What a sweet, sweet offseason of vindication it has been for Atlanta Falcons fans.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what we did to accrue all these karma points, but they have overwhelmingly come back in our favor the last few months. First, it was the Saints’ bounty scandal, where we had the pleasure of learning that our archrivals really are dirtballs.
Every fanbase should be so lucky.
But this week came the news that Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino had a mishap that might ruin his career. If you don’t know the story, Petrino used to coach for the Falcons, very briefly, before he left them in the middle of the night to go back to coaching in the college game, in Fayetteville.
He quit on the Falcons when they were at their most vulnerable, beaten and bruised from a bad season following the jailing of Michael Vick, the franchise player. Petrino told owner Arthur Blank, “You have a head coach,” declaring his loyalty to the team. Then he was gone less than 24 hours later.
He left a letter for his players, on their lockers, to let them know their coach was fleeing the disaster in the middle of the night:
Atlanta Falcons players:
Out of my respect for you, I am letting you know that, with a heavy heart, I resigned today as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. This decision was not easy, but it was made in the best interests of me and my family. While my desire would have been to finish out what has been a difficult season for us all, circumstances did not allow me to do so. I appreciate your hard work and wish you the best.
It was a good idea in theory, until the players he deserted didn’t buy it.
“It got to the point where guys really didn’t care if he left or not. But the way he decided to leave, to me, was just not right.” – Warrick Dunn
“This league is not for everybody. This league is for real men. I think he realized he didn’t belong here.” – Lawyer Milloy
“It just shows his true color, like a coward with a yellow stripe down his back.” – Grady Jackson
“One word: Disloyal.” – Jamaal Anderson
“For my profession, I’m always very disappointed when things like this happen. Kind of leave it at that. This profession needs to handle itself better at times.” – Brian Billick, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens at the time
In other words, those of us who rooted for Petrino to succeed in Atlanta already knew he was a lying coward. But if you didn’t know then, you learned this week.
Meet 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell.
She was just hired by Petrino to work for the football team as a student-athlete development coordinator, and she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas. She also played volleyball during her time at the school.
And she was also on the motorcycle that Petrino wrecked earlier this week.
Why is this a big issue? Because Petrino is a married father/grandfather who lied about being alone at the scene of the accident the other night, and has since fessed up to having a prior relationship with Dorrell.
So now Arkansas has probable cause to fire Petrino for being a lying coward.
Now that he has been suspended from the football program at Arkansas, the board of directors has an important decision to make — do you continue to employ a winner after he lied to you, or do you cut him loose and risk your standing as what looks to be a top-5 football program in the upcoming year?
While they ponder that, I have a suggestion for Becky Petrino, Bobby’s wife. Take that letter your husband left on every Falcon’s locker in 2007, and leave it on his mirror at home.
She’d only need to change a few words to make it fit this situation perfectly, too.
Out of my respect for you, I am letting you know that, with a heavy heart, I resigned today as your wife. This decision was not easy, but it was made in the best interests of me and my family. While my desire would have been to finish out what has been a difficult marriage for me, circumstances did not allow me to do so. I appreciate your hard work and wish you the best.