ME AND THE BOBSTER
I read with humorous interest that Bobby Petrino is planning of becoming a Kentucky
resident again. At least it isn't in Louisville. The fine folks of Bowling Green, KY will
get The Bobster for a year or two. The beautiful thing about all this is that Hilltopper
football fans are excited that they're getting a nationally known football dignitary just
two days after USF played tag with Willie Taggart and won.
Be careful what you wish for. It just might come true.
The word is that Petrino has changed his ways, accepted that his previous mis-doings
were wrong and he's taking steps to re-brand his image and make amends with his family.
That's a good sign.
All this reminds me of my first encounter with the former Louisville head football coach.
It was shortly after he had arrived on campus and was doing the weekly shows on WHAS
radio with Paul Rogers. We had been attending the shows for several years, first with Ron
Cooper and then John L. Smith, at the Kingfish restaurant on River Road. They used to set
up a great buffet for those pre-show meals and it was a fun event for a dozen or so months
When the Bobster arrived, the locality eventually got switched to the old Tumbleweed on
Mellwood Avenue. It became increasingly hard to call-in and get a table reserved for these shows...
but we still managed to get a table most weeks...with another couple who we tailgate with.
I have this football I got as a Christmas gift years ago. It came with Howard Schnellenberger's
autograph on it. I liked it and kept it displayed in my basement. When Cooper came on
board, I got his autograph also. Same with John L. So, when Bobby breezed into town, I
figured I'd ask him to add his name to it also.
I approached him shortly before the show began while he was dining with his wife and kids
at the Tumbleweed. Other people had been going over to his table, so I saw no harm in
joining them. I smiled, complimented him on his success as UofL football head coach and
asked him to sign the football. I even had a Sharpie with me for him to use.
He never looked up from his plate of food. Mumbled that I needed to take it to the football
office and leave it with the secretary and he'd take care of it there. I backed away from the
table. Stunned. Surprised. A little baffled.
We stopped going to the weekly football broadcasts shortly after that and we haven't been
back to one since. Don't even listen to them much on the radio anymore. I did accidently
stumble upon one when I went to the Tumbleweed on River Road for a wedding rehearsal
dinner and the show was there that night also. Saw Charlie leave. Shook his hand. Smiling
broadly, he thanked me for being a Cardinal fan.
I bet he would have signed a football, too.
I never got around to taking that football to the football office. I never got around to getting Steve Kragthorpe to sign it either...while he was here. Haven't approached Charlie about it yet. When we moved, I put the football in a box with other things I had displayed in the basement. Haven't gone
through that box in a long time.
I hope Bobby Petrino has a good stay in Bowling Green. I wish him success. I hope he's sincere
about changing his lifestyle and reconnecting with his family.
And I hope he signs a few footballs for fans in public.