The entirety of Big Blue Nation is rejoicing over the Wildcats triumph of the hated Cardinals this weekend. Several years ago ‘Stevie Got Loose!’ to beat the highly ranked ‘Cards, this weekend ‘Stephen Got Loose!’ dominating the highly ranked Cardinals and out-dueling probable Heisman Award winner Lamar Jackson.
Beating Louisville in Football is sweet, ending the 5-game losing streak is sweet, dashing their Orange Bowl hopes is sweet, bragging rights for 364 days is sweet, seeing the fan base in full meltdown mode is sweet… but you know what is the sweetest; sticking it to Bobby Petrino.
Bobby Petrino is not a nice person; in fact, it is fair to say he is generally a terrible person. The facts speak for themselves, you decide what you want:
A TIMELINE OF DISRESPECT
In 2001, Petrino resigns from his offensive coordinator job with the Jacksonville after only 1 year to head to Auburn. Oh yeah, and he did not tell Tom Coughlin. Coughlin found out when he saw the news conference on TV announcing him as the Auburn coach.
In 2003, his first year as a head coach at the University of Louisville:
“Petrino went behind the back of his employer and his onetime boss, Tuberville, to negotiate a deal replacing him at Auburn. He held a clandestine meeting across the Ohio River from Louisville in southern Indiana with Auburn officials, two days before both the Tigers and Cardinals played their final regular-season games…
Petrino lied about having any contact with Auburn officials — until two reporters for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal confronted him with documentation of the private plane that brought the university president and athletic director into Petrino’s backyard. I (Pat Forde) was one of the two reporters. And even when faced with the evidence, Petrino resisted telling the truth until Auburn issued a statement owning up to the whole affair.
Boxed into a corner, Petrino asked forgiveness and chalked it up to the inexperience of a “young coach.” Louisville forgave him because he was 9-3 and his offense blew up scoreboards.”
In 2004, Petrino says “I want to make it clear that I’m not interested in any other coaching jobs, and am happy at the University of Louisville.” Petrino would interview with Notre Dame and supposedly talked with Florida and Ole Miss. He then interviewed with LSU and pulled out when he realized Les was going to get it. Oh and got a huge raise from Louisville
In 2006, Petrino signs 10 year $25 million deal with Louisville with a $1 mil buyout, dropping this quote:
“We did want to make a statement,” Petrino said. “I also wanted to make sure that everyone understood – and I know I’ve said it – that this is where my family wants to be and where I want to be. But I want everyone to really believe it when it is said.”
Asked later if he was emphatically telling other teams not to pursue him, Petrino said, “Yeah. That’s why we did the buyout. That’s why I wanted the buyout, so everybody understands that.”
FIVE MONTHS LATER... he bolted to the Atlanta Falcons
“I haven’t given it [college coaching vacancies] one bit of thought,” he said.
14 days later… Petrino posts a 78-word letter in the Falcons locker room saying he was leaving for Arkansas.
In April 2012, Petrino crashes his motorcycle. Petrino asked a witness to lie about him being alone in the accident. He lied about it to the AD and all officials. As we all now know, Petrino was having an affair with a team staff member that he had hired and given $20,000. Did I mention the 25-year-old girl was engaged to someone else?
In December 2012, Petrino is named coach of Western Kentucky. Ready to turn his life around, his career around, restore his name and reputation. Supposedly committed to turning WKY into a powerhouse program:
The new coach did meet with Hilltoppers players on Monday afternoon. Petrino expects the program to consistently win conference championships, bowl games and to compete for a BCS bowl berth.
Athletic director Todd Stewart believes Petrino can take WKU to the next level.
"I'm confident that he'll be here for a while and hope that he's here for a long time," Stewart said.
Oh, that lasted one season…
HOMECOMING; A COACH AND A PROGRAM THAT DESERVE EACH OTHER
The Louisville media and Tom Jurich proclaimed this man to be a different person, a better person. Jurich even went as far as saying he wanted the ‘New’ Bobby Petrino.
It did not take long for Bobby to show his true colors.
In February 2015, Petrino pulled a scholarship from Matt Colburn, a South Carolina three-star RB, just TWO DAYS before national signing day. The kid had been committed for over 8 months and had not wavered on his commitment.
To really dump salt into the wound, Petrino could not even call the kid to do it. He had an assistant coach, the linebackers coach, call the kid, a running back, to inform him that 48 hours before signing day, (when most schools had the vast majority of schools had filled their classes) he no longer had a home in Louisville’s class.
PETRINO’S DISDAIN FOR KENTUCKY
Now that you have reviewed the full background of reprehensible behavior by the man, check out the stories of his disdain for Kentucky.
According to two UL student managers:
Coach Petrino's second year, week 2, I am grabbing a package for him from UPS, and he wants it inside his office. I run it up, set it down, and turn to walk off and he says "wait, open it up." So I turn and open the box and pull out a poster-sized frame with a picture of the Louisville-Kentucky scoreboard from the previous week. He had me hold it up, walk back to the wall, and then yelled for Paul Petrino to come into his office.
This thing was heavy and I am holding it up and waiting. Paul comes in and they stand at his desk where Bobby reads the score out loud: "Louisville 28, Slapdicks nothing. I f*&$ing love it, those little smurfs didn't even score a point." They looked at me and said, "that is what winners do, kick their ass." He told me to set it down where he could look at it and as I was leaving he grabbed me and said "get used to it, we are going to kick their ass every year."
I want to piggyback on one of Jordan's stories about UK. Coach Petrino absolutely hates UK.
His first game as head coach for UofL is against Kentucky and in Lexington in 2003. He is already not happy because the game has been delayed for an hour and a half because of rain. It was a back and forth game, but we pulled out ahead in the fourth quarter. We go on a long drive to end the game. We get to UK's two yard line with I think about 6 seconds left. A timeout is called (I can't remember which team called it.)
UK thinks we are going to kneel it because we already had a lead. This doesn't happen.
I worked up in the coach's box with the headsets that year and I always set up a headset so I could listen to what Coach Petrino was saying. At this particular moment he tells Paul Petrino and the rest of the offensive coaches, "Let's punch it in on these mother f------ers!!" Coach P calls a running play and Lionel Gates runs it in for a TD to end the game.
It was awesome.
Fast forward to this season and while the world on Floyd Street seems to be crumbling around him (Pitino’s Dorm Brothel, President Ramsey’s scandals), Petrino is now sitting in the catbird’s seat as being the least of the worst of Louisville.
Although, that is also like saying you scaled the tallest mountain in Kansas.
Bobby P with a Heisman contender under center and a soft schedule ahead of him; he is giddy. With each passing week, the Cardinals look increasingly like a top 5 team.
After the Cardinals thrash Florida State, the realization sits in that they might have a chance to make the College Football Playoff.
As Lamar Jackson dazzles, and even with a loss to Clemson, the Cardinals still have a legit chance at the playoff with the de facto Heisman winner leading. One slip up by someone and they might seize the spot.
Bobby Petrino; the man of so many flaws is about to be on top of the college football world.
His past is seemingly not going to haunt him; he seems primed to be able to call everyone in the college football world a bunch of ‘slapdicks’, not just the rival Wildcats.
He was knocked down a peg with the butt kicking at Houston, and while the dream of a national title had slipped away, he was still going to be able to drop 100 points on those ‘smurfs’ and dominate the state, per usual, right?
Not so fast my friend… call it karma, call it hubris, call it whatever you want… but that was simply Bobby Petrino being out-coached by Mark Stoops.
That was Bobby Petrino thinking he was playing a video game and could just set it on simulation mode and look up and win 70-0.
That was Bobby Petrino getting a comeuppance for at least a portion of his transgressions over the years.
Now, having said that, the decency ledger is still HEAVILY leaning toward the ‘terrible human’ line and I am not sure there is enough goodwill in the world to change that.
I can only imagine the anger and frustration that man is feeling right now and whether he admits it or not, will feel for the next 364 days.
I am guessing there will not be a day go by that he does not think about losing to the ‘smurfs’ in a year where an Orange Bowl birth, and a Heisman Award winner was a stone cold lock.
Now, the BirdGang can say bye bye to an Orange Bowl and Lamar Jackson is going to be nervous in New York and put their heads down around BBN for a year.
Whatever angst Petrino is feeling and will continue to feel, is nothing compared to the angst he has caused people like Matt Colburn, or the number of people that have been left in his wake of deceit.
As a Kentucky fan and a fan of being a decent human being, I could not be happier and I hope it is the most miserable 364 days of Bobby Petrino’s life.