TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The online auction service eBay was fired yesterday by Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden, who cited a difference in philosophy as the main reason for the surprise termination.
Said Bowden: “We saw things a little bit differently, me an’ eBay. I’m more of an old school guy, and he wanted to do things I wasn’t comfortable with. And if there’s one doggone thing I’ve learned in thirty years of coachin’ it’s that you gotta steer with your own gut. I did that, and that’s why eBay’s got his papers.”
Bowden, above, angrily gestures for eBay’s immediate dadgum exit.
The announcement was unexpected given that eBay is a web-based auction house catering to millions of customers with a user-offered selection of collectibles, antiques, electronics, furniture and other miscellaneous items and services. The $4.55 billion earning company is also the owner of Skype and PayPal, two of the internet’s hottest properties. Though sports memorabilia are sold through eBay – many of them college football based and some of them probably having to do with the Seminoles – there wasn’t a direct connection between the NASDAQ traded internet company and Florida State until Bowden’s scathing critique of the treatment of his son and former FSU offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden, who resigned on Nov. 14.
“You all ignited it,” Bobby Bowden said to a small room of reporters during a November press conference explaining the resignation. Bowden was speaking of the growing controversy over his son’s handling of an offense that went from one of the most dominant in college football to 2006’s total offensive ranking of 70th in the nation. “You listen to eBay and e-mail and all that junk, and you all kept writing about it and that fans it and makes it grow and grow, and it becomes a cancer. That’s why.”
The outburst took many by surprise, but not all. Recently re-hired linebackers coach and assistant head coach Chuck Amato said he wasn’t shocked by the firing, and noted “eBay had it comin’.” Amato, known as “The Chest”, even took the opportunity to use eBay’s firing as an example of the passion still left in the seventy-seven year old Bowden.
“Sure, he could’ve pussy-footed around and kept eBay for years and years in an attempt to put off the inevitable. But that ain’t what he did. What he did was what happened, which was the firing of eBay. That’s Bobby for you, the old rascal. He’s still got some fire in him,” Chuck Amato’s left breast said. Amato’s left mammary was assistant co-distraction with Amato’s right bosom at North Carolina State until Nov. 26; the two served under both Bowden and a floating pair of ruby tinted sunglasses during their time at Florida State from 1982 to 2000.
Chuck Amato’s pectorals, left, and Bowden discuss what to do about the harm a series of tubes is doing to the game.
A source close to Bowden said that although there was indeed a difference in philosophy between the iconic FSU coach and eBay, it was the latter’s decision to go to the press with information that “should have remained in house” which caused Bowden to initiate the termination.
“In football nothing goes outside the locker room. There’s a trust there that things said inside the locker room are kept there, and when that trust is violated – especially with someone as old school as pappy – the reprecussions are swift. When you sell information like eBay did, you’re really just selling yourself out,” the source said.
When asked if he tried to inform Bowden of the non-humanoid nature of eBay, the source declined to comment, citing a busy schedule with ESPN Florida Radio’s The Terry Bowden Show.
Though many college football experts are unsure how eBay’s firing will affect the 2007 season, some are calling it an early sign of FSU’s return to prominence.
“The Seminoles are my pre-season pick for number one,” said ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard. “They’ve got the offensive fireworks, the personnel, the schedule and that certain indefinable it. I wasn’t so sure about that last one until Bobby showed he isn’t just a figurehead wandering around on the sideline. He ain’t lost. He’s still as sharp as ever, and he got rid of the one thing holding the Seminoles back: Texas.”
Howard later apologized for his error in confusing eBay with the University of Texas, but stuck to his prediction of FSU as number one.
“And you might as well write [former Seminoles tailback] ‘Lorenzo Booker’ on that 2007 Heisman Trophy. It’s his, baby. ‘Book’ it!” added Howard.