's Clemson team and call it, "Sore Loser Saturday." …

Got a chance to play in the Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF) Charity Golf Golf Tournament earlier this week, which raised nearly $200,000 for a great cause. Did you know that OMYF has raised more than $18 million for disadvantaged kids in the last 23 years? I gotta tell you: I like the Magic a whole lot more when they're raising money for at-risk kids instead of spending it on at-risk players (see Gilbert Arenas). … I'm not saying iconic singer James Taylor is getting old, but when he sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Game 2 of the World Series, he started out with the first few words of "America the Beautiful." Can hardly wait to go to the 65-year-old singer's next concert, where he will sing a new rendition of his old song: "How Sweet It Is (To Pull My Pants Up Past My Bellybutton)" …

Members of the NCAA Committee on Infractions didn't give the Miami Hurricanes a slap on the wrist, they gave them a pat on the butt and essentially said, "Sorry, we mucked up the investigation." Question: What's more inept — NCAA investigators, the Gators offense or the Obamacare website? …

LAST WORD: The Jaguars are playing a game in London on Sunday. This gives a whole new meaning to "God Save the Queen."

Open Mike

Don't forget, you can click on OrlandoSentinel.com and read the wildly popular Open Mike blog and interactive extravaganza to get my freshest takes on what's happening in the world of sports. Here's a blog on Orange County Commissioner Fred Brummer explaining why he voted against funding a new soccer stadium earlier this week:

Amid all of the hype and hoopla involving the city and county's expedited effort to build an $84 million soccer stadium comes the dissenting voice of curmudgeonly county commissioner Fred Brummer.

An accountant by trade, Brummer says the economic impact numbers provided by Orlando City Soccer Club President Phil Rawlins — the man behind the successful effort to get a soccer stadium built and an MLS franchise awarded — are concocted. Rawlins cites a study that claims a new soccer stadium and the resulting MLS franchise would produce $1.3 billion of economic impact over the next 30 years. In contrast, Brummer seems to think the soccer stadium is a sucker stadium from a financial standpoint.

"The technical term for their [Orlando City's] economic study is 'twaddle,' '" said Brummer on our Open Mike radio show earlier this week. "It reminds me of the old joke about CPAs and it goes like this: A client calls a CPA and says, 'You're a math expert; how much is 2 plus 2?' And the CPA says to the client, 'What did you have in mind?'

"The fact is when someone is paying for the economic study, you get the economic study numbers that you want," added Brummer, one of the two dissenting votes in the County Commission's 5-2 tally to approve the soccer stadium. "... If you hire me, I assure you I can come up with the numbers you want for your economic report, but in unfunded academic [studies], the results are that these stadiums do not increase economic development or per capita income."

Brummer is renowned for being philosophically opposed to using tourist money to fund sports venues. He believes that if sports owners want arenas and stadiums for their teams, then they should pay for them out of their own pockets.

In an ideal world, I agree with Brummer, but the sports world is not ideal. In the sports world, if you want to be a big-league city, you have to build venues to attract teams. If you don't, another city will.

Brummer crunches numbers for a living and says the economic benefit of a soccer stadium does not merit the investment in a soccer stadium. I don't know whether he is right or not.

But isn't there more to being a major-league sports city than just economic benefit?

What about the intrinsic benefit?

What about the pride and passion sports teams bring to a city?

Ask Boston what it means to have its beloved Red Sox in the World Series in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: There are two things that bring a city together — tragedy and winning sports teams.

That's why I commend city and county leaders for helping fund a stadium that will bring Major League Soccer to Orlando.

Mail bonding

(Most interesting reader retorts, radio rabble, tangy tweets and message board mockery of the week):

A call to cancel next week's Florida-Georgia game: "Haven't the fans of Jacksonville seen enough bad football this year?"

On the Jaguars playing the 49ers in London: "Sending Jaguars to England is America's revenge for England sending the Sex Pistols over here."

On the Magic sitting out some of their best players during preseason games: "Hey, tanking takes practice, too!"

Notable quotables

(In celebration of the NBA season tipping off this week, three of my favorite NBA quotes of all time):

"What do you have when you have an agent buried up to his neck in sand? Not enough sand." — Magic co-founder and former general manager Pat Williams

"Left hand, right hand, it doesn't matter. I'm amphibious." — former NBA player Charles Shackleford

"I knew it was time to retire when I was driving down the lane and got called for a three-second violation." — former NBA player and coach Johnny Kerr

mbianchi@tribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @BianchiWrites. Listen to his radio show every weekday from 6 to 9 a.m. on 740 AM.

Featured Stories

Advertisement

PLAN AHEAD

Top Trending Videos