It’s Not Me; It’s You: The University of Louisville fired coach Bobby Petrino this week, says ESPN, NBC SportsThe Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

The Cardinals are 2-8, losing their last seven in a row. Your University of Louisville fighting football Cardinals lost to the Orangemen of Syracuse on Friday, 54-23.

As NBC Sports reports, Louisville will buy out his contract and pay Petrino $14 million to go home.

Said Louisville Athletics Director Vince Tyra:

We want to thank Bobby for guiding our football program to some of the better seasons we have had historically at U of L during his two separate tenures here. However, at this time we feel the program needs different leadership and we owe it to our student-athletes and fans to get this turned around.

I did not have the confidence that it was going to happen next season without a change and it needs to start happening now. We expect to determine a new head coach soon to restore our football program to national prominence.

Tyra had previously said Petrino would finish the season regardless of wins and losses, but clearly had a change of heart. There’s only so much sports abuse a person can witness without being compelled to intervene.

The Cardinals also let go of the rest of the Petrino family: his son, quarterbacks coach Nick Petrino and his sons-in-law, linebackers coach Ryan Beard and defensive line coach L.D. Scott.

Which is like a “Godfather” level of cleaning house.

CBS Sports ran the headline: “Louisville fires former Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino.”

That’s factually correct, but also feels like a subtle kick in the pants.

After a series of denials and a hefty contract extension, Petrino left Louisville the first time to coach the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons struggled and after a series of denials, he leaves that team before his first season is over to coach Arkansas. He infamously avoids telling his players in person, leaving the coach’s equivalent of a Dear John instead. He’s fired from the Arkansas job following a motorcycle crash — Petrino reportedly lied to his AD, saying he was alone on the bike, but it turns out he had his mistress/football assistant with him at the time.

That reputation for being shadier than an oak tree is what The New York Times means when it says Louisville owes its Petrino woes to “not being a judge of character.”

Which might be true, but not necessarily germane to what happened here. He didn’t get fired for being a weasel; he was fired because his team was going from bad to really bad to the worst in college football. Maybe you can say that’s a character thing if the players wouldn’t play for him, but I’d say it has more to do with giving up 50 points on more than one or three occasions this season.

Cardinal safeties coach Lorenzo Ward will take over as interim coach for the final two games. According to ESPN and The Washington Post, he says those games are about the players, not a permanent position. Which is good, because all the talk — as it’s been most of the season — is about Jeff Brohm.

Thanks, Kirk, for catching up.

Brohm played quarterback for Louisville and coached under Petrino and currently has the Boilermakers of Purdue playing good but not great football, but still much better than they’ve been in a while.

SB Nation answers “Why Louisville’s firing Bobby Petrino, and why Louisville should hire Jeff Brohm.” I think I have this one: people were salty about the one and that was before the losing streak and they like the other just fine and he’s doing well at Purdue.

Of course, just because fandom and the media are shouting for Brohm, doesn’t mean Brohm is coming.

Sporting News says Brohm has “heard the noise” but is focused on the job he has.

When it comes to my hometown, that’s where I’m from, that’s where I grew up and where I played. I took a lot of pride in doing my part. A lot of special people there we still have relationships with. My family is there. So I want the program to succeed and do well. But right now, I’m happy where I’m at, and I’ve got a job to do.

Which is what he’s supposed to say, mind you. But it also may be the truth. Looking at the state of things, I might be inclined to stay in Purdue for at least a few more seasons.

And here’s another wrinkle: CBS Sports says if Louisville does pursue Brohm, they’ll need to buy out his contract with Purdue, an additional $3.3-$4.4 million, depending on when the buyout happened.

So more on this as it goes. Louisville has two home games left. They’ll host the Wolfpack of NC State Saturday before closing the season against your University of Kentucky winning Wildcats.

Gov. Matt Bevin

Zombieland: Gov. Matt Bevin says TV zombies are to blame for the run of mass shootings and violence, says The Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek and the Chicago Tribune.

The governor talked with Leland Conway on 840 WHAS this week and had this to say:

It starts with everything from the type of entertainment that we focus on. What’s the most popular topic that seems to be in every cable television network. Television shows are all about, what? Zombies! I don’t get it … that’s what we are.

Television shows are all about zombies.

According to Nielsen, the top three network shows this week are football. Strange, that. The NFL’s ratings are supposed to be so bad. And then there’s your “Big Bang Theory” and its spinoff, “Young Sheldon.”

But the governor was talking about cable, so let’s look at that. Again, there’s some football at the top, but at the No. 2 spot, sure enough — there’s “Walking Dead,” with “Hannity” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” finishing the top 10.

My God, he’s right. TV is full of zombies.

