For the past two years Rex Ryan and his Jets have been the most exciting NFL team on and off the field. Their no-nonsense, us vs. the world attitude has been the breath of fresh air that had long been missing from the NFL.
New York coach, Ryan, has been the architect of this Jets revival. Since becoming head coach, Ryan’s team has come to embody his distinct personality; bold, brash and unapologetic, Ryan and his Jets are never scared to speak their mind or to state that they are the best team in the NFL. Ryan has even gone so far as to guarantee that the Jets would be Super Bowl champions in 2010. While Ryan’s brash guarantees about his team have irritated some fans and seem completely outrageous to most, many people are enamored by his personality.
In hiring Ryan, the Jets secured a dynamic, charismatic leader. They got a coach who isn’t afraid to take on the world and one who isn’t afraid to make wild guarantees. This is what is so exciting about Rex Ryan and this is exactly what the NFL needs more of: coaches willing to let their personalities show. More coaches who are willing to talk trash about their opponents, more coaches who aren’t afraid to make bold statements.
Too many coaches in the NFL these days fit your average cookie cutter mold: indistinguishable from one another, humourless and way too poised. For the most part, most of the coaches in the NFL today are straight up boring. Watch clips from the coaches’ press conferences and see what I mean. Watch a press conference with Ryan, however, and you never know what you might get. If I didn’t have class everyday or could afford the NFL Network, I would tune in just to watch Ryan’s press conferences. This is the attraction of these New York Jets. You never know what you might get. This anticipation of the unexpected is exactly what the NFL has been missing recently.
Ryan and the Jets are filling the abscences left in recent years by NFL players such as Clinton Portis, Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco. Portis used to show up to each Thursday press conference assuming a different persona, but now, as Portis enters the twilight years of his career, it is safe to say that we have probably seen the last of Portis’ alter ego “Dolemite Jenkins.” Owens, who is now also in his last years in the league, started his career off just as entertaining off the field as he was on the field.
From Owens’ infamous taunting of Dallas when he played in San Francisco, to his sideline arguments with Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia and now with his partnership with Chad Ochocinco in Cincinnati, Owens has, for the most part, been good for amusement. But as of late his entertainment value has begun to drop. After spending one year with the NFL’s equivalent of a black hole, the Buffalo Bills, and now one year with the Cincinnati Bengals, Owens’ antics have begun to grow old. The partnership between Owens and Ochocinco started out promising but quickly led to a 4-12 record for the team and to a crappy reality show titled The T.Ocho Show.
Ochocinco has also quickly gone from entertaining to non-existent, experiencing one of his worst statistical seasons this year. How could the man, who one season kept a list of the cornerbacks he torched, come to this? Time will only tell if Ochocinco can make a return to his form of years past.
This is why Ryan and the Jets are so important to the NFL. Their distinct personality and charisma can’t help but suck you in. Whether you love or hate Ryan and his Jets, they still manage to capture both the attention of those who love them and those who hate them. Every week there is some new controversy that focuses everyone’s attention on the Jets. One week it’s a star player’s training camp holdout, the next it’s a Jets player calling Tom Brady an “asshole.”
How many other teams in the NFL can say that their head coach may have tried his hand in amateur foot fetish videos? Not many would be my guess. That’s why Rex Ryan would be my NFL MVP.