The BS meter spontaneously combusted. Just BLAM – an explosion followed by bursts of fire until nothing but charred remains exist.
That is the real state of Bill O’Brien’s credibility right now.
Now, anyone can buy into what he’s selling through a nifty little spin-doctoring, post-NFL flirting campaign – how he’s all about Penn State, the university, the football program, the Blue & White community at large and making it just one big butt-kicking, Kumbayah experience.
That’s a personal choice if you want to strap on the blinders and drink the Kool-Aid. You can hope and pray and cross your fingers on every “quality” sound-bite syllable he offers, selling your soul and giving your heart in the process, is true.
The fact is, he’s a used-car salesman in coach’s clothing. Oh, he may be great at Xs and Os. He may be a great motivator and promoter for the Nittany Lions – or, more likely, himself.
But there is nothing special about the man or his stated cause, typically offered nowadays with a healthy dose of righteous, know-it-all indignation.
It’s all just a lot of preaching what wins people over, and makes him come across as the “good guy” who is ready to sacrifice whatever he can to help others. Sort of like a saint.
Didn’t we already witness that “holier than thou” fantasy at State College, and the excuses and rationalizations used to keep it alive nearby burned down the entire operation?
Learn your lessons, people.
There should be no great sense of relief at Penn State, unless it hits home that O’Brien clearly is not the guy he claims to be. That he actually interviewed with both the Browns and Eagles tells you all you need to know about his commitment to the Lions – it can change, at a moment’s notice.
He will leave for a better job, or, rather, what he feels is a better job. Not a “one-and-done” guy? Um, coach, just by considering the idea of taking a job somewhere else (and you did so at least twice last week) you confirmed that, yes, indeed, you are exactly a one-and-done guy … if the overall price (money, control and less hassles/obstacles) is right.
Thing is, there is no better job in all of sports right now than coaching Penn State football. If you’re all about the players, the program, having a positive impact on people’s lives – while making a pretty good chunk of change to do so – as O’Brien says he is, then, no, no gig even comes close to what he has at PSU.
From scandal, or, if you prefer, tragedy, comes opportunity … and O’Brien has been presented with one the likes of which has rarely, if ever, been seen on an athletic stage – and he either doesn’t see that, or he doesn’t get it. Penn State, because of what happened with Sandusky, Paterno, the cover-up, the whole bit, and what it now needs to survive and sustain itself is not just another job.
But O’Brien, really, is treating it as such. That much is apparent, as is the hollowness of his words.
Intimating he was duped into believing there would be no NCAA sanctions against PSU is nothing more than an excuse to take the easy way out. Even the most novice of fans recognized the task set before whoever was going to take the Lions’ grid reins following the 2011 season. O’Brien accepted that task, proclaiming his full understanding of it and full commitment to it.
But, even Monday, as he crafted some new tale to emphasize his connection to Penn State and its future, the coach “outed” himself, noting that he had to look into other opportunities, that he owed that to his family, and, the classic noncommittal commitment caveat, that, well, you know, he’s on board with everything right now at Penn State, but that next year is next year – i.e., things could change.
In short, he wants others to buy into the long-term. He just isn’t willing to do it himself.
Oh, he’ll say he will in one sentence – with absolute certainty. Then he’ll retract it later, making it sound like, hey, let’s be reasonable – everyone else does it.
That’s the thing – Penn State doesn’t need a coach that follows the “everyone else does it” mantra. It, more than any other program in the nation, needs exactly the opposite.
Recruits who have given their word to this guy, if they had any sense, should renege immediately – unless, of course, they actually chose Penn State for Penn State, not O’Brien. PSU officials should just drop the buyout clause now and say, go ahead, you’re free to do whatever you want – seriously, what is the point of keeping him around if he doesn’t want to be there.
It’s pathetic that PSU people are breathing a sigh of relief that he’s staying. That’s like some woebegone spouse being eternally grateful that their wanderlust, grass-is-greener-elsewhere partner didn’t leave them for someone else – yet.
The preposterous denials he made about cursing in the midst of a post-game interview to conclude the Lions’ 2012 season were, indeed, a red flag. When push comes to shove, the guy won’t own the truth. He will twist it, distort it and transform it to whatever suits him … at any given moment.
That’s reality. It is one that should bring no relief to PSU.