The fall of Bobby Petrino: a long time coming

As promised, I’m continuing with my posts on the Bobby Petrino scandal. This time, I’ll focus on the man himself.

Since his story has been beaten to death throughout the sports media, I won’t go into any great detail. However, as I see it, it’s yet another example of that cautionary saying: character matters.

Pat Forde published a great piece showing just what kind of a fellow Arkansas hired. Now, without further ado… Bobby Petrino’s Greatest Hits!

2003: Petrino is hired by Louisville from Auburn, where he had been offensive coordinator under Tommy Tuberville. However, Auburn decided Tuberville wasn’t winning enough for them, especially against Alabama, and started quietly looking for a new coach. Very quietly.

Enter Petrino. Auburn officials take a flight to a small airport across the river from Louisville, where Petrino meets them… while both teams’ seasons are still going on. And two days before Auburn’s biggest game of the season, the Iron Bowl against Alabama.

So, we have Petrino going behind the back of Tom Jurich (U of L athletic director) and Tuberville (his former boss). Not to mention Auburn going behind the back of Tuberville. But wait, it gets better. Petrino continues to deny that he had met with Auburn until two reporters for The Courier-Journal (Louisville’s daily paper), one of them Forde, present him with proof of the flight… and Auburn finally owns up to its role in the affair.

2004: You would think Petrino would have learned a lesson from this. But no… he met with Notre Dame officials during the season, at the same airport, about their coaching job. He also met with Florida and Ole Miss during the season.

At the end of the season, he pledged his loyalty to U of L, and signed a contract extension. The ink was barely dry before he went behind Jurich’s back yet again to interview with LSU. He then made a big show of withdrawing from consideration… after it was obvious LSU would hire Les Miles.

2005: Petrino says he has no interest in the NFL, but interviews with the Oakland Raiders. Do we see a pattern here?

2006: Petrino signs a 10-year contract with U of L, and insists on adding a $1 million buyout clause. Five months later, after one of the greatest seasons in the school’s football history, he leaves for the Atlanta Falcons.

2007: Petrino leaves the Falcons with three games left in the season without telling his players. He is announced as the new head coach at Arkansas the next day. Sure, his time in Atlanta was during the Michael Vick dogfighting scandal… but running out on a head coaching job during the season is very bad juju.

The pattern appears to be that of a person who’s out mainly for himself, no matter who he steps on along the way. Given that behavior, it should be no surprise that Petrino admitted to an extramarital affair—or that he was found to be communicating with at least one other woman. Lest we forget, both women are about the age of his oldest children.

I don’t have any personal animosity toward Petrino. I hope he can work out his issues, preferably away from the public eye. But, his fall from grace should be a warning to all of us—and a reminder that, to borrow a phrase from Amir, the Law of Sowing and Reaping shall not be up for repeal any time soon.

Common sense out of Arkansas

I’ll have more to say on the firing of Bobby Petrino, but I’ll start by saying that I’m pleasantly surprised that Jeff Long showed he was an athletic director, not just an athletic supporter (to shamelessly steal a past line of Amir’s).

Then again, Long didn’t have much choice in the matter. Arkansas was staring right down the barrel of some hard-core litigation. When you’re the highest-paid public employee in the state, hiring your mistress is very bad juju… not to mention a sexual harassment suit (or two or three) in the making. Add to that lying about her being present when you wrecked your motorcycle, and effectively making the university complicit in your lie… and only coming clean when her name is about to be released in the police report.

Yes, regardless of wins and losses, and Petrino’s deserved reputation as one of the best offensive minds in football, Long absolutely did the right thing, even if it was the only thing he could do.

RIP, Ron Santo

As a kid growing up a Cubs fan in Chicago, I couldn’t help but pull for Ron Santo. Ernie Banks may have been “Mr. Cub”, but Santo was right up there with him in our hearts.

It wasn’t just about his play… although he’s arguably the most glaring omission from the Hall of Fame (this side of Pete Rose… but that’s a whole other issue). He won five Gold Gloves, made nine All-Star teams, and hit over 300 homers in an era dominated by pitchers. More modern statistical measurements place him clearly in Hall of Fame territory among third basemen.

