Kelly would tell friends that he always felt he was playing with house money in the NFL. He would either revolutionize professional football or go back to college, where his dominance was unquestioned. When news broke on New Year’s Eve that the San Francisco 49ers would fire Kelly after what ended up being a 2-14 season, a massive chunk of the football world gloated, as if he got his due. Maybe he did. More than any other coach, he was always a man alone: