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Searching for Bobby (Not Bowden)

Petrino_4 ATLANTA -- While in Atlanta, figured I would do something meaningful this afternoon while waiting for the hockey game to start.

Walked around downtown hoping to find first-year Falcons coach Bobby Petrino for a story I'm doing about being forthright, honest and just plain being a man of character. Was told he doesn't work here anymore, that he up and took off in the middle of the night for some gig in Arkansas.

Found that surprising. I always thought Petrino was one of the most loyal people in the game of football. Him jumping from one job to another, well, it shocked me. So much so, I called old pal Michael Vick to get his take on the deal, but his cellphone has been disconnected. Guess I'll get him next time I'm here.

Thinking of talking to Nick Saban about that story now. Anyone got his Fort Lauderdale number?

-- Speaking of football, congrats to Blanche Ely defensive back Patrick Johnson for being named USA Today's Defensive Player of the Year. There were a few South Floridians on the first-team, including Cardinal Gibbons kicker Blair Walsh and Northwestern's Marcus Fortson. Booker T. Washington coach Tim Harris was the Coach of the Year. Great honor for all of them.

-- Also, Tomas Vokoun was named to The Miami Herald's All-Broward hockey team. He beat out a kid from St. Thomas Aquinas for the honor. Congrats to Tomas. Sure he's very proud.

-- The inside of Philips Arena looks nice and crisp today. Why? Because workers spent time actually putting fresh paint on the steps and floor of the arena instead of just mopping it. The folks at BankAtlantic Center might think about doing this as well. Those floors look nasty as all get out. Seriously gross and funky. Just doesn't look sanitary. Am I the only one who thinks this?

-- Just saw Bill Parcells on ESPN. Didn't know he worked there...

-- In hockey news, Kari Lehtonen in net against Panthers, and why not. Lehtonen played last night (2-0 loss to CBUS) but is money against Florida lately. He's beaten the Cats once this year, was 6-1-1 against FLA last year with two shutouts. Lifetime record against FLA: 11-2-1.

I don't care who you are, that's pretty good...

-- Panthers get two here in the first...11 game losing streak in ATL on the line...

-- That Craig Anderson is quite the comedian. Asked him his New Year's resolution and his reply was quick and humorous. "To say no to drugs,'' he deadpanned, "and to stay away from the yellow snow.'' Then he gave me a thoughtful answer, one we will run in Sunday's edition of the Herald.

If you have a guess to what it was, or want to leave your resolution, do so below in the comment section. Like Bluto said at the beginning of Animal House: "Don't cost nothin'.''

-- JM's resolution? "It's only December 27th!" True that. And we will not be running that one.

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Mr. Richards, The Panthers are finally playing well lately, dont you think they deserve some national attention. I mean they cant even get on the front page of ESPN.com NHL section. There is even an article about this upcoming OUTDOOR game. In there they are mentioned, but as a mockery. I currently live in Tampa and the only way i can get info. on them is through your articles, so thank you for that. I guess they have to win the next 3 games against well known teams as Montreal(2-0), Phila.(1-0),and Jesey(1-1). But even then we will still just be that Florida team.

Eh, the Panthers haven't done anything to deserve the hype. Let them fly under the radar. Are they winning games? Yes. Are they playing pretty good. At times. This team hasn't been to the playoffs since 2000. They need to earn their stripes. Respect comes when it's earned. The Panthers are better, but they haven't earned that leaguewide yet.

And thanks for the nice comments...

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