The Atlanta Falcons today announced that they will retire the stretch of cement and gravel that nearly tore off the face of Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bobby Petrino last week.
"It was my goal when I purchased the Falcons 10 years ago to bring this franchise its first Super Bowl title," said Falcons owner Arthur Blank. "Unfortunately, that hasn't happened yet. But last Sunday, when Bobby Petrino's helmetless head slid along the pavement at a high speed, I think I can speak for all Falcons fans in saying that it was almost as great as a Super Bowl title, if not even greater."
Falcons staff members have already gone to the stretch of road in rural Arkansas where Petrino crashed with a young, female staffer riding with him, and dug up the patch where the Razorbacks coach slid to a stop.
"The awesome thing is that you can see some of Bobby's blood still on the rocks," said Blank. "I think our fans are really going to love it."
The Falcons have announced that the framed section of roadway will be lifted to the rafters of the Georgia Dome before their regular season home opener, with season ticket holders getting a chance to have their picture taken with the blood-specked pavement before the game. The promotion has drawn record season ticket sales for the franchise.
The team has also invited Petrino, who quit as coach of the Falcons halfway through his first season at the helm in 2007, to attend the event.
"Will he come? Probably not," said Blank. "But he may also be out of a job by then. He might need money. We'll give him 20 bucks to show up, and an additional 50 for each battery or rock that hits him. But only in the face. We're not paying for body shots."