Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly is an unbelievable coach
BY RICK TELANDER Twitter: @RickTelander January 10, 2013 4:03PM
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly speaks during a news conference for the BCS National Championship college football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Updated: January 10, 2013 10:33PM
First thing, big-time ballplayers, don’t ever believe your coach. OK?
He says the sky is blue, you’d better check it because it might be gray, brown, or pitch black.
He tells you he loves you, he’ll never leave you ... uh-oh, he may be packing his bags.
Football is all about emotion and building to a controlled frenzy, and maybe that’s why Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly—the man who said, ``I’ve got the best job in the country, NFL, college, high school, whatever,’’ and ``leaving is not an option’’—seems prepared to move on to the NFL Philadelphia Eagles just days after losing to Alabama in the BCS title game.
See, these coaches have halfway built their careers around lies. They say they’re happy here, while their eyes are always looking there. They get fired faster than they tell little Jimmy he’s the best fullback in the world, and then they make him fifth-string. They tell fans they can beat every team they play, win all the championships, graduate all their players with honors, and create well-rounded, ethical men. When all they know is their contract expires in a year, and they’d take Leatherface if he could score from the three and stay eligible through mid-January.
That Kelly interviewed with the Eagles just hours after saying he wasn’t going anywhere isn’t even worthy of confession time, as these things go. Making $3 million a year, four years left on the contract—means nothing. Why the man who Kelly likely looks up to, the man who just handed him his Fighting Irish in a lunch bag—Alabama coach Nick Saban—is legendary for lying about his future. Indeed, his pre-Alabama battle cry when he was with the NFL Miami Dolphins was, ``I’m not going to Alabama!’’ No doubt about it.
The list of men who are at their ``dream job,’’ and then sneak out of town for their ``real’’ dream job, is long and distinguished. Remember Northwestern’s Gary Barnett? I believe he told his players goodbye via e-mail. Didn’t Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville just slip off to Cincinnati, while at dinner with Tech recruits he’d brought to Lubbock? And good ol’ Bobby Petrino, what did he do at Arkansas? Oh, right. Among other things he lied about a motorcycle crash with his girlfriend aboard.
Kelly himself bolted out of Cincinnati for the Notre Dame three years ago, leaving stunned players behind. Did Notre Dame care about that? Hell, no. Kelly was coming for the higher ground, the higher good. It takes two to tango, Domers.
They used to say about Saban—and maybe they still do—``He’s only lying when his lips are moving.’’
And he’s the greatest college coach in America.
Get the connection, youngsters? If Knute Rockne could lie about the Gipper for personal gain—that is, football wins, fame, money—why can’t red-faced Brian Kelly turn his tail on Touchdown Jesus and pursue whatever it is coaches pursue.
Just know for sure, it’s not integrity.