Athens, GA (Dec 16, 2007) - Steve Hummer (pictured below) and Maria Saporto of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are above the fold on the front page of in today's edition as they write about Atlanta Falcon's Owner Arthur Blank and his blind faith in people, and how it led to his being burned by Michael Vick and Bobby Petrino. Note that they did not call him a Pollyanna. This was done by some creative headline writer.
It's a trait that has been sorely tested recently. But not broken, he quickly added. Even after the fall of his franchise quarterback and the desertion of his coach, the Falcons owner insisted he will continue to believe the majority of mankind is not out to embarrass him on "Monday Night Football."...
...His very nature, in concert with his very hands-on ownership style, is under review now, given the state of his football team. He stayed with Mike Vick — handing him a 10-year, $130 million contract — through a compounding series of incidents until finally felony dog fighting dragged the quarterback under. On Monday, Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison.
The night of the sentencing, Blank was extolling the virtues of his coach to the "Monday Night Football" audience while his team was getting kneecapped by New Orleans. Twenty-four hours later, Petrino was accepting the Arkansas job, he and his family celebrating with a rousing, "Wooooo, pig, sooooey!"
Blank could not have read two people any worse, and now his football season seems to be playing out like a Shakespearean tragedy.
It imight be hard to conceive how the man who led the Home Depot empire could be as successful as he has been (well except with the Falcons) with this kind of approach in business. But he has been, and now he needs to move forward.
Photograph courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution