Rex Ryan: Salad Antagonist (Now with Author Commentary!)

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dcmissle

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Question for the group: Based on this article, can you imagine Bob Kraft hiring Rex Ryan? Even interviewing him?
 
Or do you think he would run away?
If the Pats had an opening, I don't think they'd let something like this get in the way.

But that's neither here nor there because Rex's strategy seems pretty clear cut and well conceived -- I either get a HC gig I want, or I go into TV. He has been two-tracking this for some time. He's not likely to settle for a coordinator role, much less a consultant role, and won't have to.

I'm still intrigued about the Atlanta opening. By temperament, Rex does not seem to be an Arthur Blank kind of guy, much less the kind of guy that the ex-Pats there gravitate toward. But if he could fix their defense, and does no harm to the offense, Rex could author a pretty quick turnaround there.
 

Super Nomario

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dcmissle said:
I'm still intrigued about the Atlanta opening. By temperament, Rex does not seem to be an Arthur Blank kind of guy, much less the kind of guy that the ex-Pats there gravitate toward. But if he could fix their defense, and does no harm to the offense, Rex could author a pretty quick turnaround there.
How could Rex fix their defense? I still respect RR as a defensive mind, but I don't think any team has less front-seven talent than the Falcons.
 

dcmissle

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How could Rex fix their defense? I still respect RR as a defensive mind, but I don't think any team has less front-seven talent than the Falcons.
And it's not like they have a ton of cap space ... By quick, I don't mean immediate. But if they threw draft resources at the D next year and 2016 too, they might well entrust him to build and coach up a defense.
 

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dcmissle said:
And it's not like they have a ton of cap space ... By quick, I don't mean immediate. But if they threw draft resources at the D next year and 2016 too, they might well entrust him to build and coach up a defense.
He has spent how many grocery picks on defense and still didn't have a very good one this year? Not convinced he could build a D from scratch. He inherited Revis and several other pieces that made his defenses outstanding.

Edit: that said he does seem to get the most out of his defensive talent
 

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@mtaibbi Debate going on at SonsOfSamHorn about your Ryan piece: unwarranted praise or evisceration? Can you clarify? http://tinyurl.com/m4gge6o 
 



 
 

 
 








  1. Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi  43m43 minutes ago
    @SoSHCentral Wow. It's neither an evisceration nor a glowing profile. I tried to honestly portray a very funny American character...
     

  2. Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi  42m42 minutes ago
    @SoSHCentral I think I spent a lot of time on both his strengths and his weaknesses. And I never said he shouldn't have been fired...
     

  3. Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi  41m41 minutes ago
    @SoSHCentral Just that Rex and this fan base were perfect for each other, it was a very fun rivalry, and it's too bad it's over.
     

  4. Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi  38m38 minutes ago
    @SoSHCentral As a Pats fan I'm shocked that w/all the team's success, some of us still can't tolerate even muted praise of someone like Rex
     

  5. Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi  26m26 minutes ago
    @SoSHCentral Also,I think it comes through in the piece that Rex and the Jets were hurt in the end by their obsession with the Pats...
     



  6. Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi  26m26 minutes ago
    @SoSHCentral He spent so much time trying to be the anti-Belichick that he constantly talked himself into gaffes and media scandals.


 

Stitch01

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Some of this Ryan sucks evaluation reminds me of when we try to evaluate quarterbacks and say things like Flacco sucks, Dalton sucks, Cutler sucks.  It was time to fire Rex, and Im not sure he's a good head coach, but Im pretty certain at least 1/3 of the league will have a shittier head coach next year, Id bet Rex is better than half the guys that are going to get hired, and I certainly wouldn't bet that the Jets are going to attract an upgrade.
 

Tony C

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soxfan121 said:
 


SoSH Central@SoSHCentra
 








  1. Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi  42m42 minutes ago
    @SoSHCentral I think I spent a lot of time on both his strengths and his weaknesses. And I never said he shouldn't have been fired...
     

  2. Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi  41m41 minutes ago
    @SoSHCentral Just that Rex and this fan base were perfect for each other, it was a very fun rivalry, and it's too bad it's over.
     

  3. Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi  38m38 minutes ago
    @SoSHCentral As a Pats fan I'm shocked that w/all the team's success, some of us still can't tolerate even muted praise of someone like Rex
     
  4.  




 
 
Never said he shouldn't have been fired? Then what does this closing line mean?
 
 
Because the truth is this: Ryan will be a blast to watch in his next stop. But his next stop should have been right where he was.
 
 
I'll grant you this is poorly written enough that maybe it doesn't mean he should have stayed "right where he was" -- i.e., most obviously, as HC of the Jets. But if that's not what "right where he was" means,  that'd have to be explained.
 
It's true it's a shame that a fun rivalry is over -- Rex was/is tremendously funny and entertaining. He's just not a very good head coach. I'd have loved it if Rex had kept his job both for the fun of that and for basic competitive reasons -- he didn't have nearly the success against the Pats that Taibbi claims. That's just simple numbers, as this thread notes. As for not accepting muted praise of Ryan, I'll praise him all day long as a talented defensive game planner and a guy for whom players sometimes played very hard (and sometimes guys came out very flat for). That's praise that is justly muted -- for what other coach who is fired after 6 seasons and a less than mediocre 46-50 record is more than such praise demanded? It's absolutely bizarre how a big character personality can win second chances where none have been earned.
 

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Tony C said:
 
Never said he shouldn't have been fired? Then what does this closing line mean?
 
 
I'll grant you this is poorly written enough that maybe it doesn't mean he should have stayed "right where he was" -- i.e., most obviously, as HC of the Jets. But if that's not what "right where he was" means,  that'd have to be explained.
 
It's true it's a shame that a fun rivalry is over -- Rex was/is tremendously funny and entertaining. He's just not a very good head coach. I'd have loved it if Rex had kept his job both for the fun of that and for basic competitive reasons -- he didn't have nearly the success against the Pats that Taibbi claims. That's just simple numbers, as this thread notes. As for not accepting muted praise of Ryan, I'll praise him all day long as a talented defensive game planner and a guy for whom players sometimes played very hard (and sometimes guys came out very flat for). That's praise that is justly muted -- for what other coach who is fired after 6 seasons and a less than mediocre 46-50 record is more than such praise demanded? It's absolutely bizarre how a big character personality can win second chances where none have been earned.
 
From a Patriots fan perspective, I'm not sure where the confusion here is coming from.
 
I mean, has anyone enjoyed Rex Ryan more than SSF who is also a rabid Patriots fan? Rex Ryan on the Jets was performance art of the highest grade--it just happened to be real. Which is wild--a wonderful piece of Americana.
 

dcmissle

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Some of this Ryan sucks evaluation reminds me of when we try to evaluate quarterbacks and say things like Flacco sucks, Dalton sucks, Cutler sucks.  It was time to fire Rex, and Im not sure he's a good head coach, but Im pretty certain at least 1/3 of the league will have a shittier head coach next year, Id bet Rex is better than half the guys that are going to get hired, and I certainly wouldn't bet that the Jets are going to attract an upgrade.
+1 ...
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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I mean...just how stupid is that? And how indicative of way too many -- you're a fan of the team and you want to fire the guy who has the least to do with their patehtic record and keep the guy who had much more to do with it...because you like his personality? Seriously?
 
You realize sports is entertainment, right?  And that people will spend money and time on a team, or not, based on things other than win expectancies, right?
 
We live in a world where the Jets needed a figure like Ryan to energize the fan base and make them think that they weren't perennial doormats.  Who was going to do that?  Herm Edwards?  You, Eric Mangini?  He had a greater responsibility than you can fathom.  You weep for wins, and you curse the media stunts.  You have that luxury.  But Rex Ryan's tenure as Head Coach, while tragic, probably made Woody money.  His existence, while grotesque and frankly pretty crass, is an attention and morale machine.  You don't want Rex to succeed as a coach because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want him on your TV.  You need him in the league.
 
soxfan121 said:
Well, the link we sent is to this thread, so SJH is famous. 
 
And if Taibbi's wondering who the hell SJH is and where he got his high horse, he can always ask Bill Simmons about him...
 

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
You realize sports is entertainment, right?  And that people will spend money and time on a team, or not, based on things other than win expectancies, right?
 
