December 1, 2021. Pete Maravich Assembly Center. LSU football coach Brian Kelly addresses the crowd at halftime of a men's basketball game against Ohio.
It's nothing out of the ordinary for a freshly hired college football head coach. He says how excited he is to be there. He thanks the fans. He says it's a great night to be a Tiger. But, it's the way he said it.
Kelly, an Everett, Massachusetts native, had developed a southern accent out of the blue. Where did it come from? Why now?
I'm here to get to the bottom of it.
Brian Kelly's "Southern Accent"
Brian Kelly making his welcome speech at halftime of the Ohio/LSU basketball game tonight. pic.twitter.com/Jk3bjAvrh8
— Mike Bundt (@Mike_Bundt) December 2, 2021
So, Kelly hails from New England. His coaching stops include Grand Valley State in Michigan, Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame -- all schools rich in southern tradition. Yet, at his previous coaching jobs, Kelly never once displayed a hint of an accent. But once he got to Baton Rogue, he started impersonating alligator wranglers.
Fortunately for him, people didn't catch wind and it all went away quietly. His notorious video where he dances with five-star quarterback recruit Walker Howard was swept under the rug, too.
— Walker Howard (@Walker_Howard4) December 13, 2021
Nonetheless, Kelly addressed both moments while in the booth during LSU's matchup against Kansas State in the Texas Bowl.
oh yeah, you can *never* tell when people are from Boston pic.twitter.com/tv8l3BtDLt
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) January 5, 2022
"Whether it was dancing or I couldn't get my accent down with 'family' ... Listen, I'm from Boston. We don't have strong accents," Kelly said. "You can't get onto me about my accent."
He has a point. No one from Boston has ever had an accent. Watch any Matt Damon or Ben Affleck movie, and you'll see he's right. But that still begs the questions: Where did his southern accent come from? Where has it gone? In response, I ask my readers this question: Would you be willing to take on a new accent for $95 million?
Brian Kelly's answer is an emphatic yes. His 10-year, $95 million contract wasn't to coach football, it was to see what a guy from Boston doing a southern accent would sound like. LSU is doing the people's work.
However, taking a risk won't please everybody. Hence the trolling Kelly received after LSU's loss to Florida State.
Social Media Trolls Kelly After Florida State Game
— Dillan R. Gibbons (@GibbonsDillan) September 5, 2022
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong in Brian Kelly's LSU coaching debut. The offensive line struggled, star wide receiver Kayshon Boutte had two drops and proceeded to delete all traces of LSU from his social media and the special teams were atrocious. To make matters worse, Kelly's half-time interview and post-game press conference, much like his LSU tenure so far, were awkward.
?I?m not sure we can play worse.?
Brian Kelly was not at all impressed with the first-half performance by the Tigers ?
— Sporting News College Football (@sn_ncaaf) September 5, 2022
Oddly, his accent was nowhere to be found. Accents were nowhere to be found in FSU's locker room either, according to left tackle Dillan Gibbons. ESPN analyst and 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III also chimed in on Kelly's accent change.
Brian Kelly thinking I didn?t change my accent for this. pic.twitter.com/UivbiqUsua
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) September 5, 2022
A young Florida State fan made a callback to his recruiting dance following the game, too.
— stunna__numba1 (@stunnanumba11) September 6, 2022
Brian Kelly's time at LSU isn't off to a great start, but when his accent appears, it's uncanny. I implore Boston College to hire someone from New Orleans to give us the other side of the coin.