No, it was much more. When he was 18, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. At the time, the life expectancy of a person with that condition was 25. Not 25 years from diagnosis, but 25, period. Back in the 60s and early 70s, diabetes management wasn’t as advanced as it is today; he would gauge his blood sugar on his moods, and if it felt low, he would eat a candy bar in the clubhouse. Santo didn’t reveal his condition until 1971, long after he had become an established star; early on, he was afraid he would be forced into retirement if it became known.

He eventually became a Cubs radio announcer in 1990, a job he held for the rest of his life. Diabetes took its toll—he lost his right leg below the knee in 2001, and the left, also below the knee, in 2002—but it never took his spirit. He also single-handedly raised over $60 million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Santo was able to battle diabetes to a draw for decades… survived bypass surgery and one bout with cancer… but another fight with cancer was just one battle too much.

I’ll always remember you, Ron…

Global warming, my freezing butt!

Iowa 30 degrees below normal, and other parts of the Midwest seeing similar cold and heavy snow… Burlington, Vermont getting its biggest snowstorm ever… ice buildup causing partial shutdown of a nuclear power plant in New Jersey… the UK running dangerously low on natural gas, with retirees burning used books for fuel… Seoul seeing its biggest snowfall in 70 years

…and they say global warming is going on?

More proof that AGW is a pure crock, I say.

HT – Drudge Report

The fruits of occultism

The people who did this don’t even deserve to drink of Recon’s excreta. I can’t even find words to describe how despicable this is… except to say that it’s one more example of how depraved people can become when they embrace the occult.

“Christianity” and the Crash

The Atlantic—a magazine clearly of the left, though a much more thoughtful variety than the knee-jerk Kool-Aid drinkers you see these days in most of the MSM—has a story in its December edition that asks a rather provocative question:

“Did Christianity Cause the Crash?”

My short answer: Being a secular publication, it asked the wrong question. It should have been:

“Did Heresy Cause the Crash?”

The story in a nutshell: The so-called prosperity gospel is alive, well, and infecting the Body of Christ in this country at an alarming rate, and while it may not have directly caused the crash, it certainly contributed. Some items of interest in the piece:

An expert on the prosperity gospel identified three of the 12 largest churches in the country, and 50 of the 260 largest, as prosperity. While the prosperity gospel is popular among professing Christians in almost all racial and ethnic groups, the story stated that it had “spread exponentially among African American and Latino congregations.” As an example of how it’s spread in those communities, a recent Pew Hispanic Center survey found that 73% of religious Latinos in the U.S. agreed with the statement “God will grant financial success to all believers who have enough faith.” This is where the connection to the crisis comes in.

According to the piece, “Demographically, the growth of the prosperity gospel tracks fairly closely to the pattern of foreclosure hot spots.” It has spread the most in the types of far-distant suburbs and poor urban neighborhoods that have been hit hardest by foreclosures, and the bulk of new prosperity-gospel churches have been built in the Sun Belt, especially in hard-hit California, Florida, and Arizona.

“Financial empowerment” and “wealth building” seminars are apparently rampant in prosperity churches, generally paying lip service to sound practices while playing up big houses and luxury cars to the hilt. We’re definitely NOT talking Dave Ramsey here! Along these lines, a common theme in the recent rash of predatory lending lawsuits is that banks have been in cahoots with prosperity-preaching pastors, going so far as to offer pastors donations to their churches or favorite charities for each person in the church who took out a new mortgage.

The story also features a Hispanic prosperity preacher in Virginia—who, while building his church, was also a loan officer with two different mortgage companies, one of them Countrywide—who has to be seen to be believed.

The story also had a memorable quote from Rick Warren:

This idea that God wants everybody to be wealthy? There is a word for that: baloney. It’s creating a false idol. You don’t measure your self-worth by your net worth. I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty. Why isn’t everyone in the church a millionaire?

Actually, I’d use “heresy” instead of “baloney”, but otherwise he nailed it on the prosperity gospel. I certainly don’t agree with everything he preaches, but I’ll give him all the credit on this one.

To sum it all up: When you have, as Amir so aptly put it, “scam artists cross-dressed as Christian ministers” who preach to the basest wants and needs of people and not to our life after we’re gone from this earth, you get a complete Charlie Foxtrot.