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Rex Ryan – A Divider and Not a Uniter for the NY Jets

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The New York Jets (3-6) limped away from Seattle, after losing to the Seahawks (6-4) 28-7. It was yet another game that revealed the many weaknesses of the Jets. They are struggling with their offense; their defense looks about as impregnable as the Maginot Line, and quarterback Mark Sanchez seems more than ever as if he is out of touch with what he needs to be doing. More than anything there is one extremely obvious malfunction on this team, and it has nothing to do with anyone on the playing field – it is head coach Rex Ryan.

In the beginning Ryan endeared himself to Jets fans, many who were desperate for someone to come in, take charge, and set the ship on course for better waters. Ryan talked a good talk and seemed a natural leader, yet as time moved on he became more like a Captain Bligh from Mutiny on the Bounty, who allowed the crew free reign as long the ship stayed afloat, kept moving forward, and encountered no stormy seas. Any turbulence would not be good news and with less bounty the moments of mutiny became more and more evident.

Now in the third season of Rex’s reign, there is no happiness on board. Mark Sanchez seems loyal to the skipper, but others may aspire to be like Fletcher Christian if they dare. Of course, Tim Tebow has been the focus of much debate, and now today some of the players have anonymously come out against the backup QB, denigrating his playing skills. This once again forced Ryan into damage control, but he is like the little boy with his finger in the dyke; unfortunately, there are so many leaks bursting forth, and Rex only has so many fingers.

This team is in disarray and needs someone who can stabilize the rickety ship, but Ryan doesn’t give enough in the way of direction. His laissez faire attitude has played out, as has his jocularity in the midst of difficult times. Ryan’s game plan and his so-called defensive genius are exposed now, and the fact that his players are talking behind his back is a bad sign.

Not only is this team bad on the field, but it is worse in the locker room. That is a recipe for disaster and is indicative of a team that is going nowhere; sadly, some Jets still talk about “playoff hopes” but even Ryan, usually the mouth that roars, has stopped that routine because he knows the ship is sinking. The question is whether Ryan sticks around to go down with the ship or if he can even make it until the end of the season without being set adrift on a lifeboat just like old Bligh.

One thing is pretty clear to this Jets fan: after almost three years of the Rex Ryan Show, I don’t want another season of 16 episodes. Questions remain, too many to discuss here, about just where this team is going in the future, but for now we need to get rid of a guy who thinks that he is a uniter but who is really a divider, then it will be up to a new captain to set the ship on the right course. This season is ostensibly over, and as soon as the Jets and their fans can admit that, the better so when can all move on and hope for better times with a different head coach next year.

Photo Credit: Daily News

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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 Charley 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.