File this in the “least surprising sports event of 2007” category: It looks like Atlanta Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino is ready to take his ball and go home. Less than one year after accepting the Atlanta gig, Petrino appears headed back to the (relatively) safe haven of the college ranks. According tothe report
, the former Louisville coach is on the verge of filling the head coach vacancy at the University of Arkansas.
Anyone familiar with Petrino saw this coming from a mile away. In fact, I did. Here’s what I wrote the same day Petrino signed up to coach the Falcons:
“Do you ever catch yourself wondering how professional sports owners actually became millionaires? I mean, surely they're a business-savvy lot who achieved success thanks to a boatload of clever, cunning decisions, right? So why on earth do they repeatedly make fools of themselves in the sports arena with bone-headed moves that show no sign of learning from past mistakes?
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The latest example comes courtesy of Atlanta Falcons owner, Arthur Blank. Just days after kicking Jim Mora Jr. to the curb, Blank brought in former Louisville head coach, Bobby Petrino, to lead his team. An offensive specialist, Petrino will be asked not only to turn the Falcons around, but to rescue the career of Michael Vick as well, since he appears destined to go down as the game's all-time biggest tease at this point.
Sounds reasonable enough, so what's the problem? Well, if Blank bothered to look about 650 miles to the South last week, he'd know. Of course, that's when Miami got screwed over by Suzie-Lies-A-Lot, better known as Nick Saban. You see, like Saban, Petrino has made a habit of demanding loyalty and then showing none in return. His dalliances with Auburn and back room scheming at Louisville are well documented.
Now, I'll admit, coaches lying to players, faculty and the media is nothing new. And I don't begrudge anyone their right to earn a living and climb to the top of their chosen mountain. But if you dance with snakes, you're bound to get bit. And I'll go on record and tell you right now: In three years or less, after riding the Ron Mexico roller-coaster, Petrino will slither back to the college game, content with a fat check, blue-chip prospects and a brand-new messiah mask. Gotta hide those nostril-slits and that forked tongue somehow.”
There are two lessons to be learned from this experience: No. 1: Don’t dance with the devil. And No. 2: It’s always fun to be right. - Jason Friedman