Tampa Bay’s 37-3 drubbing of the hapless Atlanta Falcons today was nothing more than background noise to the ongoing and very public split between owner Arthur Blank and coach Bobby Petrino. If you hadn’t noticed, Petrino ended their relationship Tuesday after recommitting to Blank in a meeting just the day before, leaving behind his 3-10 record with the team to join the University of Arkansas.
Blank, clearly hurt and feeling betrayed by the end of the 11-month-old relationship, went public on Wednesday, beginning a he-said, he-said back-and-forth that played out in media outlets across the country all week.
Then, on Sunday, the truth came out: Blank confided in a trio of reporters from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he wasn’t in love with Petrino. “I think I’m pretty careful about falling in love, I try not to do it every day,” Blank tells the AJC. “I don’t think I was in love with Bobby Petrino. I was trying to have a supportive personal relationship with him, which wasn’t always easy, because he’s not the greatest communicator.”
Bernie Marcus, Blank’s former partner in creating their Home Depot empire, scolds Blank in the AJC article for opening his heart too easily. “He has to be more careful before he falls in love with someone,” Marcus tells the newspaper. “You can’t open your heart to everybody.”
Love, NFL style. How sweet.