Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Petrino to Arkansas. There is no defending the snake-like behavior of former Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino. The guy has a history of going back on his word, and he has a history of trying to leverage employers for raises by threatening to work elsewhere. This is the third contract that Petrino has signed in less than 18 months, and there's no reason to think that Arkansas will be his last stop as he scorches his way across the country.

ESPN's Pat Forde probably summed it up most effectively:

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.

That's it. Don't expect it to change.

Bobby Petrino will return your embrace, Hog fans. But while he's hugging you he'll be looking over your shoulder, scanning the terrain for his next hook-up.

Even in a profession rife with dishonest posturing, Petrino is singularly mercenary. Loyalty, allegiance, commitment and honesty are foreign concepts to him. It must be a sad existence.

Ouch. This smacks of a human being who doesn't care about anything but himself. He likes to talk about doing what's best for his family, but his family can't possibly like the public image he's carved out for himself, and his family can't possibly like moving this much.

Trust me. I've moved before. It sucks.

There's nothing illegal about being selfish and phony. Politicians have made careers out of this kind of behavior, and it no longer surprises anyone when the lies and deception become public.

Not all football coaches are like this. Some of them actually keep their promises. Some of them actually mean it when they talk about how wonderful a place is and how much they like it there. Some of them actually mean it when they say that a particular position is their "dream job". Others are serious when they talk about not wanting to move away from the home they've made.

Bobby Petrino isn't the only coach who doesn't have these values. He's the latest, and he's one of the most notorious. If you're an Arkansas football fan, you can expect a lot of on-field success, probably not a lot of off-field issues, and plenty of rumors about where your coach is going to go next. Along with those rumors will come the occasional contract extension and raise at Arkansas. They mean everything in the world to Petrino, until it's time to leverage for more.

Mitchell report due. Thursday is a big day for baseball, as former U.S. Senator George Mitchell's report on steroid use in the game is going to be released.

It's to be expected that we'll get leaks over the next 12-15 hours before the actual release of the report (2pm ET Thursday). The first of those leaks is rather innocent, as it appears Mitchell will blame both baseball and the union for the drug issues in the game.

Mitchell's report is also expected to call for the testing system to be turned over to an independent company, and he will also say he believes baseball needs to test more frequently and make the system more transparent.

This report is the culmination of a 20-month investigation into drug use in baseball by Mitchell, who was given free reign by commissioner Bud Selig to conduct this investigation. Selig will not appear at Mitchell's news conference Thursday, instead holding his own news conference a couple hours after Mitchell. The union will follow with a news conference of their own closer to dinner hour.

Reports are that Mitchell will name close to 80 current and former players, but he will also state his investigation was hampered by an overall lack of cooperation. So what will he reveal? How rampant a problem is this? How much worse is the reality versus what Mitchell will present? Will Selig and the union do enough about the problem to satisfy the American public?

80 names is a lot, even if you add in a few former players who wouldn't surprise you all that much. But is the sports world prepared to see names of guys we would never suspect?

It just gets worse for the Knicks. No one is shocked that this team sucks. That was expected after all these years of letting Isiah Thomas make the basketball decisions.

However, what is truly shocking is how messed-up owner James Dolan apparently wants to let this franchise get before he pulls the plug on Thomas' disastrous reign as coach and personnel hatchet-wielder.

The whole sexual harassment mess was bad enough, but now Thomas has developed a warped viewpoint about this current team, and who is to blame for the putrid on-court product being displayed at Madison Square Garden.

Following the boo-infested defeat, which dropped the Knicks (6-14) a season-low eight games below .500, Mara Altschuler, who said she is a longtime season-ticket holder, rushed to the press table to complain that Thomas had lectured the fans behind the bench for not being more supportive.

According to Altschuler, Thomas said, "We're missing layups because you're booing." Altschuler, who worked 16 years for CBS News, said Thomas turned to make his stream of remarks in the third and fourth quarters, directing it to the first couple of rows.

I swear that I'm not making this up. This is too rich for me to make up.

Stop booing this group of multi-millionaires. You're making them upset, and you're making them play badly.

Before you ask, that 104-59 loss to the Celtics was played in Boston. Maybe the Knicks were upset because the Celtics fans were laughing so hard.

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