Commentary: Bowden Seemingly Relaxed As Pivotal Ninth Season Unfolds


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Sitting in his office, wrapping up last Friday's meeting with the local media, Tommy Bowden smiled as the questions came to an end.

Football practice at Clemson would start the next day, as would Bowden's daily meetings with writers, broadcasters, et al.

"Now ya'll have something to write about other than me. Go write about them for a while," he said, referring to his players.

Then, as he moved back around behind his desk, he looked up with that characteristic grin of his.

"Then ya'll can go back to writing about me."

Writing about Tommy Bowden has been a full-time job in recent weeks.

Since his media golf outing in mid-July, the "hot-seat" stories have come in waves. With the late-season collapse still the last thing most fans remember about 2006, Bowden's job security has popped up again just as sure as SID Tim Bourret goes home to Connecticut every summer for vacation.

But it's not just here.

National sports writers have harped on the theme. Some have taken it to extremes.

Even out in Austin, Texas, where I did a radio interview last week, the host wanted to know about Bowden's job security.

It appears to be bothering everyone. Except Bowden.

Oh sure, you know it has an effect on him and his family. But to watch his mannerisms, to listen to him talk, you'd think Bowden was coming off a BCS victory and a large contract extension.

Not in a sense of being cocky or arrogant. More along the lines of being loose, jovial and talkative.

There's no ducking the media. There's no dodging questions. There's no constant frown that would signal a coach with his job security on his mind.

Of course, the games haven't started yet, either. And we all know that his demeanor can change in a New York minute.

But for now, Bowden's outward appearance is relaxed less than a week into his ninth fall practice at Clemson.

Deep inside, you wonder if he's privately hoping there's a 10th.

The original version of this commentary appeared in Dan Scott's Blog - Off Mic With Dan Scott - last week. To see the blog and its daily updates, visit www.offmicwithdanscott.blogspot.com, or www.wccpfm.com.

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