As a 20-something lifelong sports hobbyist, I've seen the ups & downs and the ebb & flow of professional sports. Forget about steroids, the decade-long Boston sports supremecy, and even buying great teams. Those are all old trends. The new trend going forward: trash talking.
I guess it's never really gone away, but it's back and back in a big way.
As a Jets fan since birth, I'm more than used to the mediocrity that is the swan song of "New York's other team." The Jets were truly great for only one year in their 50 season history, and that year happened to be a little over 40 years ago.
Buddy (left) and rookie Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan (right).
Along comes new Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Fresh off a great AFC championship appearance year in Baltimore as their defensive coordinator, he brought to the Jets a sense of swagger that the team hasn't been seen in a head coach since Bill Parcells. After all, Rex (which means King to all you wondering), is practically Jets royalty since his father, Buddy, was a coordinator on the '69 Jets SuperBowl team. Heck, he even hung around the Jets locker room with Weeb and Broadway Joe when he was 6-years-old!
But like his father, Rex Ryan loves to run his mouth. Sometimes it can lead to inspiringly good results, and sometimes it just sounds like he's just picking a fight.
I'm a big Rex Ryan fan. Really. He's awakened the Jets defense after the Mangini slumber, and they've played well, even with Pro Bowl nose tackle "Big" Kris Jenkins out for the season. He's a rookie head coach, and both he and rookie QB Mark Sanchez have made their share of first-year mistakes.
But for him to truly bring greatness back to this so often called "Same Old Jets" franchise, he needs to learn when to swallow his words and channel his disappointment and anger over a loss into getting better as a team.
Yes, on paper, the Jets are a talented and possibly a contender. But they haven't been playing that way, and when Ryan still insists his team is better than the Miami Dolphins (even after losing to them twice), you sound like you don't know what you're talking about. And Tony Dungy called him out on it. Miami DE Jason Taylor then weighed in on things, saying that Jets fans take the "CL" out of the word "class."
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins was forced to eat crow
after predicting the Phillies would beat the Yankees in five games in the
2009 World Series.
Like Jimmy Rollins before him, Rex Ryan should learn that really nothing good can come from childhood trash-talking games. Leave that for the locker room, and play like a champion on the field.
The rest will all fall into place from there.