We live in a world where the Jets needed a figure like Ryan to energize the fan base and make them think that they weren't perennial doormats.  Who was going to do that?  Herm Edwards?  You, Eric Mangini?  He had a greater responsibility than you can fathom.  You weep for wins, and you curse the media stunts.  You have that luxury.  But Rex Ryan's tenure as Head Coach, while tragic, probably made Woody money.  His existence, while grotesque and frankly pretty crass, is an attention and morale machine.  You don't want Rex to succeed as a coach because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want him on your TV.  You need him in the league.
 
 
And if Taibbi's wondering who the hell SJH is and where he got his high horse, he can always ask Bill Simmons about him...
 
I seriously cannot wait for SJH to see all this.
 

Tony C

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I guess I remain confused. Is it:
 
a: that Rex shouldn't have been fired because he's better than 1/3 of the other HCs in the league (#settingthebarlow)
b: that Rex shouldn't have been fired because he's a ton of fun/entertaining, we  Pats' fans just are too stupid to fathom that the Jets have different standards  (#IwishWoodyboughtintothis)
c: that Taibbi didn't say Rex shouldn't have been fired, he simply is pointing out that Rex and the Jets are a match made in heaven (#thenjustsayso!)
 

SeoulSoxFan

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"Salad antagonist" should be in Webster's ASAP. 
 
Loved the Taibbi piece BTW. Thoroughly entertained by it, even finding out new nuggets that I escaped my Jets radar. 
 

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Tony C said:
I guess I remain confused. Is it:
 
a: that Rex shouldn't have been fired because he's better than 1/3 of the other HCs in the league (#settingthebarlow)
b: that Rex shouldn't have been fired because he's a ton of fun/entertaining, we  Pats' fans just are too stupid to fathom that the Jets have different standards  (#IwishWoodyboughtintothis)
c: that Taibbi didn't say Rex shouldn't have been fired, he simply is pointing out that Rex and the Jets are a match made in heaven (#thenjustsayso!)
 
I think he means that he understands why Woody fired Ryan, but in a more perfect world, we'd get to have Ryan continue on as the HC of the Jets.
 
Taibbi is a wry kinda guy.
 

lithos2003

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
You realize sports is entertainment, right?  And that people will spend money and time on a team, or not, based on things other than win expectancies, right?
 
We live in a world where the Jets needed a figure like Ryan to energize the fan base and make them think that they weren't perennial doormats.  Who was going to do that?  Herm Edwards?  You, Eric Mangini?  He had a greater responsibility than you can fathom.  You weep for wins, and you curse the media stunts.  You have that luxury.  But Rex Ryan's tenure as Head Coach, while tragic, probably made Woody money.  His existence, while grotesque and frankly pretty crass, is an attention and morale machine.  You don't want Rex to succeed as a coach because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want him on your TV.  You need him in the league.
 
 
:rolling:  Well done sir.
 

soxfan121

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
First the Simmons thing, and now this. Where are my fly honeys at?
 
Yes sir, you are the crazy that stands out in a crowd. Mazeltov.
 

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
His explanations don't jibe with the article he wrote. At all. "Muted praise?" "Never said he shouldn't have been fired?" Really?
Or, conversely, you are a crazy person and are reading this through a lens of insanity.

Praise couched in an ongoing discussion of failure and absurdity qualifies as muted, man.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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There is no Rev said:
Or, conversely, you are a crazy person and are reading this through a lens of insanity.

Praise couched in an ongoing discussion of failure and absurdity qualifies as muted, man.
 
Why, if he's in the midst of ongoing failure and absurdity, is he getting any praise at all? Except for maybe being the bearded lady at the biggest freakshow the world has seen. That angle I can see, but that's not praiseworthy, that's "holy shit this guy's a goddamn lunatic" observation.
 
I don't tweet, so I don't have the capacity to invite him into this discussion that way, but does anyone have his email? Can the SoSH Central account email him, tell him to get an account set up here and I'll give him a LIfetime, so he can wade in himself? From his tweet about reading the main board I suspect he just lurks without an account here.
 

