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Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan Has a Big Fall

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It pains me to say this, but Rex Ryan is no fun anymore. He used to be a bloviator par excellence, and his dancing with reporters used to be a case of Ralph Kramdem meets the press. He promised us the moon and the stars, but never quite got out of the stratosphere. Now his act is wearing thin; in fact, he no longer has an act anymore. Ryan now defends the indefensible; he perpetrates the telling of lies that negatively impact the fan more than anything else; moreover, he has been exposed as a less than average defensive guru, has no offensive plans of which to speak, and truly has failed in the role of head coach.

I am a lifelong Jets fan. I wanted Ryan to succeed as much as anyone. After all, Ryan has a Jets pedigree. His father Buddy was there with the 1968 Jets in the dream season, the one that included a guy named Joe Namath as quarterback. Then in early 1969 the elder Ryan’s defensive strategies helped Jets head coach Weeb Ewbank steer the Jets to an impressive win over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III by a score of 16-7.

Rex made his name as defensive coordinator under Brian Billick while with the Baltimore Ravens; however, his true mentor and inspiration has always been Buddy. Everyone likes the elder Ryan, and we had high hopes when Rex took over as the head coach of the Jets that good times were coming. He certainly talked the talk (and then some) and often seemed to walk the walk, especially on the HBO series Hard Knocks. After painful years under Herm Edwards and Eric Mangini, Ryan seemed like a breath of fresh air; however, it became increasingly obvious the emphasis should have been on “hot air.”

At this point it is not worth even going back and counting all the times Ryan made promises that he couldn’t keep. After three seasons of lofty goals, we are still sitting here wondering where that Super Bowl victory is, and you can bet we aren’t going to get one in 2013. Now Ryan is a spin master; instead of being the king of boasts, he is more the prince of damage control.

The whole thing with Tim Tebow’s injury and status during the last pathetic loss against the Patriots is a microcosm of the problem with Rex: it is now obvious the lies are catching up to him. Someone knew; he didn’t know, and then he did know Tebow was injured. It goes on and on.

The bottom line is that all his posturing and jocularity of the past are now gone. Like Humpty Dumpty, Rex has had his big fall. All King Rex’s horses and all his men (and their loyalty seems to be waning with each passing day) are never going to put him back together again. The fun is gone from that locker room, and now it is more like a morgue. The 4-7 Jets are going nowhere but down with their coach and Mark Sanchez, the anointed one who will never be a top rated QB because he is no Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, or Eli Manning. At this point even Chad Pennington looks good to me now.

It is a matter of time until we hear Ryan is gone, unless a miracle happens and the Jets win their last five games, but that seems highly unlikely. At this point the season seems over and everyone knows it except Rex, but I suspect that his diminished verbosity indicates he knows the writing is on the wall.

Photo credit: longislandpress.com

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About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charlie Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.