Petrino Supposedly Going to Hell

Dante reserved the last circle of hell for the betrayers.  And if you listen to DeAngelo Hall, former Falcons coach Bobby Petrino has reservations upon shedding his mortal coil.  But if you will allow the non-Redskins digression, I’d like to talk about this for a minute.

What the heck did Petrino do?  He took a job he wanted more than the job he had.  Wouldn’t we all do that?  If someone offered you more money, or a better chance of advancement, or just a happier work place, wouldn’t you take it? So what is wrong with Bobby Petrino doing that?

And you can bet that DeAngelo Hall when his contract is up will go to the team that offers him the best combination of money, defensive style, chance to compete, living situation, etc.  He won’t turn that down because he’s a loyal Falcon. Nor should he.

Some people are complaining about the timing of the resignation. They wanted him to coach the last three games.  But we only have to look back to what happened to Nick Saban last year to know why he couldn’t do that.  If he had stayed, it would have inevitably leaked that Arkansas had offered him the job.  He would have been forced to lie about not taking it as Saban did last year or coach the last three games as a lame duck.  He would have been grilled in the press for staying.

In other words, there is no way to leave your job as an NFL head coach without getting nailed in the press for doing it.  Leave early and you’re called a coward.  Stay, and you are a liar.  What is he supposed to do?

And while we’re on the press reaction, why is the fact that the Falcons are miffed at this news?  Since when is the fact that someone got his feelings hurt news?  Lawyer Milloy writes “coward” over Petrino’s signature and Sportscenter covers it like it matters.  Terrell Owens whines about Keyshawn giving some of the credit for the Cowboys current play to Bill Parcells (which is undoubtedly true) and it is somehow news.  TO personally attacked Keyshawn.  He didn’t even really say anything that was insightful about Wade Phillips as a coach.  And yet it is news. Why?

Do we really want Sportscenter to start covering people who have had their feelings hurt?  Is this high school?

Go enjoy your job, Bobby Petrino.  I hope you and your family are happy.


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Tags: Bobby Petrino Falcons

  • gehenna

    I couldn’t disagree with you more. First, he lacked the courage to even tell his players that he was leaving in person. He left a pathetic three line paragraph note.  He also lied to the owner THE DAY BEFORE and looked him straight in the eye and said "You tell [the media] that you have a coach."  He brought in dozens of people who all have families and many of whom moved to atlanta for a job that they might no longer have.  Yes, if we were offered a job somewhere else, we would take it, but even we consider it good form to give two weeks notice and to help train the next guy and to do our best to finish up projects that we’re working on.  But your analogy is a poor one, since most of us don’t have dozens of employees who will also be left in the lurch should we leave.  It would be better to compare it to a CEO who brings a staff in only to leave two months later for a better job.  This guy snuck out in the middle of the night like the Baltimore colts.  And then, the very same night, he was yuking it up with the media with stupid hog calls in his new job.  He rubbed people’s face in it and he has no class. He’s a first class asshole who cares nothing for the families and people he left in the lurch.  I can’t believe you’d support this kind of action.  What would you do if a head coach left the Redskins in the middle of a season? That sort of action pretty much guarantees the rest of the season is in the tank. At least they should have the guts to finish out the season.  If he wanted the job, fine.  What Nick Saban did was bad but at least he waited until the season was over.  And if you don’t want to lie about it, then DON’T! Confirm that you’re leaving next year but promise to work as hard as you can to finish the season on a positive note.  Let the ownership have a chance to control  how and when the news comes out and let them have a chance to do it properly. Give them time to get an interrim coach in place and to get that coach up to speed.  This action was wrong in so many ways and I just can’t see how anyone would justify it at all.

  • splash

    I fully agree with gehenna here but one thing did give me pause.I can’t remember a time a coach has quit midseason but I can think of plenty of times owners fired them.  So if you can be fired without notice where you hear it from the press first hasn’t that set the bar for what coaches do back to owners?

  • gehenna

    First, a coach who gets fired still gets their money since they had a contract (or at least a buyout is negotiated). So the coach gets a paid holiday for the rest of the year.  Poor him.  By definition, when a coach is fired, the team is prepared to move on without them, so nobody else is harmed any more than they would be if he had been fired at the end of the season. On the other hand, if a coach quits, it leaves the team and players in the lurch. So I don’t think it’s an even comparison.  The coach makes a commitment to coach for that season; the owners make a commitment to pay the coach for coaching that season.  There’s an important distinction there.

  • gehenna

    I’ll add that I’m not a big fan of firing coaches in the middle of the season. It almost never does any good (at least in football; I’ve seen it work in Hockey, baseball, and other lesser sports).