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- American college football player and coach
The Fighting Irish football team squandered an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter against Florida State but still won, 41-38, in overtime. After the game, Kelly was asked about his squad’s “ability to withstand” the Seminoles’ comeback.
“I’m in favor of execution. Maybe our entire team needs to be executed after tonight,” Kelly quipped to ESPN’s Katie George on the ABC broadcast. “We just didn’t execute very well.”
Brian Kelly in favor of execution, confirmed pic.twitter.com/9yqQkxaGLP
— Barstool Hawkeyes (@BarstoolUIowa) September 6, 2021
The remark caused a stir on social media and reporters later asked him about it.
“It’s an old John McKay quote,” Kelly explained, referring to the late University of Southern California and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach. “I was kidding. It was tongue-in-cheek. It wasn’t funny? ... I was talking and making a joke about it. It was taken serious? Are you people crazy?”
“I was stealing one of his old quotes and being funny, because nobody likes to be funny anymore,” he added, according to ESPN. “If you want to take me to town on that, please do.”
McKay, whose Buccaneers team lost every game during its inaugural 1976 season, was asked about his team’s execution.
“I’m in favor of it,” he cracked.
Here are some of the more noteworthy Twitter responses to Kelly’s updated take from fans and pundits.
In his postgame interview, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly tried paraphrasing a great old John McKay line about an all-time bad Tampa Bay team concerning "execution." Kelly's attempt fell flat, did not work. Hey, coach, your team JUST WON AT FLORIDA STATE. And that deserves "execution"?
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) September 6, 2021
Brian Kelly going with the execution joke. pic.twitter.com/p1kpI6ashT
— clip III (@tweetingclip) September 6, 2021
uh.. what do we think of Brian Kelly's humor attempt? it's a twist on an old one liner, saying his whole team "should be executed." but this is '21.. yeah I don't think it works. It was a resilient W in very tough environment.
— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) September 6, 2021
Brian Kelly making team execution jokes... pic.twitter.com/h9JfKHY63t
— Mizzou Basketball Analysis (@DataMizzou) September 6, 2021
Brian Kelly really went there.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 6, 2021
Brian Kelly’s post game comment on execution.
“Alexa, play the Tik Tok Oh No song”
— Jen Lada (@JenLada) September 6, 2021
Brian Kelly did not execute that joke very well.
— Annie Agar (@AnnieAgar) September 6, 2021
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.