Brian Kelly has been the head coach of Notre Dame’s football program since 2009. In fact, he stands to break legendary football figure Knute Rockne’s record for the most wins in school history here soon. He got one step closer on Sunday when his Fighting Irish defeated the Florida State Seminoles by a narrow margin of 41-38. Apparently, the score was a little too close for comfort. Kelly suggested to an ABC reporter that his entire team needed to be executed following the nailbiter.
Football coaches are known to be tough on their players. But execution feels a tad extreme for the situation. Granted, Notre Dame came into the season #9 overall in the Associated Press rankings. They barely squeezed out a victory against an unranked Florida State team, which will certainly hurt their prospects moving forward. But hey, you came away with the win. The season is still very much alive.
Notre Dame was leading 38-20 going into the 4th quarter. Then, FSU hit the gas. They rallied back to force overtime but ultimately lost. When asked about his thoughts on the dramatic finish, he left ABC correspondent Katie George wondering what the heck was going on for a moment.
“I’m in favor of execution. Maybe our entire team needs to be executed after tonight. We just didn’t execute very well,” Kelly said.
No, Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly Doesn’t Actually Want His Players Dead
Fortunately, the Notre Dame coach didn’t mean it literally. Even without knowledge of the quote he was referencing, most people likely understood the figurative nature of the statement. Even still, without context, the comments were a little jarring.
“It’s an old John McKay quote. I was kidding. It was tongue-in-cheek. It wasn’t funny? … I was talking and making a joke about it. It was taken serious? Are you people crazy?” Kelly told reporters later, attempting to clear up any confusion.
For reference, John McKay was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their very first season in 1976. The team famously went 0-14, and a reporter, being funny, asked how McKay felt about execution regarding his team. “I’m in favor of it,” McKay said.
“It’s a John McKay quote that he used after a game. I was stealing one of his old quotes and being funny, because nobody likes to be funny anymore. If you want to take me to town on that, please do,” the Notre Dame coach continued.
So there you have it. A deep football cut that likely went over 90% of the viewing audiences’ heads. Brian Kelly made a joke out of frustration because his team barely beat an opponent that he felt they should have stomped. Then again, what do they say about jokes? There’s a grain of truth in each one? Watch your back out there, Notre Dame players.