Keidel: Rex Ryan: Round, Loud, Proud

By Jason Keidel
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As we hear Rex Ryan’s hubristic crescendo, dropping bait on a team formerly coached by a man nicknamed Tuna, the Giants aren’t nibbling. Ryan, as usual, oils his missives with half-truths – like the one where a team that doesn’t win the Super Bowl is better than another that doesn’t. Even without the redundant rhetoric, there is importance aplenty glued to the Jets-Giants contest this Sunday, played in America’s media vortex.

Last Sunday, Ryan’s Jets played like the team bus stopped at Sam Hurd’s house on the way to Philadelphia. Yet The Quotable Rex Ryan is still swelling by the moment.

The Jets (8-6) are better than the Giants (7-7), so say Rex, because his team reached the AFC title game the last two years while the Giants missed the playoffs. It would be an appropriate assertion from Jets fans, but not from the coach who claims every year that his team is bagging its first Lombardi Trophy since John Dockery was on the roster.

Since this is a de facto playoff game for both teams – a loss leaving either to lean on luck, math, and the gods to make the postseason – we don’t need Rex to get all relative on us to realize this game counts far beyond the provincial bond of bragging rights.

Should the Jets win, Ryan will remain New York’s chubby, cherubic darling whose bombast will remain refreshing for another week. Should the Giants, who’ve actually won Super Bowls since Grace Slick sang White Rabbit at Woodstock, win the game, Ryan will find himself perilously close to losing his grip on yet another guarantee, descending into a hole his tongue dug.

Ryan has walked a toxic, semantic tightrope since he swam up the Hudson and commandeered the Jets. New Yorkers don’t mind braggarts; we do mind idiots. If Ryan wants to be Joe Namath, then go be Joe Namath and win the darn thing. But don’t be Patrick Ewing, with verbal assurances on eternal loop.

Some coaches are linked to their legendary visages, a profile or silhouette, from a lean Tom Landry’s and his Fedora to Bear Bryant brooding under his houndstooth to Don Shula’s jutting jaw. Ryan is a little rotund for such an avatar to be aesthetically agreeable. Perhaps he knows this and compensates by adding calories to his lexicon.

I’ve never made references to Ryan’s weight because, frankly, it has little to do with his ability to coach unless his cholesterol kicks in. But Ryan’s declarations have become comical, and each make him more of a caricature than character – a comic book creature, perhaps, in the Kingpin vein. But, in that Gotham, Spider-Man generally foils the evil, corpulent criminal.

So it is with the Giants: Big Blue playing the Big Brother that Ryan allegedly loathes. Whether teams switch costumes depends on more than just Sunday’s game. But it’s a good place to start. Especially for the quotable Rex Ryan.

Feel free to email me:

  • JK

    Thanks, Hoffman, for using my column to promote your worthless Web site.

    Feliz Navidad!

  • HoffmanSelma

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  • Kurt Spitzner

    He’s got a big mouth for sure and hasn’t got too much to back it up but I enjoy the rhetoric,and that being said hope he puts his money where his mouth is this Sunday!
    Merry Christmas!

    • JK

      And Merry Christmas to you, my friend. Are you a member of the Shea/Jets/Mets masochism club? I feel terribly for you guys.

      Best to you and the family, Kurt. Be safe, sound, and never out of bounds!

      • Kurt Spitzner

        Yes sir I am,but there’s nothing anyone can do but grin and bear it because that is what makes us New Yorker’s,and nothing can keep us down baby,nothing!

  • Edward

    What’s really amazing is that all the great coaches, Lombardi, Shula, Walsh, Noll, Gibbs, Parcells, Belichick didn’t brag on how they would win or start the season by saying their team was the team to beat. They just went out and won, and not just one Super Bowl, but more than one.

    Rex hasn’t won anything, not even a division title, so I don’t see what he’s bragging about.

    The great ones walk the walk; Rex could be an insured person who needs to hear himself talk in order to make himself feel better about his own self

    Like father, like son

    • JK

      Well stated, Edward. And you tugged on my strings by bringing up my boy Noll – perhaps the most underrated coach in NFL history. Four rings (in four tries) and no love from the press or his peers.

      Thanks for reading and responding.

      Feliz Navidad!

  • Jim inVA

    The article is right on the spot, and I am a lifelong Jets fan! Rex would do well to keep his mouth closed until he at least wins the division. Yeah, he won a couple of playoff games, that and a token will get you a ride on the subway. Time to put up or shut up!!

    • JK

      Much obliged, Jim.

      Rex was a blast of fun, fresh air when he landed. But now he’s redundant and ridiculous. If he loses Sunday he’ll have weight of eight million despondent fans on his shoulders.

      Thanks again for reading and responding.


    Louie–Rex Ryan’s ASS is so big that I hope nobody gets there foot stuck in his ASS. Giants are doing it right. There not talking just practicing. Not like this BABOON.

  • Brad

    An article (and a cooment) from a typical Giant fan.

    What else can you expect from that ilk.

    Get ready to hit the road you have-beens-who-never-were.

    • JK

      Sorry, Brad. Been a Steelers fan since 1976. Wanna see the rings?

    • Anon

      Typical Jets fan. Hasn’t won anything and talks smack like they have.

  • louie

    hope giants kick his big fat ass

    • JK

      How do you really feel, louie? ;)

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