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There is no Rev said:
Or, conversely, you are a crazy person and are reading this through a lens of insanity.

Praise couched in an ongoing discussion of failure and absurdity qualifies as muted, man.
 
Not when the failure is attributed elsewhere and the absurdity celebrated.
 

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If you were to catalog the praise of Ryan in that piece into a list, what would it look like?

I mean literally. I'd like to see a list. I'm intrigued.

I'll extend the invitation in a bit and see if he's game.
 

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JohntheBaptist said:
Not when the failure is attributed elsewhere and the absurdity celebrated.
Celebration of absurdity is what makes this story.

It's about a character, not a coach. It's a very American story:
 

JohntheBaptist

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I actually think you're both wrong--it clearly isn't knocking him although it presents him as "human" in creating a character. He's not praising him (or anything else) either, he's revelling in the fun the confluence of factors brought about, one of which is Ryan's personality. To me, without a deep knowledge of events outside what I read here occasionally, it seemed like his love of the Rex-spectacle got poorly expressed and came off as love of Rex the HC here and there and that's where the pull quotes in the thread come from.
 
edit
 
Celebration of absurdity is what makes this story.

It's about a character, not a coach. It's a very American story:         
 
Ok, well see above, we basically agree then--I misunderstood you, I think, as suggesting this was all a takedown in winking fashion, which I don't see.
 

soxfan121

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
Why, if he's in the midst of ongoing failure and absurdity, is he getting any praise at all?
 
Because this is not binary? One can praise certain aspects of Rex while also acknowledging the failure and absurdity. 
 
Rex Ryan was often a very funny interview. That's praise. It's true, as in most sane people without a crusade to despise any and all things Ryan can acknowledge it. The "goddamned snack" thing was genuinely, hilariously funny in context. 
 
Giving him praise for that is both reasonable and justified. Decrying "any praise" is ... weird, dude. 
 

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JohntheBaptist said:
Ok, well see above, we basically agree then--I misunderstood you, I think, as suggesting this was all a takedown in winking fashion, which I don't see.
 
I think we do agree. I did not mean it was only an evisceration, though it does sorta destroy him, but rather that's part of the thing because it's the celebration of an American type that gets celebration despite massive failure because America is into a showman. He's good at some things and intriguing into what he's parlayed that into.
 
I mean, has anyone heard of Donald Trump? Although Ryan is probably more skilled at defense.
 

JohntheBaptist

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There is no Rev said:
 
I think we do agree. I did not mean it was only an evisceration, though it does sorta destroy him, but rather that's part of the thing because it's the celebration of an American type that gets celebration despite massive failure because America is into a showman. He's good at some things and intriguing into what he's parlayed that into.
 
I mean, has anyone heard of Donald Trump? Although Ryan is probably more skilled at defense.
 
Yeah, I'm just not seeing this in the tone. These things are all true and I'm sure this is what he's after; I'm just not seeing much interest in his failure along side the creation of the spectacle. I only read it once though.
 
Oh and me! I've heard of Donald Trump.
 

TomTerrific

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soxfan121 said:
 
Because this is not binary? One can praise certain aspects of Rex while also acknowledging the failure and absurdity. 
 
Rex Ryan was often a very funny interview. That's praise. It's true, as in most sane people without a crusade to despise any and all things Ryan can acknowledge it. The "goddamned snack" thing was genuinely, hilariously funny in context. 
 
Giving him praise for that is both reasonable and justified. Decrying "any praise" is ... weird, dude. 
Was going to post something but this pretty much sums up my feelings.

SJH, I'm usually with you but you're coming off as unable to stand even one iota of non-negative commentary on Rex
 

SeoulSoxFan

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There is no Rev said:
I mean, has anyone enjoyed Rex Ryan more than SSF who is also a rabid Patriots fan?
 
Just as much as a lotta'ya I'm guessin'. 
 
Like Taibbi's piece, I'm having a complex reaction to Rex' departure. There's a reason why the Jets thread traffic is at the highest during the height of his popularity, and it has gone steadily down as his wins dwindled. Obviously my obsession with everything Jets has also gone from criminal to uncomfortable as well. So for that, I am a bit sad (wish there was a better word to describe it -- mix of sadness and remorse). 
 
