Bowden beating Christian drums

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 2, 2003

Florida State University head football coach Bobby Bowden isrecognized for his down-home sense of humor and his outstandinglevel of success in directing the Seminoles. A devout Christian,Bowden spun several humorous stories Monday night at the SecondAnnual Mississippi College Wild Game Dinner.

Bowden’s Seminoles are undefeated (5-0) and ranked No. 5 in thenation. He graciously agreed to be in Clinton Monday night as thefeatured speaker for MC’s athletic fund raiser. Thanks to an opendate before tackling Miami’s Hurricanes, Bowden had a precious fewhours to spare for a worthwhile cause.

Hartwell McPhail coached at MC in the late 50s when Bowden wasstarting his coaching career at Howard College (now Samford)University) in his hometown of Birmingham. McPhail held a 3-1 edgeover Bowden in head-to-head encounters and was the appropriatechoice to introduce him to the large audience.

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Besides sharing jokes and family experiences, Bowden proclaimedhis Christian faith and provided a startling glimpse of what thefuture could hold for the United States of America. A history buff,Bowden recalled the birth of the Nazi regime in 1935 and AdolphHitler’s rise to power in Germany.

Hitler, a former altar boy, had prayer and Bibles removed frompublic schools. Christmas, recognized as the birthday of JesusChrist, was changed to Yuletide. Christmas pageants and nativityscenes were outlawed. In contrast, Pornography was rampant.

Sound familiar?

Hitler believed the majority of Christians in Germany were softand would submit to the suffocation of religion. They did.Tolerance is the key word.

“Our moral heritage is receding like the tide,” Bowden pointedout. “It’s not the voice of evil that is so strong. It is thesilence of Christians.

“We are a Christian nation,” he continued. “We must stand up andbe proud of being a Christian.”

Referring to the Bible, Bowden quoted ll Chronicles 7:14.

Bowden and his wife, Ann, have been married 54 years. They havesix grown children and 21 grandchildren. They are deeply concernedabout the future of the USA.

Meanwhile, back in Brookhaven, Professor Hoopla, B.S., wasenjoying the beautiful weather and eating lunch in Exchange Parkafter dropping off his list of weekly predictions. He predicted thewinners of 23 games last week and got 19 right. Here’s his previewof this weekend’s winners.

Brookhaven at McComb: It’s a cat fight in C.C. Moore Stadium asthe Panthers prevail by a whisker. Brookhaven 28-24.

Wesson at Loyd Star: A standing-room-only crowd watches ahard-fought battle on William E. “Sambo” Smith Field. Loyd Star27-21.

Brookhaven Academy at Columbia Academy: In a battle of theCougars, the Marion County felines are making up for pastmisfortunes. Columbia Academy 32-14.

West Lincoln at Bogue Chitto: Bobcats must win the rest of theirRegion 4-A games to stay in contention for the state playoffs.Bogue Chitto 42-22.

Enterprise at Stringer: Red Devils plot an ambush on their hometurf. Stringer 19-10.

Franklin County at Jefferson County: Bulldogs escape Fayettewith a shaky victory. Franklin County 16-12.

Lawrence County at Jackson Jim Hill: Cougars invade Hughes Fieldon Ellis Avenue and outscore the Tigers. Lawrence County 28-21.

Wilkinson County at Hazlehurst: Indians maintain their lead inthe Region 7-3A race. Hazlehurst 29-18.

In other games, Parklane should pulverize Copiah Academy 42-12,South Pike should trounce Terry 52-6, North Pike should clip EastMarion 14-12 and Richland should plug Crystal Springs 21-0.

After consuming a Cajun beef sandwich on rye, Hoopla digestsSaturday’s collegiate scene, starting with two community collegespecials.

Co-Lin at East Central: Still smarting from the lopsided loss atEllisville, the Wolves find victory in Decatur. Co-Lin 21-10.

Jones County at Southwest: The Bobcats flex their football andmusical muscles in Hurst Stadium. Jones 32-14.

Ole Miss at Florida: Rebels put lots of points on the board butthe Gators score more. Florida 39-29.

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State: Golly, gee. the Bulldogs ekeout a win. State 28-19.

Southern Miss at Cincinnati: Under the direction of freshmanquarterback Damion Carter, the Golden Eagles prevail on the road.USM 21-13.

In other Magnolia State action, Florida A&M will outscoreJackson State 38-28, Delta State will stop West Georgia 17-14,Hardin Simmons will edge Mississippi College 28-24, Maryville willclip Millsaps 27-10, Lambuth will dump Belhaven 19-6 and FortValley State will ambush Alcorn State 18-9. Valley State has anopen date to promote its volleyball team.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz at P.O. BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS39602 or e-mail