Bowden family values rule in this curious mixture of football and inspirational philosophies. For those familiar with...

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WINNING'S ONLY PART OF THE GAME: Lessons of Life and Football

Bowden family values rule in this curious mixture of football and inspirational philosophies. For those familiar with big-time college football, the Bowden name is synonymous with winning. Bobby, the close-knit clan's partiarch, is coach of the Florida State University Seminoles, a one-time NCAA champion and perennial powerhouse. Bobby and his wife, Ann, have six childrens--two gifts and four boys--five of whom have, in one capacity or another, followed their father into football (eldest son Steve remains the holdout--he is a minister/educator). Less well-known, however, is that the Bowdens are devout evangelical Protestants. This book takes the form of a kind of dinner table discussion about life, kids, faith, love, leadership, loyalty, competition, and gender issues, conveniently couched in the lexicon and contexts of the occasionally inconsistent realms of gridiron life and individual salvation. Scattered among the scores of platitudes (""Most of the time when you lose, it's because the other team is a little better than you. . . . The key, I think, is to make sure you take something away from those losses"") are some genuinely perceptive thoughts, many provided by Steve, who gently opposes Dad's fundamentalist point of view. Wife Ann describes Bobby, her husband of 47 years, as a man of unshakable faith who ""accepts the Bible as the Word of God."" This and other highly personal insights the Bowdens share about one another should intrigue football fans who associate Bobby's Seminoles or Terry's Auburn Tigers (or, for the record, most other successful football programs) with the frequent misdeeds of some of their players. To be fair, all the Bowdens seem comfortable, sincere, and mostly nonjudgmental in their faith. However, with their highly successful personal and professional lives, they seem at times to be a bit out of touch with other aspects of life. Surefire inspiration for those who are inspired by the Bowdens; not much of anything for anyone else.

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Warner

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996