The Irish Goodbye. The Golden Hello.
In an ugly fashion, Brian Kelly showed his true colors and left to go down to coach the LSU Tigers. From seeing the phrase "Touchdown Judas" to the infamous middle finger photo, we saw after a Tommy Rees turnover, and then the story of making Matt LeFleur and Robert Saleh shovel snow all night and act as a valet during his time at Central Michigan. I still can't believe that Twitter is a free app that everyone can use. November 29th will live as a sudden, strange yet, unifying day among those in the Notre Dame Football community. The way he did it is nothing new. He has done it everywhere he has been. He did it at Grand Valley State.
"I didn't come to Grand Valley thinking I was going to end my career here in coaching. I thought this was one of the stops along the way. But I found a diamond in the rough. I have what I consider the finest job in college football. I have the opportunity to compete for national championships and not have the trappings of the Division I arena, the incredible pressure to win at all costs. I have found the job I want."
Brian Kelly to Michael Rosenburg of Sports Illustrated in 2001.
He did it at Central Michigan.
He did it at Cincinnati.
In December 2009, his Cincinnati players showed up for the team banquet, and Kelly showed up escorted by two police officers. When the banquet ended, he told the Bearcats he had accepted the Notre Dame job.
It is all more of the same from Brian Kelly; I hope he fully commits to the heel turn. However, once the fans set all of the hate aside from the sudden departure. The rare good side of social media was upon the Notre Dame Football fanbase and even the lover of college football. Scrolling through my Twitter timeline, folks wanted to see the golden domers in the playoffs for once. Imagine winning the national title when your coach leaves because he thinks this is a better opportunity to win a championship in the toughest conference in the sport. A few things need to happen, but there is a pretty decent chance of the Irish making it into the top 4.
Next, people asked, "well, who will be the next coach in South Bend then?" If you had looked on any social media site once the news had broken that Kelly was leaving, you would think the question had already been answered. The number of voices from current players, alumni, and fans cheering on the idea of Marcus Freeman being the Head Coach and keeping Tommy Rees and giving him more control of the offense was loud... and I mean DEAFENING! The players were practically reliving the moment in Rudy when players put their jerseys down on the desk but instead said, "We Want Freeman!" The Mick Assaf Twitter space was north of 5,000 people begging for it to happen. Irish fans and everyone associated with the program get their wish and retain two up-and-coming minds in the game of college football. This is an exciting time to be an Irish fan. We get to see some fresh new faces take over, who care about the kids and are great at developing talent. Two top 5 recruiting classes are still being assembled for the bright future under one of the more prestigious programs in college football history.