"It seems clear that right now we are the better team and we are going to remain the better team for the next 10 years. Whether you like it or not, those are the facts, and that's what is going to happen...We are going to take over the town whether the Giants like it or not, so those fans on the fence that like both teams are going to be Jets fans in the end. The truth is, if I am going to watch one game, I am going to see the Jets, without a doubt. We are better.
- Rex Ryan in his new book, "Play Like You Mean It"
Um, what? Doesn't Rex Ryan get it? This is a New York Football Giants town. You are the head coach of "Jersey B" as they are called in ESPN's Tuesday Morning Quarterback column. The New York Mets of football. The little brother who plays in a stadium named after his big brother.
A head coach in the NFL, never mind the head coach of the New York Jets, doesn't talk to the press and they certainly don't write books until they win a Super Bowl. You don't provide added fuel to your opponents fire and you don't talk openly about emotion, internal team issues, or any of that other interesting stuff.
Every few months the same cycle of articles are written about Rex Ryan and his "animal house" Jets. The act was funny but now enough is enough. You can't be such a clown and act in such way while finding success in the NFL. Rex is losing his credibility. The Jets are a bunch of headline hogging, problem children who don't back it up. The chatter on Ryan has picked up again because of his recent "visit every media outlet in America, outside of Mike Francesa" tour to promote his new book.
I can't say all of the criticism of Ryan isn't valid. I can see somebody saying "where does this guy get off writing a book two years into being a head coach without a ring." I can see Justin Tuck and Giants PR staff firing back at Ryan's proclamations against the Giants, along with their fans increasing their vitriol towards him. I am aware the Giants won a Super Bowl in 2007 and the Jets haven't won one since 1969. Yet, I just have to take a step back and laugh at how he has the ability to tweak them and shrug his shoulders at conventional wisdom in this city and head coaching behavior.
First off, why shouldn't Ryan write a book? After the past two years as the Jets head coach, are you going to tell enough interesting stuff hasn't happened in his life to put together something worth reading? Never mind his history with Baltimore and growing up as Buddy Ryan's son, which creates a compelling enough story. If the guy wants to take the time to put a book together, more power to him.
In terms of the Giants, part of Ryan's overall changing of the Jets organizational culture is revamping how they are viewed compared to the traditional big brother of football in this area. The NFL is a what have you done for me lately business. Since Ryan has taken over the Jets, they have been a better, more exciting, and more intriguing team. There is simply no debating that. Why is Ryan going to expect that to change? The Jets don't play in Giants Stadium any more and don't need to act like anybody's little brother.
Conventional wisdom is that New York is and always will be a Giants town. God forbid the Jets head coach doesn't accept that and strives to change the situation. Let it bother the Giants and their fans, it will make this December's game that much more fun. We know there isn't a true on the field rivalry but isn't it better when both franchises in the New Meadowlands are competitive and sniping at each other?
"One of the reasons, I am a perfect fit for the Jets is that they are the ultimate underdog team."
As an organization, fans, and players the Jets don't have to embrace their stereotyped second class citizen role. They haven't the past two years and there is no indication they will start any time soon. If you are the Giants, shut Rex Ryan up by beating the crap out of the Jets on December 24th, going 12-4 and winning another Super Bowl. The Jets have been an entirely different organization since hiring Rex, make this version of the organization as irrelevant as the old version by winning your games in December and having more January success than the Jets, just like the old days.