Who see their leaders using violent imagery and rhetoric to make their points.

Now let me say this — regardless of how clumsily expressed and without getting into the most recent cluster of shootings have come from people in their forties and fifties — he’s not completely wrong, he’s just not right either.

Research does suggest a link between consumption of aggressive media and aggressive thoughts or behaviors, though experts disagree on just how much one influences the other. And as a 2015 APA study suggests: “All violence is aggression, but not all aggression is violence.”

There are a good number of studies here I was going to link for you, but FactCheck.org does a pretty great job wading through it.

What they discovered is, like a lot of things, there are multiple risk factors at play.

In a 2015 APA report for “American Behavioral Scientist,” Craig A. Anderson argues, even if a link is present, it:

… does not mean that violent media exposure by itself will turn a normal child or adolescent who has few or no other risk factors into a violent criminal or a school shooter. Such extreme violence is rare, and tends to occur only when multiple risk factors converge in time, space, and within an individual.”

Consider: these same games, movies and television programs are available all over the world and yet no other country sees the rate of incident we do. Going back to Dr. Anderson, via FactCheck:

There is a pretty strong consensus among violence researchers in psychology and criminology that the main reason that U.S. homicide rates are so much higher than in most Western democracies is our easy access to guns.

So at this time, our society has more of a chance for all those risk factors to converge in ways other places do not. If we rethink our policies and practices, we might see new outcomes. But that’s a nuanced discussion that’ll have to go beyond “it’s all the zombies, is the problem.” But politics, so.

Take Away: USA Today and ABC News report Dior and Jennifer Lawrence are receiving some backlash from their recent Dior campaign.

The 2018 cruise line features clothes inspired by Mexican women, but with the absence of actual Mexican women or Mexico in the ad, some are accusing the brand of cultural appropriation.

Ms. Lawrence is quoted in the ad for the line:

One of the main inspirations for this collection is the traditional women riders of Mexico. So I’m really excited that this collection is looking at and celebrating these women’s heritage through such a modern lens. We’ve been shooting in a beautiful ranch in California with rolling hills, and I can’t think of a better landscape to highlight this collection.

Phoebe Robinson of the “2 Dope Queens” podcast called the ad to task on her Instagram post, calling the ad “ignorant and gross,” saying you can’t celebrate Mexican culture “by having a rich white woman named Jennifer be the face of this campaign”

The post has some colorful language so skip on past that if such things offend:

View this post on Instagram

Lol. Wut?! Sooooooooo, #Dior & #JenniferLawrence wanna celebrate traditional Mexican women riders thru a “modern lens”…by having a rich white woman named Jennifer be the face of this campaign? And like they couldn’t think of a better landscape to shoot than in California?! Hmm, I dunno, maybe…like…shoot…in…Mexico…with…a…Mexican…actress like Salma Hayek, Karla Souza, Jessica Alba, Selena Gomez, Eva Longoria, or many others. But I guess they were all unavailable, so you had to go with Jennifer Lawrence. ??????????????????????‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️. The audacity to call this shit modern because it’s worn by a white woman is ignorant and gross, but unfortunately, not surprising. Please comment below with Mexican designers I should support and give my dolls to, heauxes, because this boo boo ass Ricky’s Halloween store Mexican cosplay is not the jam.

A post shared by Phoebe Robinson (@dopequeenpheebs) on

That post has been viewed over 65,000 times and has comments ranging all over the map. Some offering full-throated support of Ms. Robinson, some noting Ms. Lawrence as the face of Dior and defending her role as such, Mexican Americans falling on both sides of the argument and still other commenters debating whether or not someone like Jessica Alba is Mexican enough to be a suitable replacement.

Which all goes to say how complicated the issue is for us and how important the conversation is.

Stan Lee: Stan Lee, one of the architects of the Marvel Comics and the Marvel Universe alongside Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, died this week. He was 95.

In my head, I have my own Pantheon of heroes who make up who I am. Luminaries who taught me the value of creativity, kindness, character, comedy, fairness and the like. And when I think of Stan Lee and his legacy, I think of someone who encapsulated all of those things through his work and through his essays. And thought his characters, I discovered there’s always a way to do the right thing and the real heroism is attempting that even when — especially when — that’s difficult and often what we see as a weakness can be turned into our greatest strength. For that, I’m grateful.

I met him twice for which I’m also grateful and when they say you shouldn’t meet your heroes, they are absolutely not talking about Stan Lee. He was indeed “the man.”

His Twitter account this week released this video of him talking about his fans:

Godspeed, Mr. Lee. You’re leaving this world all the better for having you in it.

See you next week.

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Kyle Ware
Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, artist, educator and writer. His column, In Other News, appears at Insider Louisville every Friday.