I’ve thought about writing this letter for a long time. I waited, hoping that things would change and such a letter would be unnecessary — but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I’m not trying to insult anyone or infringe upon anyone’s rights. I’m just a father of a daughter with a problem that only you can solve, Notre Dame.
Coach Brian Kelly.
The emergence of Brian Kelly some years ago baffled me. He’s such an unforgiving coach. Last fall, he obtruded painfully on my landscape. I was attempting to watch football with family. My children, they screamed. “Daddy, we don’t like this show. Daddy, we want to watch Mickey Mouse clubhouse. Daddy, we want candy.” I beg of these children, please. Let me watch the end of Cincinnati-Memphis.
After one of my frequent trips to give them more cereal, I sat on the remote, and it changed to NBC. Now, you must understand, Notre Dame. My daughter, she loves the color purple. She wears it every day. It’s her favorite color, bar none, and when you’re a small child, favorite colors matter a great deal.
“Daddy, I like the purple man!”
“Honey, this is Notre Dame and Pitt, no one’s wearing purple.”
“The purple man!”
And then I saw Brian Kelly’s face, flushed with bloody rage, a perfect purple color, as he harangued an official over a call.
A world in which Brian Kelly continues to be employed as coach makes it hard on fathers to teach their daughters that officials are someone’s brothers and sons. That players should be viewed first as people — and all people should be considered with respect.
I tried to change the channel, but the children were quite insistent. So I left it on, but I’ve come to regret this deeply. My daughter, she’s learned things from Brian Kelly.
Last week, she spilled milk on the table. I tried to console her that it was okay, and we had more milk, and we could clean it up. Before I could finish, my wife - a mother of son herself - entered the room, and my daughter explained, in a surprisingly profanity-laden diatribe - how I had failed her and that “this is the best I can do with the cups I’ve been given”.
Later that day, I was cleaning leaves out of the gutter, as I am prone to do, and my daughter - who I am a father to - decided that she needed my ladder to “build a successful program”. I woke up on the lawn hours later, covered in my own blood. When I staggered inside, battered and bruised, I asked my daughter why she did that.
“I’ve been disappointed by the effort at all levels here,” she said, my two-year-old daughter, whom I fathered, “and I think we’re going to have to change the culture around this entire program. If that means that I have to replace some people, that’s something I’m going to have to take a hard look at in the offseason.”
I tried to appease her with “purple smoothie”, a concoction made of blueberries and yogurt, but to no avail. She dumped it on my head and screamed that she’d cancel my scholarship if she didn’t “see results against Georgia Tech”. I don’t know what that means. We don’t play Georgia Tech. I’m beginning to fear for my safety.
I’ve heard people say that they like Brian Kelly because he wins games. So does Greg Schiano. So does Kevin Wilson. And winning games is beautiful thing. But we don’t go around hiring Greg Schiano because we respect ourselves — we want to be seen as a person, not a body. We don’t hire these coaches because we respect the other people who must see us, whether they would or not. These are not just my daughters — they’re the sisters and nieces of your friends, the children everywhere who love the color purple.
I’m fretting both because of the unsavory things your coach does and the playoff performances he delivers. For the fathers of daughters who want to find a blanket to lovingly cover his purple face and protect you — and to find scarves to tie over the eyes of their daughters to protect us from them!
Brian Kelly is so mad, so unwilling to accept blame, such a dillhole. Could you think of the fathers of daughters the next time you hire a coach and consider a harmless Saban assistant instead? Let Notre Dame be the first to turn their backs(ides) on Brian Kelly. You have every right to employ him. But you have every right to choose not to. Thanks for listening to the lecture.
Please hurry. She just announced that she’d “better see some [expletive] hustle in the spring game Saturday.”