Brian Kelly had social media buzzing following his postgame interview on ABC after Notre Dame’s overtime win at Florida State.
The Fighting Irish’s longtime head coach suggested his players should be “executed” after the 41-38 win at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida.
“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.
Wait, what did you say?
Brian Kelly…..WHAT???? pic.twitter.com/HvgwV4MvXO
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 6, 2021
Unsurprisingly, Kelly immediately went viral on social media for his comments. However, there’s a pretty good explanation for what he said.
Notre Dame’s head coach was attempting to reference an old joke made by former football coach John McKay.
McKay, who coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, replied “I’m in favor of it” when asked about his team’s “execution” during a game.
Brian Kelly was attempting to quote the late John McKay…1976 was a different time, man pic.twitter.com/b7bWYlWLpK
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) September 6, 2021
The joke didn’t really land, though.
Kelly had to explain himself following the victory.
“It’s a John McKay quote that he used after a game,” Kelly said. “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 initial fervor surrounding Kelly’s comment has calmed down. Most people now agree that it was simply a swing-and-a-miss from the Fighting Irish head coach.
uh.. what do we think of Brian Kelly’s humor attempt? it’s a twist on an old one liner, saying his whole team “should be executed.” but this is ’21.. yeah I don’t think it works. It was a resilient W in very tough environment.
— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) September 6, 2021
Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly: “I’m in favor of execution. Maybe our entire team should be executed tonight.” Not as good as when John McKay used that line about the old Tampa Bay Bucs
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 6, 2021
So, the first two headlines on ESPN are about Brian Kelly making a joke and a golfer backing a tennis player.
I miss the old days when news was actually news.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) September 6, 2021
Brian Kelly did not execute that joke very well.
— Annie Agar (@AnnieAgar) September 6, 2021
In his postgame interview, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly tried paraphrasing a great old John McKay line about an all-time bad Tampa Bay team concerning “execution.” Kelly’s attempt fell flat, did not work. Hey, coach, your team JUST WON AT FLORIDA STATE. And that deserves “execution”?
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) September 6, 2021
Brian Kelly’s postgame interview: pic.twitter.com/b4Lgko10Aq
— Old Row Sports (@OldRowSports) September 6, 2021
Better luck next time, Brian.