He’s a busted bronco
don’t know how many of you read the cover story in this Tuesday’s Great Falls Tribune but it caught my attention. It was headlined “Convicted felon seeks redemption” and it was a lengthy article about former Montana State football assistant coach Joe O’Brien. I recall reading the Associated Press news article on the air back in 2003 when O’Brien was nabbed by a swarm of cops down in Townsend, Montana. O’Brien had been coaching at MSU at the time. I had really forgotten all about the story or whatever became of him until Tuesday’s article caught my attention. Long story short…O’Brien served over two years and a quarter years (28 months) in the federal slammer for bringing an estimated 360 grams of meth into Gallatin County from a connection in California. Tribune Staff Writer Kristen Inbody points out that the exposure of the meth ring was his downfall-and perhaps his salvation from a life dominated by what he calls “The Lie”. O’Brien’s done his time and he’s living in Great Falls these days running a construction company. I thought reporter Inbody’s story was both eye opening and touching. The story does have a happy ending and O’Brien along with Bob Evancho are out with a powerful book about his downfall and comeback. I talked with Joe yesterday and today I received a copy of his book which I intend to begin reading this evening. My opinion is, that too often when we hear of a person who “appears to have it all” and then “blows it”, it is easy for society to say, “they got what they deserved, lock the door and throw away the key.” I feel before any one of us expresses such a narrow minded attitude, we should remember that none of us truly knows what we would do and/or what we are capable of doing were in to be we in that person’s shoes at the time and it’s not possible to know because we are NOT in their shoes. O’Brien appears to have rehabilitated himself the hard way and describes his hopes for resuming the career his involvement with drugs cut short, though he says the book is not a plea to coach again. O”Brien says, “In my heart, I’m a coach. It was the truest, purest thing I did in my life to coach and play football”. The name of the book, by the way, is “Busted Bronco: From Addition to Redemption” and it’s distributed by Farcountry Press out of Helena. As soon as I’m done reading it, Joe’s going to be my guest on the Puffman Show. I can’t wait to delve into this quality read so I’ll be letting you know on my Puffman Blog when Joe O’Brien going to be my special guest. In the meantime, the best to you in the future Joe.