Thursday, December 13, 2007

One's options

Bobby Petrino is living proof of what comedian Chris Rock once said:

A man is as loyal as his options.

Petrino left the Atlanta Falcons earlier this week, where he was 3-10 in his first season as head coach, to accept the University of Arkansas head coaching position. His abrupt departure came hours after his team lost by 20 points to New Orleans on Monday night.

What should we make of this? Petrino said his heart is in college football. "I knew I wanted to come back and coach in college football," the Associated Press reported him saying. Rather I say that being offered over two million dollars a year shows that his heart is where the money is.

Last January, Petrino left Louisville, agreeing to a five-year, $24 million contract to coach Atlanta. He was hailed as the coach finally to make Michael Vick a complete quarterback. However, Vick never showed because of a little dogfighting problem he had to deal with.

Two years ago, Petrino's heart was in the Bluegrass State -- Louisville offered him big bucks and he signed a contract extension. His heart was satisfied until Peachtree Street came a-calling.

But it's not just coaches such as Petrino, whose loyalty must be questioned, but what about Arkansas? When did they contact him? Did they first contact Atlanta for permission to speak with him?

Apparently not since the Falcons front office was as shocked by Petrino's departure as was the players. Or were they?

Who wants to play for a coach, who has one eye looking at the want ads? Who wants to play for someone whose heart isn't there?

Perhaps the Falcons' 3-10 record is more reflective on the sense the the players knew that Petrino wasn't the guy for them, as opposed to not having Vick, or deficient talent across the board.

The public often whine when players bolt from one team to another for the money, but little is said when coaches do the same.

Like Rock says: Loyalty goes only as far as one's option.

"I'm very excited to get back and work with the student-athlete," claims Petrino.

Until a better offer comes around.

No comments: