He?s like the big crazy uncle who livens up Thanksgiving.
Or an old school chum still giving out noogies at the reunion.
Or Barney from The Simpsons.
Since Ryan took over the Jets? head coaching job from the somewhat meek-sounding Eric Mangini, Ryan has been a big ball of fun. Almost immediately, he rekindled the border war with playful barbs toward Foxborough (I?m sure you heard the ?not here to kiss Bill Belichick?s rings? quote. He?s tried to get the AFC East inferiority complex out of his locker room, and this week, by leaving a voicemail message for every season-ticket holder, asking them to make ?it miserable on Brady,? he?s trying to rid the Meadowlands? stands of that complex as well.
The AFC East needed this guy. Just look at the rest of the division?s brain trust.
There?s Tony Sparano, a guy we all agree should be driving around Joe Pesci on a movie lot.
There?s Dick Jauron, a brilliant local guy and Yale grad, who looks more sad and defeated each and every Western New York winter, like he knows someone?s kicking his dog (or spray-painting his lawn) with every turnover.
And there?s Bill Belichick, a magician who has successfully presided over 10 years worth of news conferences without telling us a blessed thing.
Where?s the personality? Where?s the bombast? Where?s the passion?!?! This is football, is it not? Electric. Violent. It?s a symphony of modern-day gladiators trading blood and brain cells for every inch, but its local figureheads make Dick Cheney look like Little Richard.
It?s not just this group that needed to lighten up a bit. Look around the coaching ranks of the entire NFL, and there are only two energetic guys that make you say, ?I?d follow that guy into battle any day.? It?s Mike Tomlin and Mike Singletary, and even Singletary and his crazy eyes have me worried his head will explode at any moment. The league?s coaches are either sleep-inducing, or wound so tight they could turn a coalmine into a diamond emporium.
We, the fans, needed someone to come in and shake things up a little. We craved a fire to be lit underneath this comatose collection of coaches. We sent out an S.O.S. for a big, giant S.O.B.!
And our prayers were answered with Uncle Rex.
I like him. I have no idea if he really knows what he?s doing, but I like him.