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Bowden Honors Sept. 11 Heroes With Team's 2002 Slogan

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TALLAHASSEE, FLA. — Bobby Bowden didn't give his players achance to vote on the team slogan for the 2002 season. This year,the veteran Florida State coach already had a motto in mind:"Let's Roll!"

Bowden said his players embraced the catchphrase after heexplained how Todd Beamer and other passengers aboard United Flight93 prevented terrorists from flying the plane into their targetlast September.

The flight crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside on Sept.11. It was the only one of four hijacked planes that didn't killanyone on the ground.

"You know you're going to die and instead of panicking they goin there and try to keep them from blowing up the White House orwhatever they were trying to blow up," Bowden said Sunday. "Iconsider those guys heroes. Let's honor them."

Beamer, a 32-year-old account manager for Oracle Corp., cried"Let's Roll!" on an in-flight phone as passengers apparentlyprepared to confront the hijackers.

"He had three or four others guys and they were fixing to takethat thing over," Bowden said. "I can just see those guys around'em and he says, 'Lets Roll."'

President Bush has often repeated the phrase to rally Americansin the war on terrorism.

The Seminoles, who slumped to an 8-4 record last season after 14years of 10 wins or more, choose a new slogan every year. Bowdenhas usually let his players make the decision.

During the school's annual media day activities, Bowden alsosaid he believes the Seminoles are in group of about 10 schoolswith the talent to win a national title.

With 17 starters back this season, Bowden begins his 27th yearsat Florida State with something he didn't have last year -experience.

"These guys walked in like they know what they're doing,"Bowden said. "You can't coach experience."

In addition, the Seminoles regain the services of wide receiversAnquan Boldin and Robert Morgan, who were both lost to the team allof last year.

Bowden's 323 victories ties him with the late Alabama coach,Paul "Bear" Bryant, for second place on the NCAA's all-time listof career coaching wins for Division I.A. - four less than PennState's Joe Paterno.

A Florida State win Aug. 24 in Kansas City against Iowa Statewould move Bowden past Bryant into second place by himself.

"I don't think about that at all," Bowden said Sunday. "Iwould think when I retire, if I ever retire, then you'd look backand say 'oh boy look at here' but right now the biggest thing is towin a national championship."

Bowden, who turns 73 during the season, said he isn't thinkingabout retirement.

"I like coaching too much," he said.

Bowden, who has lost more than 20 pounds over the last year, wasin his usual upbeat form, displaying the same energy, enthusiasmand wit that has been the hallmark of his remarkable 26-year run atFlorida State. He's racked up a 250-59-4 record and national titlesin 1993 and 1999 with the Seminoles.

"Getting old is good if you've got your health," Bowden said."The good Lord has blessed me with good health. Now I've got tokeep from dropping dead when I walk out of the building."

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