I have spent the past three days reading through messages on social media from friends, family and some from complete strangers—which is kinda strange. They all have a common theme, What is Tom Jurich doing hiring Bobby Petrino back?
Even before Charlie Strong was considered a finalist for the Texas job, fans were voicing their opinions for or against Bobby Petrino. At the time I thought, How is Petrino even being considered by some fans? You see I have a short memory. I have seen Petrino in and out of coaching jobs since he was an assistant here at Louisville under John L. Smith.
If someone would say Bobby Petrino to me a two weeks ago there would be a little bit of hurt feelings and a lot of opinions of why he shouldn’t be allowed to mentor young men, especially as a head coach.
We live in a society of weak men, if that isn’t too PC to say. Men are depicted on TV like they are dumb, irresponsible goofs who will cheat on their wives as soon as they get a chance. Young men everywhere are looking for someone to take them under their wing and teach them how to be a MAN; a man of integrity, maturity and dare I say a little bit of purity.
Petrino has not shown those things that young men need in the past. Could he have changed, in his year off or his time at WKU, absolutely. It is just scary to be part of the experiment.
Redemption is a powerful word and makes for great books. People make mistakes, trust me there is not enough space on this entire site to account for all my mess ups, so please know I am not trying to judge Petrino or Jurich for bringing him back. I want him to be different. Not just for the Louisville football program, but for himself and his family. I mean if his wife can sit next to him without smacking him in the face, surely I can let him coach my favorite football team, right?
Now that I have that mess off my chest, let’s look at what the future will be. Petrino will succeed at the University of Louisville. With the coaching staff he is bringing in, the talent that Strong left behind and Petrino’s amazing ability to put together a killer game plan the Cards will win games, lots of them. I have yet to hear even the harshest critic dispute that Petrino will win here. How long will he stay yes, but not if he will win here.
Because he will win, the fan base will no longer be 50/50 on him. They will pack Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, will buy the t-shirts and some will even get Bobby tattoos. Look at Pitino. Sure all his issues were off the court, but if he had a different AD there is a good chance he wouldn’t be at UofL anymore.
The winning will make fans forget everything he has ever done wrong. No more motorcycle jokes (unless we are in Lexington), no more anger at Bobby’s snooping for the next big job, not even angry media tirades. Nope, winning will cover Bobby’s sins for fans. That is what the world of sports does.
In sports you can be a little shady as long as you win, John Calipari. You can have infidelities, Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods. You may or may not have been apart of a murder, Ray Lewis. The realm of sports is very forgiving.
Petrino said in his press conference Thursday, “I’ve made mistakes both personally and professionally, something that I’m not going to do again. My first mistake was ever leaving the University of Louisville. I hope the fans and everybody here can forgive me.
“The number one thing you have to do is show it. I don’t think words are going to do that.”
Prove it to us Bobby. Prove it to your players, fans and most importantly your family.
Will Bobby Petrino be the next redemption story in sports? Time will tell, if not he will just be another failed male leader in the world. Personally, I am hoping for the best.
Please comment below and let me know your thoughts.
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