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Media outlets harsh on Petrino


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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 12/12/07

Reaction to the news of coach Bobby Petrino's sudden resignation from the Falcons and subsequent hiring at the University of Arkansas was harsh Wednesday on local airwaves.

"He's a quitter and a despicable human being," 790 The Zone's Steak Shapiro said.

Blank would have started Home Depot with this guy, it would have been an ice cream stand."

As for Petrino's hiring at Arkansas, Dimino said the school could have offered this introduction: "Welcome to Arkansas a quitter and your fifth choice."

Petrino's move did not escape the notice of national writers.

Eric Crawford, of the Louisville Courier-Journal, wrote: "I mean this: He managed, somehow, to come off as less honest than Michael Vick and more conniving than Nick Saban. I don't know which is more impressive.

"At least he won't be as reviled in Atlanta as its most hated man - Union Gen. William T. Sherman. All Petrino burned were bridges.

"Oh, baby.

Atlanta, we could've told you. We've seen it all before. The assurances of loyalty. The indignation when doubted. The departure in the night. The only surprise is that Petrino is leaving before ever establishing that he could succeed, even a little, in the NFL."

He added this kicker: "Blank should have known Petrino is usually bluffing. According to reports, the coach assured Blank earlier that day he'd return to coach the Falcons. Now it's being reported that he (or his agent) already had been in contact with Arkansas. When Petrino coached the Cardinals in the Orange Bowl, he had spoken to at least one prospective Falcons assistant several days before the game.

"To steal a line from the late Atlanta humorist Lewis Grizzard, if honesty were oil, Petrino would be a couple of quarts low.

The Mobile Press-Register's sports columnist Neal McReady wrote Wednesday: "It's a tough fact of life: There are people in this big, mean world who simply can't be trusted. Bobby Petrino is apparently one of those people.

"On Tuesday, one day after Petrino's Atlanta Falcons lost to the New Orleans Saints 34-14 in the Georgia Dome, Petrino called Falcons owner Arthur Blank and quit. Some five hours later, after flying from Atlanta to northwest Arkansas, Petrino was in Fayetteville to become the next head football coach at the University of Arkansas.

The Hogs probably didn't feel comfortable waiting until this morning. Petrino might have spent the night looking for another gig. Of course, he might have anyway.

ESPN.com's Pat Forde wrote: "In the coming days and weeks, the disingenuous drifter will say what Arkansas fans want to hear.

"He'll look at them with blank shark eyes and tell them, in a monotone voice, how excited he is to be the coach of the Razorbacks. He will tell them how impressed he is by the tradition and the fan base. ... It will be a trumped-up stump speech, as sincere as a politician's pledge to cut taxes. It will simply be the latest pack of lies in a career full of them.... The disingenuous drifter doesn't love you or any other fan base. He doesn't love any school or any NFL franchise. He loves himself, his playbook and his bank account.

My favorite line: "I mean this: He managed, somehow, to come off as less honest than Michael Vick and more conniving than Nick Saban. I don't know which is more impressive.

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