Bobby Petrino's Wild Ride
No matter how difficult your week has been it's doubtful that it involved trying to explain to your wife how a smoking hot 25 year old blonde found herself wrapped around you as you drove into a sunset on an Arkansas spring afternoon.
On April Fool's day came the unexpected rumor that Bobby Petrino had been involved in a bad motorcyle accident. It was April Fool's so it was hard to believe that such a thing could happen. But, it did. Petrino emerged for a press conference wearing a neck brace, announcing that he'd broken several ribs, and assuring everyone that he'd merely been out for an afternoon ride when he lost control of his motorcycle in the bright sunshine.
Everyone felt bad for Petrino -- even Falcons owner Arthur Blank -- and the story collapsed into the rest of the week's more scandalous news.
At least until Thursday evening when word broke that Petrino hadn't just been in a motorcycle accident by himself, he'd had a passenger, a 25 year old former volleyball player named Jessica Dorrell, who the week before had been introduced via a press release with a sterling quote from Petrino.
“Jessica Dorrell will be a great addition to our football program. As a former student-athlete she has an enthusiasm for the Razorbacks and is familiar with what the University of Arkansas can offer. She is extremely organized and has a professional approach, which should translate well into our program and recruiting as we continue to place an emphasis on this area.”
Yes, last week Bobby Petrino praised Dorrell's "emphasis on this area."
(I guess Arkansas left out the point where he pointed to his groin with both hands and then gave the thumb's up.)
But in situations such as these it's important not to jump to conclusions.
After all, there are lots of times when 51 year old married men end up taking 25 year old hotties on afternoon motorcycle rides and nothing untoward is taking place.
Frankly, this kind of thing happens all the time.
Such as the time...
And then of course there was...
How could we ever forget...
Okay, this is a tough sell. As Bobby Petrino likely discovered when he attempted to explain this situation to Mrs. Petrino
Lots of people are going to criticize Bobby Petrino for cavorting on a motorcyle with a girl who was born when he was 26 years old and already working as a wide receiver and, ahem, tight ends coach at Weber State. But these things happen with powerful men who are capable of diagramming offensive plays that lead to touchdowns against anyone not named Nick Saban.
Let he who has never taken a woman half his age on a motorcycle and crashed and covered up the fact that she was with you by sending her off in her own car before you even went to the hospital cast the first stone.
What I'm more disappointed in is Petrino's inability to correctly spell the word tried and his use of double exclamation points in the accident report.
I once called Bobby Petrino an "offensive genius" which is honestly a double entendre now too -- everything is -- but I'm really troubled by the genius part. It's not that I expect that genius football coaches should never make grammatical errors, it's just that I at least assumed they knew the word tried didn't have a y.
I mean, is that expecting too much of a genius even outside his area of expertise?
(If Albert Einstein didn't know the difference between you're and your I'm just giving up on life.)
With a Y?
And double exclamation points?
You only wrote 37 words, Bobby. And you knew everyone was going to read them. How could you make these errors?
Is that how Petrino wooe pig sooiied Jessica to begin with, via the double exclamations, a staple of sorority girls with highlights for brains? Are emoticons verboten in police reports? Did they excise his smiley face above the dotted i?
(I'm even giving him a pass on misspelling maneuver, that's a toughie!! But now I don't even think Petrino wrote the letter he left behind in the Atlanta Falcons locker room.)
This whole sordid incident leaves us with so many questions.
Which I've helpfully broken down for you here.
1. Did Petrino lie to his bosses about his passenger?
The answer has to be yes, right?
Otherwise there is no way Arkansas would let Petrino walk out in front of the media and lie about the details.
And there's also no way Arkansas would issue a press release calling it an single passenger incident.
They have to be blindsided.
So how much trouble is Petrino in with his bosses? Particularly since he may have been involved with a subordinate employee, an act that likely violates his contract. Which, to be fair, if Arkansas fired him for violating would likely lead to Petrino getting even more money from someone else.
Leave it to Bobby Petrino to find the only way out of his buyout, a morals clause firing for lying about an affair with a subordinate after a motorcycle accident.
Are we sure he didn't plan this?
2. Why did Petrino lie when the police report existed?
This is what Petrino said at his news conference: "When I came out of a ditch, there was a lady there that had flagged down a car. And the guy that was in the passenger seat said get in we’ll just take you right to the hospital."
