As University of Arkansas A.D. Jeff Long continues to weigh whether winning is more important than doing the right thing, there are a few things we can all learn from Bobby Petrino.
1. Looking stupid at your presser is almost as bad as the sin that got you in trouble. I said almost. But good grief how big a dork did Bobby Petrino look like in that neck brace, hat and stupid look on his face? The cap had clearly never been worn before. I can just see him grabbing it from his shelf of Sugar Bowl paraphernalia as he walked out of his office for the press room…donning it for the first time ever. Got to remind those holding your fate where you’ve taken them as your future hangs in the balance. I understand why he did it, but the move was way to obvious not to make fun of.
2. Hot 25-year-olds don’t screw old guys because they love them.
A romp in the hay with youth isn’t worth losing your wife, four children, integrity and possibly your career. Way to go there Bobby. Way to show your kids what a faithful relationship looks like so they can grow up with the hope that they can make that happen too. Jessica wasn’t interested in being your life mate and mothering the kids you chose to bring into the world with your real life mate. Your wealth and power simply made you intriguing to Jessica’s underdeveloped frontal lobe, and what happened next was a neat opportunity for her. Hope it was worth it.
3. If you play, you’re going to get caught.
The good book (Numbers 32:23) puts it this way: “Be sure your sin will find you out.” Look, we all mess up, and we can all conceal what we’re doing for a while. Like foot fungus, sin thrives in darkness. But one day it’s going to see the light of day, and when it does, shoplifting the pooty with a young thang isn’t going to have the same luster it did when you were horny. Folks, keep it zipped.
4. Arkansas fans just want to win.
Petrino has transformed Arkansas into a contender, and the little piggies up there don’t want it to stop. That’s understandable for a state crazed over football…and Arkansas is such a state. I know we’re nuts in Alabama too, but we have two teams who balance things out a bit. Arkansas, like Tennessee and Louisiana, is a one-horse state. There’s nothing else there. The entire state is unified behind Razorback football. So when something like this happens, that’s why you have fan campaigns like this one to keep their coach in the wake of him embarrassing their program.
Look, we get it at Alabama. We’ve had our fair share of scandals and learned from our Mikes (Dubose and Price). We botched the Dubose scandal. We got the Price one right, and as a result spent the next four years in football pergatory. Mike Price would’ve delivered more wins than Mike Shula. But a man who can’t keep his peter in his pants is not the person you need leading a multi-million dollar organization.
5. Marriage is hard.
If you’re not married yet, you’re going to find that out. If you are, you know what I’m talking about. Marriage can be incredibly fulfilling and rewarding, but it takes work. And there are days something new seems really appealing. But you’re not going to get something better, just something different. And the old problems you’re trading in will only come in exchange for a whole new batch of new ones…and usually more. Sometimes the decision is made for you by your spouse, but other times you have a say in whether or not to throw it all away. Don’t do it. Wait it out, work it out, whatever. Just don’t pull a Petrino/Price/Dubose. It never works out the way you think it will.
The bottom line is, we’re all capable of pulling a Petrino. No one is bullet proof. But the guy who is Nick Saban’s gridiron punching bag has put himself in an unenviable position because he didn’t have the discipline needed to avoid scandal. Maybe if he’d spend as much time in the film room as he did playing footsie with Jessica he wouldn’t be 0-4 against Nick Saban.