The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family and Football tells the development of Coach Bobby Bowden as a man and as a football player. Florida State University’s winningest coach will have his story debut live in theaters across the nation from the NCAA Football National Championship in Tampa, January 8. Powerful with testimonials from Bowden, his family, his players, his opposing coaches, and others, the film will entertain you even if you’ve never done the tomahawk chop.
The litany of people who parade through this film are some football royalty, from coaches like Lou Holtz and Mack Brown to players like Chris Weinke, Peter Warrick, and Charlie Ward. They highlight some sad (for FSU fans) wide lefts for the old coach, as well as some wide rights; some injuries and deaths that stole joy momentarily all have their time in the documentary. Yes, this is football, but ...
Bowden, who survived rheumatic fever as a child, grew up loving football and worked his way through various stops (and some near misses) to dominate FSU’s opponents for decades. But Bowden’s desire to share his faith - to embrace each moment as a time to grow and to express the love of Christ - is abundantly clear from the man himself. Even more importantly, it’s clear that his love was obvious to the people who worked close with him and knew his heart.
For all of the thrilling highlights and awesome interviews with these football all-stars, the impact of Bowden’s life on others is what captivated me as I watched the two-hour film. Peter Warrick’s troubles - and redemption - make for some compelling, Hoop Dreams-like sports redemption stories. And then there’s the conversion of Mark Richt that practically takes place on camera. Without giving too much away, it’s one of the most genuinely conveyed moments I’ve seen in a documentary.
As a football fan, I found the nostalgia exciting, but as a Christian, I find myself convinced that Bowden’s impact can never be measured in wins and losses. The Bowden Dynasty is funny, poignant, exciting, and inspiring - it’s the story of a man who used the platform God gave him to make a difference. And it challenges me to recognize the moments I have put in front of me, and to do the most I can with them.
4th and long on the field of life? Go for it.
The film will be available in select theaters through Fathom Events on January 8. Ticket info is available at www.BowdenDynasty.com.