Many of us wondered when the curse was going to kick in. During his first season as the coach of Notre Dame Brian Kelly won a game or two, and then at times he won two games in a row! That doesn’t sound like a curse.
And then this season where Kelly won game after game after game. It was as if he had forgotten how to lose; it was as if he were invincible.
Or so, at least, he imagined—and so others imagined who overlooked the fact that he had a wimpy schedule.
Last night he did not have a wimpy schedule. He played Alabama, and he got whooped so bad that everyone watching knew that Bill Cunningham’s curse had finally come true.
Had Brian Kelly won that game—and there’s no way that he would have, but let’s play pretend—he would have marched across that field like a Roman emperor.
Instead he looked really tiny—Lilliputian, in fact.
While watching him, I remembered a scene from Orson Welles’ great film The Magnificent Ambersons. Although Welles doesn’t appear in that film, he does some great voice-overs, and his best one appears after the Ambersons’ world comes crashing down. Re-watching that scene on youtube last night, I thought of Brian Kelly as I heard Orson Welles voice these words: “And now it came at last; George Amberson Minafer had got his comeuppance. He got it three times filled and running over.”
I’m sure that anyone else who watches that scene will juxtapose Brian Kelly with George Amberson, and for that reason I urge you to check it out. In the end, it’s almost as if Welles had predicted Kelly’s rise and fall: