Nope. Some 200 Arkansas Razorback fans still showed up for a rally, and 21,000 of them went online this past week, to blindly support football coach Bobby Petrino – after the married father of four took a nasty spill off a motorcycle recently with his mistress/assistant on the back.
These fans still wanted him to lead their proud university into battle this fall.
It makes you wonder: What sort of behavior won’t such people accept?
Arkansas should’ve known what kind of man they were hiring when Petrino agreed to up-and-walk-out on the Atlanta Falcons in mid-stream without so much as a goodbye to the troops. But he inadvertently revealed himself in the April 1 accident. Reports indicate he didn’t want 9-1-1 called, and he initially said nothing about his comely passenger.
Now we know why: Not only was he having an extended affair with the 25-year-old former Razorback volleyball player, whom he gave a $20,000 “gift” to, but he’d actually hired her March 28 – in the process, skipping over nearly 160 other applicants and accelerating her hiring in variance of normal affirmative action rules.
He clumsily tried to hide it all, too, lying not just to fans but to university officials.
Again, now we know why.
Petrino’s prevarications knew no bounds. When news of his affair belatedly broke, Petrino referred to young Jessica Dorrell in the past tense – as a “previous inappropriate relationship.” Yet, as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, even then the two were exchanging text messages.
“Petrino and Dorrell exchanged more than 4,300 text messages and nearly 300 phone calls over the past seven months — on game days, before dawn and even as the police report that hastened his downfall was being released to the public,” the newspaper reported.
“Coach Petrino engaged in a pattern of misleading and manipulative behavior designed to deceive me and members of the athletic staff, both before and after the motorcycle accident,” lamented Athletic Director Jeff Long.
Petrino’s four broken ribs, cracked vertebra in his neck and red road burns on his face are the perfect metaphor for what he did to himself and his university.
But even all that is apparently too subtle for some fans.
Sports fans love to repeat the legendary war
cry that “Winning isn’t everything – it’s the only thing!”
Of course, that’s as big a lie as the whoppers Petrino pawned off on us. Let’s try the same phrase while, instead, substituting a different word for “winning.”
Honor isn’t everything – it’s the only thing.
Maybe we should take that out for a spin, sports fans.