But first Petrino dropped off Dorrell at her car and let her drive home, a clear attempt to keep her name out of the incident.
Was he hoping that the Arkansas state police would pull a good ole boy and cover up his passenger? He had to be, right?
Or more problematic for Petrino, did he not mention the passenger to police until they confronted him with the detail he'd originally left out?
There's still a lot to be uncovered here.
3. Petrino blamed the sun in his eyes for the accident despite it being a perfectly clear, dry, sunny afternoon.
I don't want to get all grassy knoll on y'all, but am I the only person who blames the reach around crotch grab for the accident?
Hell, if I was riding on a bicycle and my wife pulled the reach around crotch grab on me I'd wreck. (Note: this assumes my wife would be willing to touch my crotch in daylight which is, unfortunately, a wild leap of logic).
Much less a speeding motorcycle.
Applying Occam's Razor here -- and channeling Sherlock Holmes -- it has to be the unexpected reach around crotch grab that caused the accident.
Has to be.
4. Thank God Dorrell wasn't wearing a Florida Gators hat on the motorcycle.
Petrino would have driven the motorcycle straight into a lake and pulled a Ted Kennedy on her then.
5. Should we be impressed that Petrino tried to cover up his illicit action even though he had broken ribs and a potentially broken neck?
I mean, that's playing with pain, right?
How many people break their neck in a motorcycle accident and still have the wherewithal to cover up the accident?
Put it this way, can you imagine if Les Miles had wrecked a motorcycle while a 25 year old blonde girl held on to him?
We'd probably have ended up in a war with Iran.
Hell, I don't trust Petrino with his marital vows or coaching contracts, but I don't think the guy is panicking on fourth down. And he clearly learned something from Georgia athletic director Damon Evans -- don't hold the girl's panties for safe-keeping.
6. Where was Houston Nutt when he found out the news?
What was his immediate reaction?
I bet it involved a round of buttery nipple shots, a public information request, and a plate of pulled pork nachos.
7. The neck brace makes this more ridiculous.
Petrino is never going to see his wife coming with that five iron.
How long does he have to keep the neck brace on?
It's like a modern day scarlet letter.
8. Dorrell's fiance is Arkansas's director of swimming and diving operations, Josh Morgan.
Morgan is a Florida graduate, which makes this Petrino's first career win over the Gators.
At least Morgan isn't a Razorback fan. Can you imagine if Petrino took your fiance and stayed on as the head coach of your favorite football team?
He'd kill your fandom in one fell swoop.
It's just cruel and unusual punishment.
Almost as cruel as Dorrell and Morgan's wedding registry page being public for several hours and y'all's comments on that page.
But, seriously, can you imagine having to ask your fiance: "Did you f--- Bobby Petrino?"
I mean, this is worse than the Office Space boss by 10 billion percent.
9. Will Arkansas Razorback fan Bill Clinton comment?
God, I hope Bill Clinton comments.
10. Pity Arkansas fans.
I actually like y'all because you're crazy and bipolar, a complete swaggering mass of insecurity. One moment your team is the best that ever existed and the next you're as insecure as a sophomore at senior prom.
This is the Clint Stoerner fumble of SEC coaching mishaps.
Entirely your own fault, inexplicable, and made worse by the immediate aftermath.
In the end, this is what you've got to expect from the man y'all like to call Bobby MF'ing Petrino.
Hell, the shirts make even more sense now.
Tonight Petrino was placed on paid administrative leave pending a review of his employment status.
He also issued a public apology via this statement:
The state police report provides an accurate description of my accident, which includes details that had not publicly come to light prior to the report being issued. I regret that I have not publicly acknowledged a passenger on the vehicle. I have been in constant pain, medicated and the circumstances involving the wreck have come out in bits and pieces. That said I certainly had a concern about Jessica Dorrell's name being revealed. In my press conference, I referred to her simply as "a lady." My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public. In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details. Today, I've acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration.
I apologize to my wife, Becky, and our four children, Chancellor Gearhart, Jeff Long, the Board of Trustees, University administration, my coaching staff, student-athletes and the entire state of Arkansas. I have been humbled by the outpouring of concern and get well wishes. I apologize to the Razorback Nation for the attention my actions have brought to the University of Arkansas and our program. I will fully cooperate with the University throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my Athletic Direction, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks.