A newfound southern accent, cringy dances with recruits, an embarrassing loss on national television and one snarky press conference remark. That, in its simplicity, is a synopsis of Brian Kelly’s first 10 months as the LSU Tigers‘ head football coach.
Having less than 48 hours to digest his Tigers’ special teams woes, Kelly was in a joking manner when a reporter arrived late to Tuesday’s press conference.
“We’ll open it up to this late-arriving media crowd that must have enjoyed the weekend,” Kelly said. “That’s usually $10 that we put into the kitty. We’ll have big bash at the end of the year at my place.”
Leah Vann of The Baton Rouge Advocate had a zinger of her own to fire back at the $100 million dollar man.
“Maybe if you win, I’ll be on time,” Vann responded.
Kelly, seemingly rattled by the counter, said “I don’t think it has anything to do with winning. I think it has to do with being on time.”
The exchange quickly went viral with Kelly taking the brunt of the joke. It was all in good fun, Vann said afterwards, who provided more details.
“I know Brian Kelly likes to joke,” Vann tweeted. “He clearly took it as one from our conversation afterward. All in good fun, fam. He said he needs $10 so he can afford his new jackets and I said he has $90 mil for that and he said that’s a smoke screen and I said that’s fair and I liked his new jacket and he thanked me. If y’all want all the details.”
Sunday Night’s Loss Was No Joking Matter for Brian Kelly, LSU Tigers
What was not a joking matter — nor fun — was Kelly’s debut with LSU Sunday night against the Florida State Seminoles. A thrilling finish for fans watching at home was an excruciating one for Kelly and the Tigers. In the battle of who wanted to lose most, LSU came out on top. Unfortunately, that’s not what the university is paying Kelly $100 million over the next 10 years to do. He’s paid to win, something his Tigers are still figuring out how to do.
It was there for LSU, following an 11-play, 99-yard march down the field in the final 1:20 of the game that resulted in a Jaray Jenkins touchdown grab. The Tigers were suddenly within one, down 24-23 with zero ticks remaining. A Damian Ramos PAT would be all that’s needed to send the game into overtime.
That’s when Seminoles freshman defensive back Shyheim Brown broke through and blocked Ramos’ attempt.
The second blocked kick of the night and third critical error from LSU’s special teams unit. Also, the first loss of Kelly’s tenure in Baton Rouge.