"Joe's like me, 'Y'all handle it.'"...
The Bobby Bowden book tour continues in Atlanta where the former Florida State football coach stopped by the studios of 790 AM to chat with "Mayhem in the AM."
The conversation turned to his latest meeting with Joe Paterno at midfield prior to Penn State's loss to Alabama on Saturday.
With all of the travel Bowden has been doing to promote his new book, the radio hosts considered this proof that Bowden could have held up physically for another year on the football sideline.
"Here's the thing people don't realize, a head coach don't coach. He delegates authority. They coach. His job is to handle problems."
While Bowden may have perfected that role to great success for a time in the 80's and 90's, there are those like Steve Spurrier who coach the quarterbacks and call the plays on the weekend that may beg to differ with the broad brush applied by the former FSU chief.
Paterno wouldn't be one of them, according to Bowden.
"Joe's like me. 'Y'all handle it.' When Joe broke his leg, he didn't go to the office for a year. He did it all out of his house and yet he brought them back. I was hoping I could, but I didn't. I thought I'd probably get the same deal. I nearly took this approach. I shouldn't say this over the air but I'm going to say it. I was kind of like, 'Y'all ain't got guts enough to fire me.' Oh yes they has (laughter)."
There's something charming about Bowden's affirmation of the "pick up the headset only to make the post-game dinner reservations" cliche.
Although he repeatedly makes the point at this early stage of retirement to remind those that dumped him a year early in Tallahassee that he too could have lost by 3 touchdowns in Tuscaloosa or, more specifically, by 30 at Oklahoma.
And it, remarkably, would have been a more dignified conclusion to three decades of service.