By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — LSU head coach Brian Kelly is a Massachusetts man through and through. He was born in Everett, raised in Chelsea, and educated in Danvers and Worcester.
So when he arrived at LSU after ditching Notre Dame midseason in November, it was impossible for anyone to ignore Kelly’s sudden development of a southern accent.
“It’s a great night to be a Tiger. I’m here with my family and we are so excited to be in the great state of Louisiana!” Kelly gleefully addressed a crowd at an LSU basketball game.
It was a bit jarring, considering Kelly had never spoken like Colonel Sanders in his life. And the internet roundly mocked his sudden change of inflection.
On Tuesday night, while he watched his Tigers play in their bowl game, he addressed the matter in a typically Masshole way.
“Whether it was dancing or I couldn’t get my accent down with ‘family,'” Kelly told the ESPN crew when discussing some recent criticisms, “Listen, I’m from Boston. We don’t have strong accents.”
Such a comment perplexed many people on Twitter …
"Listen, I'm from Boston. We don't have strong accents." – Brian Kelly, who is from a different Boston from the one we all know. pic.twitter.com/GVupS5KNjR
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 5, 2022
Ask anyone in America to rank the single most discernible, geographic-specific accent and they would say "Boston"
Brian Kelly: pic.twitter.com/yuBBBKX31R
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) January 5, 2022
Boston doesn't have a strong accent?
Brian Kelly is going to be a beautiful disaster in Baton Rouge. https://t.co/GJPDUDRNhU
— Nick de la Torre (@delatorre) January 5, 2022
Brian Kelly claimed, on national television, that people from his native Boston, "don't have strong accents."https://t.co/6RaMA5g9B0
— The Big Lead (@TheBigLead) January 5, 2022
Brian Kelly addressed his bizarre southern accent with a really weird take on Boston accents.https://t.co/t5NBywgSLD
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) January 5, 2022
One on one hand, you have every other Bostonian ever, in the entire history of Boston.
But on the other hand, you have Brian Kelly.
Hmmmm. tough call. https://t.co/VJ4Qlwbzqu
— Paul M. Banks (@PaulMBanks) January 5, 2022
… but anyone from Boston quickly caught on to the dry sense of humor and subtle sarcasm involved.
To anyone who may have been confused, you see, the joke is that people do have strong accents in Boston. There are films, comedy sketches, TV commercials (including a Super Bowl ad), clothing, posters, and various other forms of paraphernalia celebrating this … unique way of speaking.
That … is the joke.
Of course, Kelly’s delivery may have confused the nation to a certain degree. But the 60-year-old was clearly having a little fun at his own expense with a little bit of a gag. Doesn’t take a Harvard grad to know that.