One of the things that I like about people when they write their autobiography is when they admit that they were wrong. Too few famous people admit to being wrong in any time throughout their careers, being far too ready to place the blame of their own errors on their friends, family, agents, movie producers, drugs, their neighbor’s old cat, etc. Which is what makes Bobby Bowden’s Called to Coach such a refreshing autobiography.
A quick note to those who don’t know who Bobby Bowden is: he coached football at various colleges and became the owner (briefly) of the all-time wins record in college football. Along the way he shaped the lives of thousands of men with his honesty, his accountability and his virtues.
Bowden starts off his book the same way most do: a quick look into their childhoods, with defining moments standing out amongst the many. But the difference between Bowden and a Lindsey Lohan autobiography is that Bowden is fairly religious and takes responsibility for all of his actions, which as I mentioned before, is very refreshing. While not an in-you-face religious type of idealism, Bowden’s faith plays a huge part in his coaching and his words, which is something I really appreciate in today’s society. Too often people want to make certain that you know just how strong their faith is, so they push it onto everyone and everything, which makes the whole faith and spirituality argument counterproductive.
Football fans will definitely love this peek into the mind of one of college football’s greatest coaches, and even non-football fans can enjoy this book. Filled with poignant thoughts, touching memories and the heart-wrenching recollection of the fatal car crash which took his grandson and son-in-law in 2004, Bowden’s message speaks volumes to any reader. The best part? The realization as you’re halfway through the book, and you realize that Coach Bowden is a family man first, a football coach second, which you don’t see too much of anymore these days.
A definite solid read. Highly enjoyable.
Reviewed by Jason