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Petrino is off to yet another glorified pigsty
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Bobby Petrino is a sellout.

Actually, sellout could very well be the kindest word to accurately describe him right now. Of course, there are plenty of other adjectives to use rather than sellout. One could substitute the word traitor to paint a much clearer picture. Disrespectful, abandoner, liar, coward - choose your own as if we were building our very own trough.

As many already know, the 46-year-old Petrino shocked plenty last week with his sudden departure as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons after just 13 games to retreat back to the college ranks at the University of Arkansas. But what's even more alarming - rather disturbing - is the nature in which he did it.

For a man hailed by many as an offensive-minded genius it's funny how indecisive Petrino is when it comes to what really matters - team.

To his credit, Petrino did some wonders while coaching at Louisville prior to moving to Georgia. In four years he went 41-9 overall and produced some of highest-scoring offenses in the country, which is what attracted Falcons owner Arthur Blank when it came to hiring a new head coach.

But anyone who has ever been associated with a team - any team, for that matter - knows that you just don't up and quit on your players, especially if you're the captain. In fact, quitting is the complete opposite of what the head skipper is supposed to instill among his or her players.

What really bothered me regarding this entire slop was watching Petrino during the live press conference Tuesday in Arkansas, whooping and hollering like it was the greatest thing since pigs in a blanket. He even participated in the Razorbacks' "calling the hogs" cheer before a packed room of ecstatic faculty and fans.

It was the only time I'd ever seen Petrino smile since he had been hired by the Falcons back in January.

Mind you, all of this came after he was oh-so-generous to leave an 86-word farewell letter to the Falcons in the locker room. He might as well have worn one of those 7-Up shirts reading "Up Yours" prior to boarding the private jet secretly waiting for him at the airport. At least that would have saved him the time and effort of physically writing a goodbye letter.

Who holds a press conference at 10:30 p.m. on a rainy evening, the day after you gave no such indication that you were on the verge of leaving your team? That's cowardly, if you ask me, gathering your family and skipping town, only hours later to announce on live broadcast that you have officially joined Hog Nation.

What kind of man abandons his team after just 13 games and doesn't even have the guts to say good-bye face-to-face? As a result, his early exit from Atlanta marks the third shortest stint since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.

Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against the University of Arkansas. It's an upstanding institution with a fine athletic program that includes a rich history. And you cannot fault the administration for trying to find a replacement for Houston Nutt, who resigned after a muddled season.

However, it's the principle of the matter that concerns me, and the interesting way Petrino chose to bail on the Falcons.

How can he ever look another team in the eyes and say I will never quit on you? Furthermore, how can this man ever go on another recruiting trip, look a mother in her eyes and rest assure that her son will be in good hands with him as a Razorback? He can't, no matter how much spin he applies when asked about his past history.

Apparently this is an individual who simply cannot make up his mind. My suggestion is to retire and enter the business world. In fact, he could make himself more marketable by creating a new brand of flip flops. Those things would sell like bacon, especially during the holidays. Or perhaps he could even run for office.

Yes, the position Michael Vick put his team in at the beginning of the season was devastating. Nobody could have known that the star quarterback would be jailed due to a ghastly dogfighting operation. As a direct result, Petrino never had the opportunity to resurrect the Falcons in the way he wanted to.

And granted, no one knows exactly what went on behind closed doors within the confines of the locker room. Attitudes and egos are not easy to deal with, but it's not like Petrino had been exactly new to the NFL. Although Atlanta was his first head coaching job, he used to be the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1999-2001.

But cry me a river of mud already. Sometimes you just have to play the hand you're dealt, not fold like a blanket. Besides, the only place to go was up, so why not ride it out, at least until the end of the regular season rather than hide under the covers.

If I was a member of the Falcons - heck, if I was associated with them on any level - I would be outraged. I'm not even a Falcons fan and I feel like I got sold out, so I can't even begin to imagine what the players and staff are going through, including Blank who put his trust and faith in a man who ultimately played him like a fiddle.

Personally, I never had a good feeling about Petrino. He was very soft-spoken as a head football coach in the National Football League, and rarely showed emotion on the sidelines. In fact, I never saw him smile since he was hired by the Falcons.

That certainly changed Tuesday night in Fayetteville, Ark.

Out of curiosity, how long do you think he'll remain at Arkansas? Long enough for one of his star players to get injured, ruining the chances of a bowl game? Or perhaps until another NFL team comes knocking at the pigpen? After all, this will be his third head coaching job in less than a year.

No matter what the future holds, Petrino has shown his true colors.