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Yes, a College Football Coach Said Entire Team Should be 'Executed'

Notre Dame had beaten Florida State in an overtime victory, but their coach wasn’t too happy.

Published Sep 7, 2021

 (Andyohsbass09/Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Andyohsbass09/Wikimedia Commons

A football coach’s comment after his team’s victory in overtime raised eyebrows around the internet recently. On Sept. 5, 2021, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish beat the Florida State Seminoles with a 41-38 score. Despite the victory, Notre Dame’s head coach Brian Kelly didn’t seem too happy about his team’s performance.

A reporter asked him, “What did you think about your team’s ability to withstand Florida State’s impressive comeback?” In response he said: “Yeah, you know, I’m in favor of execution. ​​Maybe our entire team needs to be executed after tonight.”

The internet responded with jokes and trepidation:

When asked about the comment in a news conference, Kelly clarified that it was a joke, pulled from a quote by late football coach John McKay: "I was kidding. It was tongue in cheek. It wasn't funny? It's an old John McKay quote that he used after the game. I was talking, making a joke about it. It was taken seriously? Are you people crazy? It's a John McKay quote that he used after a game. I was stealing one of his old quotes and being funny. I guess nobody likes to be funny anymore. So if you want to take me to town on that, please do.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC4iA3oVAVY&t=140s

Decades ago, McKay, according to The Washington Post, had responded to a question about his team's (the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) notorious losing streak from 1976 to 1977, with a witty remark. He reportedly was asked to speak about the team’s execution, to which he said, “I’m in favor of it.” In other retellings, he said, “I think it’s a good idea.”

McKay died in 2001, but his jokes are still being repeated today, even though in this case, they missed the mark.


Sources:

“After Notre Dame’s OT Win, Brian Kelly Attempts to Channel the Spirit of John McKay, and It Fails Miserably.” Touchdownwire, https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2021/09/05/brian-kelly-attempts-to-channel-the-spirit-of-john-mckay-fails-miserably/118591732/. Accessed 7 Sept. 2021.

Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly: Execution Quote Was Joke, Nod to John McKay. https://notredame.rivals.com/news/notre-dame-coach-brian-kelly-execution-quote-was-joke-nod-to-john-mckay. Accessed 7 Sept. 2021.

“Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly Explains His ‘Execution’ Joke after Win.” Washington Post. www.washingtonpost.com, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/09/06/brian-kelly-execution-joke/. Accessed 7 Sept. 2021.

“The Wild Numbers and Social Reactions from Notre Dame’s OT Win over Florida State.” ESPN.Com, 6 Sept. 2021, https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/32157609/wild-numbers-social-reactions-notre-dame-fighting-irish-ot-win-florida-state-seminoles. Accessed 7 Sept. 2021.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.

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