“My media consultant had all these notes for me,” said Notre Dame’s new football coach Brian Kelly near the beginning of his press-conference speech Friday. “And I’m supposed to pay attention to all these notes that were drawn up for me. But one thing that has driven me through my career is that I speak from my heart, I’m passionate about it, and I really want to talk to everybody out there about why I am so honored to be the head football coach here at Notre Dame.”
And with that, he tossed aside those cold-blooded and insincere bullet points laid out by the Machiavellian speechwriter, and went on to do some really heartfelt rapping about challenges and opportunities.
Along the way, he said some things that no callous, glib communication goon could ever come up with. Deep truths, at once searingly personal at at the same time universal:
• “There’s a football coach, and then there’s the football coach at Notre Dame. Because nobody—nobody doesn’t like Notre Dame ….”
• “I want tough gentlemen. I want football players that are mentally and physically tough, that will play for four quarters, and I want gentlemen off the field that we can all be proud of.”
• “Yes, we’ve got challenges just like everybody else. But we’ll go to work on it right away. And we’ll do that by continuing to recruit what I call the RKGs: the right kind of guys ….”
A hundred, two hundred, two thousand years after the first speaker pulled the my-PR-guy-wrote-this-speech-but-tonight-I-want-to-speak-from-the-heart gag, why do speakers still do it?
Because people still go for the fake!
“Kelly hits the right notes in introduction,” was the headline of ESPN.com writer Brian Bennett’s account of the press conference.
Bennett noted, “A media consultant [Kelly] recently hired gave him some prepared notes, but he ignored them and talked mostly off the cuff.”