No loyalty if you are Bobby Petrino

C ivilized, educated, sensitive, or well-mannered man:

That's the definition of the word gentleman.

Of course, it doesn't have a picture of Bobby Petrino next to it.

To find his picture one might have to thumb his way to the words quitter or traitor.

That's the kindest way, if not the only way, to describe Bobby Petrino, and his decision to turn his back on the Atlanta Falcons and jump ship for what he considers greener pastures at the University of Arkansas.

Is Petrino better suited to coach in college ? Probably, but to turn his back on a team that was already in turmoil, shows, with Bobby Petrino, it's all about himself.

Even coaches in 7-8-year-old Pop Warner Leagues preach to their youngsters there is no "I" in the word team. Apparently, Bobby Petrino has never grasped that message.

Yes, things were never good from the start of the Petrino era. When he left Louisville for his so called "dream job," with the Falcons, the franchise was supposed to be built around the talents of quarterback Michael Vick.

Little could anybody know that Vick was headed to a federal prison, derailing his career with the Falcons.

Still, Petrino never meshed with the guys still on the Falcons' active roster and it showed in the team's 3-10 record.

But the former Falcons' coach should have been in it for the long haul.

Worst of all, Petrino looked team owner Arthur Blank square in the face as late as Monday night, shook his hand, and told him he was his coach.

That was a bold-face lie since Petrino had already set the wheels for his defection into motion.

During Wednesday's televised press conference, Blank and general manager Rich McKay looked as if they had been hit in the stomach.

Both men were lied to, betrayed and basically spit on by Petrino's childish antics.

Petrino wasn't even man enough to resign in a face-to-face meeting with his boss, he had to do it in a telephone call.

The sad part about the whole thing is Blank had never lost confidence in his coach, and never once gauged Petrino's ability to eventually field a winner by one wacky year.

The way he broke the news to the team might be more disgraceful, as it came basically in a form letter right before he jumped on a plane to be introduced as the new coach at Arkansas. Petrino let the Falcons' organization down and betrayed an entire city.

Then again, it shouldn't come as a surprise. Petrino has never stayed anywhere long, as he has held 16 different coaching jobs in 24 years.

He nearly betrayed the University of Louisville when he was head coach there, when he secretly had talks about taking over for Tommy Tuberville at Auburn. Auburn never sought permission from Louisville to have such a chat with the talented coach, showing loyalty, manners or rules have never been part of Petrino's makeup.

Petrino is a good coach, perhaps, even an offensive genius. He's taking over a program with plenty of tradition, and he might just lead the team to national prominence, but the Razorback nation better not get to used to seeing Petrino pacing the sidelines for too many years.

After all, as soon as his next dream job comes along, he might just be gone.

He is Bobby Petrino and that's what Bobby Petrino does.

Doug Gorman is sports editor for the Clayton News-Daily and Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at dgorman@news-daily.com.