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CURIOUS INDEX, 12/12/07

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Note: almost entirely Petrino-related this morning, and that is the story.

Let's show coach Petrino how to call the hogs! Even the journalists! All of you!


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Everything's subjective. Take leaving your spouse for a mistress. Oh my god, you're the biggest asshole ever...but she maxed out three credit cards, ate breakfast in bed and left the dishes in the bed, and screamed at you several hours a day while only wanting to talk about her vapid friends and the crazy lives they lead--and we mean the kind of crazy that's not really "crazy," but so boring ("She's taking karate with her kids! Isn't that CRAZY?") it made you want to stab yourself in the eyes with an old-fashioned fountain pen.

And your mistress! She's so accomodating. Not as good-looking, sure...but the day-to-day stuff is so, so much easier for you. She'll bend herself in knots to please you. She'll give you anything and will drop to her knees any time you say so....if you'll only come and stay, if only for a little while. Go ahead and call her angel of the morning, whatever.

And there's your Petrino story, Rashomon-style. He totally quit the Falcons job before even finishing a complete single season of work. He's totally bailing out the Razorbacks, who got denials from Jim Grobe and were headed to exhaust pipe/garden hose territory coach-wise before they landed a 41-9 record and a brilliant, brilliant offensive mind to go with it. It only cost them 2.85 mil a year, shelled out by either the Waltons or Jerry Jones, and the long-term stability of the program, since Petrino's a great hire, a very good coach, and a terrible bet for the long run because he is to coaching slots what Ted Turner is to monogamy. In a perfect world, he really would coach several teams at once via video-conferencing and XBox style playcalling with a stingray-shaped controller.

Pat Forde brings out the cold dental implements and will not even give Petrino the courtesy of novacaine with his commentary:

In the coming days and weeks, the disingenuous drifter will say what Arkansas fans want to hear.

He'll look at them with blank shark eyes and tell them, in a monotone voice, how excited he is to be the coach of the Razorbacks. He will tell them how impressed he is by the tradition and the fan base. He will tell them that the Southeastern Conference is the place he always wanted to coach (and that might be the one true thing he'll say, given how many times he's tried to land a job in the league).

It will be a trumped-up stump speech, as sincere as a politician's pledge to cut taxes. It will simply be the latest pack of lies in a career full of them.

It's accurate and fair. Kind, no--but fair, because Petrino has lied. Especially the bit about the shark eyes. They're a bit frightening, along with the human-esque ability to bare teeth and turn the corners of his mouth up into a gesture you and ourselves might recognize as a "smile." At no point can anyone question his talent. His commitment to anyone he works with in a job is perfectly valid material for skeptical thinking. An Arkansas fan taking any other approach is being delusional, since he'll be fun, he'll score shitloads of points, and he'll leave.

He is Dennis Erickson without the jolly drinking stories. And he's the second Lou Holtz the program has hired.

Ed Orgeron has been connected with the open defensive coordinator position at South Carolina, meaning he mailed a fine pelt he caught behind the power plant in Oxford--a beautiful groundhog pelt still fresh with blood--to Steve Spurrier. Spurrier is said to be horrified, washing his hands, and interested.

Oh, and not-Terry-Bowden OK State offensive coordinator Larry Fedora to Southern Miss. He's good. We're really just publishing this to mollify SMQ, a USM grad stunned by the firing of Jeff Bower and terrified that, for an instant, his program might have considered bringing Terry Bowden back to the college game under his alma mater's banner. Sleep well, sweet prince of a blogger: Bowden stays in the booth for another year.