For someone who is a fan of both the Detroit Lions and Notre Dame football, this has been a strange season: the Lions are 7-4 and leading their division, and the Irish are 4-7.
Brian Kelly has been very good overall in his time as head coach at ND, but I -- and many other people -- would like to see him go after this season. It's nothing against him. It seems that almost all coaches, including almost all of the best ones, get stale after too long with one program. It's time for Kelly to go be great somewhere else -- right now, before he does too much damage, while Notre Dame fans can still remember his time as head coach fondly.
Maybe I'm to eager to pull the trigger on Kelly.
Then again, maybe I'm not. It's more than just the 7 losses. It's the way that the team, over and over this season, has pissed up a rope: started off a game with a huge lead and still somehow managed to lose. A really good team will do the opposite: if you're pulling for them, and it's the 4th quarter and they're within 10 points of the lead, you're not worried, because pulling it out is what they do. They seal the deal. They just win, Baby. 4th-quarter comebacks what Matthew Stafford, for example, has done a bunch of times with the Lions since 2010. You don't want other teams to be doing it against you, over and over.
But what upsets me the most is that Kelly doesn't seem upset. You know what he reminds me of, right now? George Costanza bringing oranges to those Japanese TV executives and pitching Jerry's show to them. Kelly has been misinformed that oranges are extremely rare in Japan. He doesn't seem to sense the tension in the room, the annoyance of the executives whose time he's wasting.
He just grins at us like a fool and says things like, "You've forgotten what it's like to have no oranges." We -- the rest of the world -- have been muttering to each other in Japanese things like "Again with the oranges," and waiting impatiently for the senior Japanese exec to lean forward and say to the foolishly-grinning, uncomprehending Brian Kelly/George Costanza, speaking slowly and enunciating each word very carefully,
"You must go now."