NEW ORLEANS LA - JANUARY 04: Head coach Bobby Petrino of the Arkansas Razorbacks reacts in the first quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4 2011 in New Orleans Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
If you were to come up with a list of the best congenital liars in football, Bobby Petrino would have to be at the top. This is a man who interviewed for the Auburn job when doing so stabbed both his former boss and his current school in the back; a man who left for the Atlanta Falcons shortly after taking a huge extension at Louisville; who left Atlanta during his first season with that team; and who ultimately lied to the Arkansas administration and fans, not to mention his own family, in the messy denouement of his tenure with the Razorbacks.
And then he goes and says things like this.
And while I haven't watched the video yet, the accompanying article on ESPN.com makes it quite clear that in many places, Petrino says the right things about his responsibility for his affair and his work to repair the marriage it wrecked.
"Looking at the look in her eyes," Petrino said. "How I could possibly do something like this, to hurt her? The anger. The feeling of, 'How could you possibly do this to me?'" ...
Petrino said he and Becky are in counseling.
"I'm working hard to save my marriage," he said. "I'm working one day at a time. I want to stay married. That's my main priority right now. Making things right with my family."
The problem is that the article also makes it quite clear that one quality still eludes Petrino: The capability to admit all his wrongdoing. The fundamental errors that Petrino committed, the ones that no one could agree with -- the affair itself, suggesting that Jessica Dorrell get a job while failing to admit his relationship with her -- those are layups for apologies, and Petrino follows through.
But the failure to tell Jeff Long and his wife for days that there was an affair?
Petrino said he thought he would talk to the two Friday morning but that a police report listing Dorrell as a passenger was released a day earlier than he had been told, forcing him to have a conversation with Long by phone. He also briefed his wife shortly before Dorrell's name became public.
"I really wanted to do it in the right order and in person, but the timeline just got away," he said.
The timeline just got away? Why was the timeline a factor in telling his wife? He wanted to tell Long in person and the athletics director was leaving town -- fine. But his wife should have been the first conversation he had and it should have been as soon as he was "coherent," not when it best fit into his PR strategy.
And as for the lie, contained in the first public statement on the motorcycle crash, that no one else was involved? That's all on Arkansas and Petrino's agents.
"I had nothing to do with that statement," he said.
Exactly what in Petrino's record or the way this incident unfolded would lead us to believe he would have owned up to the affair had he been involved in the crafting of his statement, assuming he wasn't? And isn't the ultimate source of the inaccuracy in that statement Petrino's original deception?
The excuses go on and on with Bobby Petrino, just like they always have. There were special circumstances when he was at Louisville that caused him to handle the situations the way he did, an exceptional situation in Atlanta when he decided to bolt in the dark of the night. Petrino can own up to the things he has to, but most of his mistakes are always the result of forces beyond his control conspiring against him.
So Petrino says some of the right things, at least, when he's talking to ESPN and he's beginning to once again construct the facade that he's used to convince so many fan bases he's really in for the long haul this time. But why in the world would we believe what he says, when it's quite obvious that he's still unable to be honest with himself?