Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly gave Purdue some bulletin board material in his interview with the media earlier this week. Here’s the much discussed quote:
“Oh, this is their Super Bowl,” he said Wednesday. “This is the biggest game on their schedule by far. Again, we’re going to get everybody’s best shot, we know that. I think I was referring more towards we have to make sure on our end that we take care of our players and don’t do too much (that it becomes a drain).”
First of all, is Brian Kelly right? Is this Purdue’s “Super Bowl”? There’s no question that this game means a lot to Purdue. Danny Hope and Joe Holland admit as much. With Purdue on a streak of bowl-less seasons since Joe Tiller’s penultimate year in West Lafayette, there have been no postseason games to play in December or January. During the season, Purdue’s only other yearly rival is with Indiana. If you ask Purdue’s fan base, many fans may prefer to notch a win against the Irish than the Indiana Hoosiers in the Old Oaken bucket game. To call it Purdue’s Super Bowl though is an overstatement. After all, Purdue gets its chance to play national powers like Ohio State, Michigan, and (soon) Nebraska. Each of those programs have had as much recent success or more than Notre Dame.
Secondly, even if it were true that this game was Purdue’s Super Bowl, it wouldn’t exactly be a tactful remark by Kelly. Even with Purdue in a drought of football success, it’s not exactly a classy thing to tell your opponent that you think you’re more important than them. Somehow, I don’t think Kelly would make this remark about Navy or another military academy because it’s taboo to show any sign of disrespect for our nation’s military. But a statement reeking of self-importance and snobbery like what Kelly said earlier this week is exactly why so many people around the country despise Notre Dame.
Third, it’s laughable (but not surprising) that Notre Dame is bringing such an arrogant attitude to Ross-Ade. While Notre Dame has plenty of talent and looked good beating Pittsburgh and Michigan State, this is still a 2-2 team. Last year, the Irish’s losses included Navy and Tulsa. So it’s not like Notre Dame has taken care of business against programs that it has a decided advantage against. Nonetheless, this did not deter Brian Kelly from opening his big mouth and giving the Boilers some extra motivation.
Finally, I’d like to leave you with an extra little something of Brian Kelly during week one. This man certainly embodies the angst and spit of a red-faced little Irishman. Kudos Coach Kelly for playing your role perfectly: