I’m going to start this off by saying I have NEVER been a fan of Bobby Petrino the person. The coach has had success in his collegiate career that can’t be ignored, to most extent at least. My disdain for Petrino started the moment he quit on the Atlanta Falcons during the 2007 season. Let’s forget about the endless debate about whether collegiate football coaches can have great success in the NFL. I just want to focus on how Petrino left the Falcons, who were 3-10 at the time, after telling owner Arthur Blank he was committed to the organization. Look do coaches talk to other teams when they aren’t suppose to, of course. That said who leaves a professional football team in the manner he did. Not only did Petrino lied directly to the owner but left a note for his former players to read about his departure. I remember when this happened and how enraged I was in that moment not only for his course of actions but with little remorse or second thought he appeared to do it with.
In life sometimes we as individuals have to make choices in the best interest of ourselves. While our decisions can have direct impact on those close to us, we have to be able to make a choice to put ourselves in the best position possible. Now there will be people who will say that you’re greedy or selfish for such choices and sometimes they are right. The trick is to make it seem like you’re not selfish but you were doing what needed to be done so you can have the best future. Bobby Petrino taking the position of head coach for the University of Arkansas was by all means the best choice he could have made. But the way he went with making this choice is why I have little respect for him.
It’s hard to admit to mistakes, it just is. Acknowledging our failures is painfully necessary to appreciate and gain any type of success. It’s easy to look and act like a winner when that’s all we do. But when that loss column has our name in it more often, that defines what type a winner we are. Bobby Petrino is a winner, but not the winner I would want to win with. I say that because when the wins start to get scarce, so will he. When he went to the Falcons, he had an extremely unique burden placed on his shoulders. This was a team that lost Michael Vick due to his conviction of dog fighting. The franchise lost its identity and desperately need someone to change that. Petrino was not that man, and that would have been ok for him to admit that at the time. When looking back, there are very few people could most would deem qualified for what the Falcons needed in a head coach that season. That said I don’t remember the expectation being extremely high for Petrino and the Falcons that season due to everything that did and was taking place. So if by the end of the season he decided to go to Arthur Blank and say I’m probably not the guy this team needs now, who would have blamed him. I certainty wouldn’t. But as history showed us, it didn’t go down in that manner. The saddest part about his departure from Atlanta was that it wasn’t a surprise how he fell to anybody.
Karma is a funny word, mainly because it has the tendency to be overused or potentially be taken out of context. I feel sometimes we as a society in a general sense are too quick to say “I told you so!” or “That’s what you get!” to one another. Our drive to seek vengeance blinds us of our passion for each other at times, which is a scary site to see. I say all this because when I first heard of Petrino’s motorcycle crash, I initially felt bad. I never want to see people get hurt like that whether or not I know them or dislike them for things they do in their profession. I started to develop a compassion for a man I never knew on a personal level but despised as a professional. I felt bad at one small instance for how I verbally ridiculed him when his name was brought up. Then the report comes out that he wasn’t alone on the motorcycle, but accompanied by a 25 yr old woman who was not his wife. And just like that all the compassion I started to feel slowly began to diminish a tad bit. Again I want to reiterate that I don’t find any pleasure in Bobby Petrino having an accident like that and glad to see him doing physically better. That said, whatever happens to him strictly on a professional level I have no remorse for. He’s currently on paid-leave while both the state and University of Arkansas continues their investigation. Many believe he won’t be fired, which I’m also inclined to believe. But any respect he had besides being a great college football coach has likely been lost and Petrino probably has Karma to blame for that.