Morning Joe | March 13, 2013
>>> a group that raises money for charities every year. brian kelly and his wife are here to receive an award. the greatest halftime interview.
>> i had to give the greatest halftime interview to get our team out there. that is the tough part.
>> they asked coach how did things change ? hopefully, alabama doesn't come out in the second half.
>> rough first half. we played better in the second half but football is great and certainly it brings us all together but it brings us back to new york to do some great things. that is the power of, you know, being able to play at a place like notre dame , you get the opportunity to come to new york and be a part of a very special week.
>> let's talk about the week.
>> keith has put together this lunch a long time, the kelly gang .
>> dinner gang.
>> yeah. it started out as an informal group of kelly 's gathering around and took a tragic turn when one one of our cofounder michael kelly was the first journalist kill in iraq. we said we have to do something for the family the next year. donald trump flew the family down from boston and all kinds of people coming together. michael's family came up from d.c. and we raised some money. so many turned out and said you have to keep this going every year not only for michael kelly but a great way for the industry to get together. we raised money for the wounded warrior project and hurricane katrina and catholic charities and try to find a kelly doing good. after katrina, catholic charities was headed by jim kelly . buffalo bills quarterback jim kelly as well for his foundation. this year ever since we saw brian kelly 's profile in irish america , we figured he is the kind of guy we got to get. after him for three years. in september they said we think we can do it and then he went on to have an undefeated season and we think that is no coincide. good karma all the way.
>> you and your wife have a foundation?
>> we do. kelly cares foundation. my wife is here with us. a lot of the emphasis on it is her story and our story as a family. she's a two-time cancer survivor . so, obviously, cancer research , breast cancer research is very important. we also met in college. this is my life. and she's been part of it. so we met in college and so giving back educationally is part of the foundation as well. and we have lived in a lot of communities in this business of college coaching. you move around a little bit. so we have always felt like those three pillars are part of our story, our family story and that is the kelly cares foundation.
>> so it seems appropriate that we give news on the pope right now. mike barnicle , bad news for you. it's black smoke . you have to wait another day to be selected pope by the college --
>> i got three votes yesterday.
>> i think the everit part is what is holding you back. i was born there. i think that may be a problem.
>> we could get one later today . how great would that have been if we had the pope while brian kelly , the coach of the fighting irish .
>> that could be a good omen next year. that we needed at halftime was the pope!
>> so let's say my last name is not kelly which it's not and i'm watching at home. how can people get involved and help the kausecauses you are supporting?
>> you don't have to be irish or last name kelly as long as you spell the name on your check. fund-raiser is hosted by the kelly 's and hosted by one and all. anyone from original, creed, domination. it's to get good money. we raved probably about, i think this year we will will over the $500,000 mark since we started in '04. we are like an all- volunteer army . no paid staff. like little league and the cub scouts , every cent we raise goes to the charity.
>> it's at michael's restaurant tonight. as close to a sellout but a few tickets available for 200 bucks at the door.
>> coach, let's turn just for a minute to football. it's going to be very distracting and very distracting as we show vatican city while talking college football . but i'm curious what, as a leader of young men, what do you tell the kids -- i call them kids. we are all so old here. what do you tell these kids after the game, not only to get the younger players ready for the next season, get them in the right frame of mind to learn from what happened, but also for the seniors that ended on a disappointing note. what did you say to them in there?
>> i thanked the seniors first. because they have moved the program so far to put us in a national championship game and certainly doing that allowed us now to think about winning a national championship . we had a lot of room to make up for. notre dame had not been part of that conversation.
>> as it related to playing for national championships . thanking the seniors first was the most important thing and tell them you know what it looks like now. i played 18 freshmen in that game.
>> isn't that amazing? what a great opportunity.
>> just to have all of those kids be on that field and that moment allows them now to work towards getting back there.
>> if you're 18 or 19, you don't remember all of the times. i remember back when the dolphins got stomped by the cowboys. i think it was in '71 maybe they lost 24-3 in the super bowl . the next year, they are undefeated. it happens all the time. but what an incredible -- did you ever, ever think you were going to go -- have a shot at going undefeated last year?
>> we looked at the schedule, i think we all said that is probably a daunting schedule. as coaches and i think we are like everybody else. we just focus on the moment. if you start looking at it here is a win, a loss, i think you're doing a disservice. i just stay focused on one week at a time. i think when we did that, we found ourselves in a pretty good position.
>> that's great.
>> how much, if any -- go ahead.
>> no, go ahead, mike.
>> how much, if any, was the manti te'o distraction? was it a distraction internally?
>> it really wasn't. it wasn't because he never showed that it distracted the way he led all year. in other words he was the first in the locker room and he was the first on the field. all of his actions as it related to his preparation never changed. and so we didn't see anything outwardly that would say we have got an issue here. and, obviously, alabama had a lot to do with him not playing quite as well as we played but it did that to all of the players on the team. but he handled himself in a manner that, you know, left us no reason to believe that he would be ready to play.
>> do you think, coach, if you were talking to an nfl gm and you probably are, is there any reason because of that manti te'o episode that they should draft him lower than they were thinking about drafting him? is there anything about his character that we learned from that that would concern a coach or a gm?
>> i think everything is based upon a body of work. in my three years with him, i did not have a better teammate, a better leader, a better captain, and a better player in my three years at notre dame . if you want to take the body of work, i could tell you what he did for three years.
>> unselfish guy.
>> be elevated by the national press. he was a great teammate.
>> he brought his family in which is the way to do it. so if there is a crack there for a moment, that you want to fall on one side or the other, you certainly can do that but i can speak to a body of work where he was one of the great players i got a chance to coach.
>> thank you, coach.
>> thank you. appreciate being here.
>> hope to see you tonight.
>> thank you again.
>> thank you.
>> let's send it over to chris jansing who is live at the vatican, not talking college football . chris , mike barnicle is disappointed! he once again fell short of the vote. could we expect another vote later this afternoon?
>> we can expect two more votes this afternoon and we will never know how many votes mike barnicle got. you don't have to be a cardinal but a male catholic. i can't say i'm ruling out a barnicle contention there inside the sistine chapel . the black smoke needs three votes now. one yesterday. two this morning. they will head to lunch now and leave the sistine chapel and have lunch. some people think they will what we call a little nap and back in the afternoon for one or two more votes. if one vote and somebody gets 77 ballots then a new pope. otherwise, no smoke. second ballot. then you would see smoke. it's really interesting to try to read the tea leaves because none of us knows what is going on there, but the generally accepted wisdom here if it's early, it will be one of the front-runner so to speak, somebody like cardinal scola . the longer it goes more likely to be a surprised candidate. maybe like someone from the united states . we will just have to wait and see. right now, one thing i can say with certainty is that this vote came about 10, 15 minutes earlier than we saw eight years ago and so we know that cardinal ray who is running things and who has a very good reputation for business like procedures is keeping things moving inside the sistine chapel . joe?
>> thank you so much, chris . we greatly appreciate it. more good news, willie geist , from mike barnicle . chris talks about him taking a nap in the afternoon! he likes naps in the afternoon.
>> i love those.
>> you have to love the conversation we are having because you have coach kelly actually quoting jim carey from "dumb and dumber." all have have to be is be a catholic and you can be voted pope. he says?
>> i still got a chance.