The Louisville fans who were against the re-hiring of Bobby Petrino weren't going to be swayed by a press conference, and I don't think Petrino or Tom Jurich or James Ramsey entered Thursday morning with the hope of achieving anything like that. The introductory presser was more about the old and new Cardinal head coach laying the foundation for (hopefully) his future actions to do the trick.
Although he twice appeared on the verge of tears when talking about his family and Louisville being their "home," there wasn't much in the way Petrino talked or acted that showcased a stark contrast between the man that left town seven years ago and the "New Bobby Petrino" that Jurich is convinced he hired.
What Petrino did was stick to his talking points. He used the term "destination job" multiple times, he said it was a mistake leaving Louisville the first time and he stated that he was both emotionally and contractually tied to finishing his career in Louisville. He said everything he needed to say to keep those already in his camp in their place, and set the table to win more over once he begins pacing the sidelines inside Papa John's Cardinal Stadium again.
The bigger story of the morning, I thought, was Tom Jurich and just how much of himself he was willing to put behind this decision.
Jurich talked about how he didn't care at all about his legacy, but was only concerned with not letting the University of Louisville down. He admitted to being furious with Petrino when he left seven years ago and said the first 30 minutes of the 9-hour job interview he had with the Cardinal head coach was basically him letting Perino know how much he'd hurt him. While he couldn't make any guarantees, Jurich said he was convinced after that conversationand conversations he had with Petrino's wife, Becky, that Bobby is a new man.
The line of the day was delivered when WHAS' Adam Lefkoe asked Jurich what could possibly make him so convinced that he was getting a changed Petrino.
"Having the courage to look me in the eye and tell me you've changed," Jurich said. "Because I told him, 'If you lie to me, I'll kill you.'"
Sometimes the only thing a bully recognizes is force.
Here's the press conference in its entirety: