For the first Waterworks Wednesday post I want to congratulate Jeff Long for the very difficult decision to fire Arkansas Razorback coach Bobby Petrino. Long's choice to let Petrino go magnifies the idea that winning is not everything. In fact, it shows that winning means nothing when compromising the ethics of a football program, a university and an entire state.
The tears in this story are not for Petrino who received his notice via a letter (hmmm...Atlanta, is that you giggling?) and is now officially unemployed.
The tears aren't for the man who gets paid to make tough decisions about the personnel of his Athletics' Department.
Rather, the tears are for the guy who had to look 108 young men, reminiscent of himself, full of promise, in the eyes and let them know the coach that has led them, will not be returning. During his press conference, Long remained composed and a man confident in his decision. However, when touching upon the subject of those 18, 19, 20 year olds (around the five-minute mark), Long reminded every one watching who was suffering the most from this.
The tears are for these players who have been forced to deal with the indiscretions of a 51 year old man, and left to ponder, will football ever feel the same again?
Yes it will, I would tell them. Because Arkansas is bigger than Petrino. Football is bigger than Petrino.
And you will live your lives as bigger men than Petrino.