Based on a session with the Cincinnati media this afternoon, it’s safe to assume that Mike Zimmer and Bobby Petrino will not be exchanging Christmas cards this year, or at any point in the near or distant future for that matter.
Zimmer, currently the defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, served as the coordinator on Petrino’s Atlanta Falcons coaching staff in 2007. Petrino infamously pulled one of the biggest punk, below-the-belt coaching moves in the history of of the game, leaving the Falcons with three games remaining in the season — with barely a word in parting said to his staff or anyone in the organization — to take the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas.
With the Bengals traveling to Atlanta this weekend to take on the Falcons, Zimmer was asked about returning to the city for the first time since Petrino stabbed an entire organization in the back. Suffice to say, there was no biting of the tongue when it came to Zimmer’s opinions three years after the betrayal.
Here’s a sampling of Zimmer’s quotes, courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“I was never even there. As far as I am concerned. I never even was there. When a coach quits in the middle of the year and ruins a bunch of people’s families and doesn’t’ have enough guts to at least finish out the year. I am not a part of that.”
“He is a coward. Put that in quotes. He ruined a bunch of people’s lives, a bunch of people’s families, kids, because he didn’t have enough nuts to stay there and finish the job. That’s the truth.”
“He came in and said he resigned, he would talk to us all at a later date, walked out of the office and no one has ever talked to him since. Not that anybody wanted to.
“He’s a gutless b—d. Quote that. I don’t give a s–.”
When told that we might might not be able to use the B word, Zimmer went one better: “How about this, gutless MF. You can use that.”
In summation, Zimmer feels that Petrino is a gutless, testicle-deficient coward/quitter who ruins people’s lives and families. With the exception of kicking puppies and spitting on the flag, I think he pretty much covered all the insult bases there.
We’ve sent an email to the university seeking comment on Zimmer’s diatribe toward their current coach, but as of this posting we’ve not gotten a response. Nor do we expect one, honestly.