Thursday, September 8, 2011

Brian Kelly is a Loudmouthed Lout

What a  total, complete and thorough ass.

Watching Notre Dame coach  Brian Kelly ranting and cussing at his players on Saturday during their shocking stumble against South Florida, what else could you say? Fuming, eyes bulging, cheeks blood red,  spewing four-letter words...was this the "gentleman" hired by this high-class, glorious, religious university to head its football team, to be the face of that team? You can bet some of the parents who turned their sons over to Kelly felt like they'd been scammed.

Who is this monster?

If the radically underperforming players had been some thugs from the University of Miami or the Oakland Raiders or the roller-derby circuit, no one would blink an eye at that kind sordid meltdown. But is it acceptable on the South Bend sidelines? No way.

Granted there were reasons for Kelly to explode. Notre Dame, then ranked 16th, was being trampled by a so-so South Florida team at half time, 16-0, nailing its own coffin with two fumbles, a killer penalty and an end-zone interception of a boneheaded pass by QB Dayne Crist. The final score, 23-20, doesn't tell the real story. A last minute Notre Dame TD made the game seem closer than it really was.

Instead of verbally scorching his players, Kelly should have been trying to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. The players needed guidance, not tirades. Though on the ropes the entire game, Notre Dame plied up 508 yards in total offense, while limiting South Florida to 254 yards. Mistakes murdered the Irish.

How do you get a team to play smart, careful yet explosive football? What about teaching with a firm, stern tone? What about treating them like men, like human beings? Notre Dame played like a team that had been feasting on press clippings and was pumped up with hot air and swagger. They were a baloon primed to be deflated. Enter prickly South Florida. The lesson that should have been pounded into those swelled heads is that having more talent than your opponent doesn't guarantee victory.

The floundering Irish needed kid gloves and common sense, not a brutal bashing from its head coach.

So far, the loudmouthed lout hasn't apologized, only half-heartedly admitting "I have to do a better job of controlling my emotions." Talk about your baby steps.

Kelly's primary duty is clear--figure out whether his QB should be Tommy
Rees or Dayne Crist. While screaming at his players, he was probably angry at himself and his staff for initially chosing Crist over Rees. For the Michigan game on Saturday, he's benched Crist in favor of Rees.

This is Kelly's second year. If he wants to stick around for a third year, how about some solid, sensible coaching and some old-fashioned anger management.