FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Notre Dame running back Theo Riddick has heard the accent, the one that identifies where his head coach, Brian Kelly, is from and how far he has come. It’s faint now, but its emergence is not for the faint of heart.
Kelly’s dialect these days is nearly indecipherable as he smoothly navigates media appearance after media appearance in the lead-up to Monday night’s BCS national championship game against Alabama. He has the polish of a presidential candidate and the presence of a motivational speaker. But in the heat of the moment when the Everett-born, Chelsea-raised Fighting Irish coach gets red-faced and vociferous, his Boston accent emerges to accentuate his point.