Every blogger worth their salt who knew a thing about pro football thought Bobby Petrino would pull a Saban and bolt as soon as he realized that he couldn’t push around Atlanta Falcons players like he did the college kids that he had under his thumb at Louisville. No one figured he’d do it before even finishing one fucking season, though. Petrino bailed on the sinking ship that is the Falcons post-Michael Vick with three games left to go for the University of Arkansas. (I was massively entertained by the Fayetteville crowd joining him in the most insincere “Woo, pig, sooey!” I’ve seen come out of anyone’s mouth during the press conference.)
And if any of you were in any sort of shock at Petrino’s decision, let’s recap his flirtations while employed as a head coach, thanks to ESPN’s Pat Forde:
- 2003: Petrino meets with boosters trying to boot his former boss at Auburn, Tommy Tuberville, and only cops to it when presented with flight info.
- 2004: Interviews with Notre Dame after Ty Willingham is canned, talks to Florida and Ole Miss before staying at L’Ville. Signs new contract and then talks to LSU after Saban bails for the Fins.
- 2005: Interviews with the Cryptkeeper in Oakland.
- 2006: Takes the Falcons job five years after signing yet another contract — this one for 10 years and $25 million.
I thought Saban had the market on skullduggery all to himself before Petrino. Razorback fans might get lucky and get plenty of good years out of his offense because no one else (certainly not in the NFL) will touch him now with a 10-foot pole. But you better hope no school gets desperate enough to dangle more money in front of him if he gets the Hogs to tear it up. If that’s the case, the fanbase will be pissed that they passed on Will Muschamp, who’ll get to torture Petrino’s offense as Auburn’s DC for another season, and when the Arkansas fanbase gets pissy, they get to making Freedom of Information Act requests for cell phone records and floating rumors about the coach having affairs.
And Bobby Petrino does not have the charisma that Houston Nutt possessed, which kept him in Fayetteville for a decade, even with the expectations of a program that hasn’t quite realized that it isn’t as good as it thinks it should be right now.
And not a one of those Falcons playing is gonna miss Petrino, if DeAngelo Hall’s response on ESPN was any indication. (Thanks to HG @ You Been Blinded for YouTubing this.)
Photo: AP/Beth Hall