Hump Day Harrumphs: Petrino Redux, New Fave Unis, Messi & More

Okay, I’ve looked in my heart and consulted the rational me. I now realize that Western Kentucky didn’t make that egregious a mistake when it hired Bobby Petrino. Actually, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense . . . given the circumstances.

What I’d somehow forgotten when I kneejerked my negative reaction is the odious cesspool that college sports has become. There is but one standard: Win. Only rarely does any other consideration become part of the conversation. That’s a given.

I am sad about that. I am sad that Western Ky is but the latest school to co-opt its purported institutional values when making a decision regarding its athletic program. But it’s the name of the game.

If Petrino leaves after next season, the Toppers essentially get him for free. (And he will leave before a second season. I’ve set the over/ under on the length of his stay at 11 months, 21 days.) His buy out would more than compensate for his salary and any reasonable bonuses he might earn in the next annum. Plus he will sell seats, and increase TV revenue.

So, the hire is a financial no brainer.

There are these other considerations, which I failed to compute when bashing the hire. He will win. Petrino is one of the five best coaches in college football. How often does a school like Western get to have such proven talent on the sideline? Correct answer: You’re lookin’ at it. This is it.

His hire has generated more publicity for Western Ky football in the last 72 hours than all of that which came before. Don’t be surprised if Western’s game with UK is televised by The World Wide Leader. Perhaps the one against Tennessee also. The Toppers might become Mr. Tuesday Night Football.

Any other coach the school might have hired, who continued to generate a program uptick like Willie Taggert, would also jump ship for another job, just as Petrino is going to do. This is forever and always a stepping stone school in college pigskin.

Apparently, Petrino’s wife drinks the Kool Aid. She dutifully showed up at the introductory press conference.

What I also forgot, when railing against the hire, were my own words. When it looked like Charlie Strong might leave U of L, and rumors were murmured that Tom Jurich and Petrino were in contact and mending fences, I was among the many who said, “Hire him.”

So, there ya go. I stand corrected. Good work, Hilltoppers. For you, I hope there are many Ws. And that Bobby P keeps his fly zipped, his anger reasonably in check and he deals with those in the Western community with a respect heretofore not displayed as part of his repertoire.

A final note to the folks at Arkansas State. You snooze, you lose.

I know for a fact that said school, who lost Gus Malzahn to Auburn, was considering Petrino. I sat next to a member of the U of L athletic community over the weekend, while he was on the phone with a rep from that school, answering questions about Petrino and his character.

* * * * *

It’s Finals Week, so there’s not a lot of college hoops on the telly. After consuming a new episode of “Holmes on Homes,” my current favorite show on DIY, I caught the end of the Knicks vs. Brooklyn NBA game.

It was actually pretty exciting for a tilt this early in the pro season, the Spike Lees winning on a Jason Kidd trey. (Isn’t he about 50 now? Kidd, I mean.)

Anyway, what I really love are Brooklyn’s unis. Simple. Plain classic black lettering on white. Kind of old school. Classy.

* * * * *

I did watch some of the Big Five matchup between Villanova and St. Joseph’s. One of the laments of my life is that I’ve never experienced a Big Five doubleheader in the Palestra. Sigh. Not many of them played anymore.

These rivalry games are brutal. Blood baths.

Like many, this one was down to the wire. The Hawks goat was Halil Kanacevic. He made plenty of mistakes at the end, including throwing the ball off himself on an inbounds with seconds to play that sealed the deal.

Frankly, it was justice. The kid made only one FG during the tilt, a trey midway through the second half that gave his team the lead. After sinking the shot, he turned to the Nova student section and gave them a double bird salute. That’s right, he raised the middle finger of both hands.

It’s a forty minute game, son.

* * * * *

I’ve got to give a shout out to my man, Lionel Messi.

He’s undoubtedly the best soccer player in the world today. Arguably the best ever.

He set a single year scoring record in 2012 with 86 goals in all matches, playing for FC Barcelona in La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Champions League, and for his home country, Argentina, in international competition.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, are all 86:

* * * * *

The Big East, on its last legs for absolutely sure, announced the home and away conference games for next season. (At least, until the next shake up.) The Cards have to travel to Boise State.

More important, the league no longer makes sense. It’s not a done deal yet, but the hoops-only schools will 1) either form their own basketball league, or 2) be absorbed by the busting at the seams A-21.

It’s inevitable.

Which means for the Memphis States and Tulanes and Houstons of the world: Back in the C, back in the C, back in the C-USA.

* * * * *

Finally, for your viewing pleasure, the worst FT ever shot.

– Seedy K


  1. Big Smooth
    Posted December 12, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Wins, tickets, “marketing”, “brand” all that matters in college sports any more and not necessarily in that order. Every AD of a football school that had an opening and many that did not (reference above) wanted BP but could not pull the trigger. It’ s a business and it was a simple business decision. I find it very humorous that someone was checking BP’s “references”

  2. doug
    Posted December 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Home football schedule announced this week won’t do much for butts in seats early or Card March participation. Be patient, Charlie!

  3. bob DeSpain
    Posted December 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    There is a great commercial for pre-owned BMW cars that sums ups Bobby Petrino signing with WKU.

    There is a gorgeous sexy young women looking into the camera, with the caption.

    “You know you are not the first nor will you be the last but do you really care?”

    Enjoy it while it lasts WKU because it will be fun.

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