Thursday, February 4, 2010

Weasels of the Week: Rex Ryan and the Editors of the NY tabloids

They say two wrongs don't make it right. Try to follow along as I explain why we have multiple "winners" this week.

Ryan, the 1st year coach of the NY Jets, was in Florida last weekend not only to see his players compete in the Pro Bowl, but also attending a Strikeforce MMA show in nearby Sunrise. Ryan was interviewed, and when his mug appeared on the big screen, the fans booed lustily. Their beloved Miami Dolphins had swept Ryan's Jets during the regular season, but lost out on a playoff spot while the Jets had a hotter-than-normal December, and we all know how that went. Anyway, Ryan answered the partisans by flipping the bird. Someone caught it on his camera-phone, and, well.......

Monday morning, Ryan was on the front pages of both the New York Post and New York Daily News, with the middle finger raised for all to see. Ryan has since apologized to the Jets and their fanbase for his indiscretion, and was fined $50,000. The NFL, however, chose not to add any further punishment, determining that the Jets had settled the matter in-house in an appropriate manner.

So why do the tabloids' editors get "Weasel" status? For putting the picture on the front page, of course! It's bad enough that we've had at least 3-4 generations of kids picking up this habit as a form of rebellion, but by using this picture as a "lead", if you will, the tabloids are sending a clear message that to them this is acceptable to use as a marketing tool to sell papers. Sorry, but it isn't. Rex Ryan isn't the NFL's answer to, say, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Away from the field, he's trying to be just an average schlub enjoying a night on the town now that, for him, the season's over. Instead, he finds out the hard truth in that, in season or out, he still represents the Jets wherever he goes as a sort of team ambassador, as his players also do.

Such bluster does run in the Ryan family, though. Papa Buddy infamously picked a fight with an assistant coach while with Philadelphia, if memory serves me correctly, and he also made the bold prediction that he would take Arizona to the playoffs. That didn't happen, but Rex, who brought the family swagger with him from Baltimore, also brought the winning attitude the Jets needed so badly.

Does anyone want to bet that Rex will get a call from Austin's old boss, Vince McMahon, some time soon?

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