â†µ It's hard not to like Rex Ryan. The guy speaks his mind and isn't afraid of occasionally putting his foot in his mouth. But what's been very interesting over the last few weeks has been the treatment Ryan has gotten by the New York media. â†µâ†µ
â†µThey love the guy. They don't love anyone and they love this guy. And with good reason. The New York Post's Mike Vaccaro turned his Twitter feed this playoff season into an ode to Rex. And how can we blame Vaccaro when the coach gives him so much material. â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥It only took a few moments before we were favored by Rex Redux, once he started talking about what lies ahead, once he cautioned everyone that the Jets weren't granted a bye into next year's playoffs just because of how well they played in this year's tournament. â†µâ‡¥â†µWhat other coach is giving you that kind of material as a beat writer or columnist? Is Bill Belichick? Andy Reid? Mike Shanahan? Now, when the Jets seemed to be playing their way out of the playoffs, Ryan's antics surely weren't as well received. But getting to the AFC title game with a rookie quarterback gives you all the rope you need with the New York writers. So, too, does the constant onslaught of shots directed at the team with which you share a stadium.
â†µâ‡¥"It's 0-0 and we have to get away a little bit, but let's come back hungrier than ever," he said. "Let's try to get a home game. Let's play this game in front of our fans and our stadium, the new Jets stadium." â†µâ‡¥â†µâ‡¥
â†µâ‡¥Someone asked, "Is that what they're calling it?" â†µâ‡¥â†µâ‡¥
â†µâ‡¥"That's going to be it when we play in it," Ryan crowed, the voice sounding like a roar now, sounding like what it must sound to the players who've bought into what he's selling. "I can't wait. We get our stadium, and we are not the visitors in our stadium; This is our stadium!" â†µâ‡¥â†µâ‡¥
â†µâ‡¥And then, big finish: "We are the biggest show in town," he said, "and that's what it's going to be." â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µFrom Post writer Mark Cannizzaro's story about the maturation of Mark Sanchez: â†µ
â†µâ‡¥Ryan believes the new-and-improved Sanchez, seemingly removed from the 20 interceptions he threw in his first 13 starts, is the centerpiece of a new beginning for the Jets. â†µâ‡¥â†µThe New York Times Fifth Down Blog sees through all this big talk as nothing more than a marketing campaign to sell more PSLs for the new stadium, posing an interesting question: â†µ
â†µâ‡¥That's why the Jets sent out a recorded message from Ryan to season ticket holders yesterday that had the loquacious coach waxing about the fact that these are not "the same old Jets" and firing them up for next season in the first year in the new stadium they'll share with the Giants. â†µâ‡¥â†µâ‡¥
â†µâ‡¥"Let's play this game in front of our fans and our stadium, the new Jets stadium," Ryan ranted. "I can't wait. We get our own stadium and we are not visitors in our stadium. This is our stadium. We are the biggest show in town, and that's what it's going to be." â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µâ‡¥The Jets are trying to sell P.S.L.’s, and they’re using their most prominent figure — who is more popular than Ryan now? — as a pitchman. There is a limited pool of dollars in the market, and the Giants are the Jets’ competition for them. Is a pitch that seems to be about pride really about money? â†µâ†µIn other words, are the Jets ginning up a rivalry with the Giants in an effort to sway some of the fans in the New York market to come to their side? And are they using the habitually outspoken Ryan – through direct-call telemarketing and through his relationship with the New York media – to fan the flames of this manufactured rivalry? â†µ
â†µDoes it matter how he's doing it? I got an e-mail today from a Jets fan that explained why everyone loves Ryan so much. â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥I have great perspective on the Jets as I have been a fan since 1966. The reason there is such a love affair with Ryan is simple ... he has a brain and plays aggressive defense. Go back and look at our coaches since they won the Super Bowl. Most of these guys had no personality and no passion for the game the way Rex does. He's funny, he's confident and he's passionate. I love the guy. I love the fact that he believes his team will win every game. It's better than having a coach who says the same politically correct statements every freaking week. This guy is a breath of fresh air. â†µâ†µIf only people liked Rich Kotite this much. Or Tom Coughlin for that matter.â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.