However, I'm convinced his Jets team overachieved each season despite the deteriorating roster talents, and especially against the Pats. I remember Jets teams that used to beat up on Pats purely on talent but never by overachieving its skill set on paper. Rex' team did that more often than not. 
 
Ryan's been in this league for a long, long, time and bet ranks in the top-10 percentile in terms of overall success as a DC & HC. You can say a lot about the man -- and he certainly does most of it himself -- but he's a very good but fundamentally flawed coach. 
 
I can see where SJH is coming from as well, oddly echoing some sentiments by Jets fans themselves (http://forums.theganggreen.com/threads/rexs-last-stand-a-fantastic-article.83074/), but I'm pretty thankful that Taibbi took the time to write the piece. Simmons, if anything, should have him on the B.S. Report pronto.
 

simplyeric

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tims4wins said:
 
So Ryan gets praised for knowing the play and not being able to defend it? Um ok.
 
Doesn't he? HE doesn't defend it. He saw it coming, called (almost) the right D for it, and the QB made a great play.

Sometimes you just tip your cap, and sometimes you get frustrated. But it's not like he was fooled or called a shitty D. After a point it's up to the players on the field.
 

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I mean, inescapably the article covers Rex's failure as a head coach, because, well, it's about Rex's former job. You can't get away from that. But I'm far more in the camp of SJH than I am Rev on this one. The words are one thing, but the tone seems to be another. Everyone one of Rex's successes is met with an attitude of "Look what that guy did!", whereas most of his failures are attributed to things out of his control... he knew the Gonzalez play... Sanchez's interceptions... Injuries... Marty Mortinwheg's TO.. All of his losses are couched with clauses assigned to other people. Hell, look at how he defines Rex's three signature types of games: "Along with shocker-underdog wins and absurd act-of-God losses, the quarterback-ghoulishly-crapping-himself game would become a staple of the Rex era."
 
The 3 signature games are... shocker underdog wins, act of God losses, and terrible QBing... but I would argue that he blew past the other Rex-signature game: The "Come out looking flat and unprepared, and play lazily". For all the talk of the players loving him, nobody ever seems to go into that. It's possible to love him in the wrong way, like the Boss you always grab a beer with, and you love because he's fun, and you know you can dick around on SoSH all day and can dodge heat from when you miss a deadline. Players didn't love Rex enough to show up for the games they were supposed to win with alarming frequency. When he describes the Giants game that he said marked the downfall of Rex's team, the point where it all got worse from, this is how he summarized what came after. "From that point forward for the Jets, it’s been bad bounces, bad juju, and one too-colorful debacle after another. ". Nothing attributable to Ryan.
 
Taibbi describes the various people in the Jets organization in less than glowing terms. Idzik is "disingenuous", Johnson is "Magooish", "miserable", Mangini was "frumpy". As for the players, Holmes gets "Notorious Locker Room Killer", Sanchez and Geno get too many to count, but Rex? Rex gets "underdog", "defiant", "transformed". There's also a lot of revisionist history that isn't terribly accurate.
 
He described the team Ryan inherited with " Ryan deserves at least equivalent praise for twice just missing the Super Bowl with Darrelle Revis, a nice blitz package, and the horrifying blooper-reel fixture Sanchez under center." That's hardly an accurate representation of the team. The Jets were excellent on both sides of the line of scrimmage (Rex's offensive line seems to have gotten progressively worse every year since), with Mangold, Faneca, Ferguson, and Woody all playing. The secondary had talented help for Revis with Kerry Rhodes, and his linebacking corp was more solid than mentioned. It's not like he had one pro-bowl caliber player and a bunch of smoke and mirrors. 
 
Long story short, for me, the whole story reads with the subtext of "Look at this guy! Wow. Just imagine what he could have done with a real team". 
 
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Great, entertaining writing. Love Taibbi, loved the piece. And is the "what is a salad antagonist?" crowd just being proactively ornery or do you honestly not understand the creative euphemism there?
 

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PBDWake said:
I mean, inescapably the article covers Rex's failure as a head coach, because, well, it's about Rex's former job. You can't get away from that. But I'm far more in the camp of SJH than I am Rev on this one. The words are one thing, but the tone seems to be another. Everyone one of Rex's successes is met with an attitude of "Look what that guy did!", whereas most of his failures are attributed to things out of his control... he knew the Gonzalez play... Sanchez's interceptions... Injuries... Marty Mortinwheg's TO.. All of his losses are couched with clauses assigned to other people. Hell, look at how he defines Rex's three signature types of games: "Along with shocker-underdog wins and absurd act-of-God losses, the quarterback-ghoulishly-crapping-himself game would become a staple of the Rex era."
 
The 3 signature games are... shocker underdog wins, act of God losses, and terrible QBing... but I would argue that he blew past the other Rex-signature game: The "Come out looking flat and unprepared, and play lazily". For all the talk of the players loving him, nobody ever seems to go into that. It's possible to love him in the wrong way, like the Boss you always grab a beer with, and you love because he's fun, and you know you can dick around on SoSH all day and can dodge heat from when you miss a deadline. Players didn't love Rex enough to show up for the games they were supposed to win with alarming frequency. When he describes the Giants game that he said marked the downfall of Rex's team, the point where it all got worse from, this is how he summarized what came after. "From that point forward for the Jets, it’s been bad bounces, bad juju, and one too-colorful debacle after another. ". Nothing attributable to Ryan.
 
Taibbi describes the various people in the Jets organization in less than glowing terms. Idzik is "disingenuous", Johnson is "Magooish", "miserable", Mangini was "frumpy". As for the players, Holmes gets "Notorious Locker Room Killer", Sanchez and Geno get too many to count, but Rex? Rex gets "underdog", "defiant", "transformed". There's also a lot of revisionist history that isn't terribly accurate.
 
He described the team Ryan inherited with " Ryan deserves at least equivalent praise for twice just missing the Super Bowl with Darrelle Revis, a nice blitz package, and the horrifying blooper-reel fixture Sanchez under center." That's hardly an accurate representation of the team. The Jets were excellent on both sides of the line of scrimmage (Rex's offensive line seems to have gotten progressively worse every year since), with Mangold, Faneca, Ferguson, and Woody all playing. The secondary had talented help for Revis with Kerry Rhodes, and his linebacking corp was more solid than mentioned. It's not like he had one pro-bowl caliber player and a bunch of smoke and mirrors. 
 
Long story short, for me, the whole story reads with the subtext of "Look at this guy! Wow. Just imagine what he could have done with a real team". 
 
This is about right. And it is an entertaining piece as others have said -- in a sense there's an analogy here:  just like Rex was an entertaining coach this is an entertaining bit of writing (though horribly flowery at points).  But just as Rex is well below mediocre as a HC so too is this below mediocre as a piece of football analysis in the way Taibbi turns Ryan into a victim of circumstance and incompetents around him.
 
Funny that for all the defenses of this "muted praise," there's no such expectation for  Idzik (and his signing of Chris Ivory) or Sanchez (and his few good games), Mangini (and the talented roster he left Ryan), Tannebaum (who got Rex the toys he wanted at the cost of putting the Jets in salary cap hell) or any of the others who receive nothing but full-throated blame for any losses Ryan had.
 

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JohntheBaptist said:
 
Not when the failure is attributed elsewhere and the absurdity celebrated.
 
My point is and has been--even if I didn't make it that clear here at first--is that the piece is not a pure sports piece. It's not an ESPN piece. It's a Grantland piece. It's about a great American character, not an analytical evaluation of a head coach. If it were the latter, then yes, it would utterly fail. But that's not what the piece is about.
 
And we even got the fucking author to weigh in and say as such.
 
This is like if Casey at the Bat was written today, people on the main board having a fight about whether or not Casey had a negative WAR or if it was a problem of cherry picking the data.
 

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There is no Rev said:
 
My point is and has been--even if I didn't make it that clear here at first--is that the piece is not a pure sports piece. It's not an ESPN piece. It's a Grantland piece. It's about a great American character, not an analytical evaluation of a head coach. If it were the latter, then yes, it would utterly fail. But that's not what the piece is about.
 
And we even got the fucking author to weigh in and say as such.
 
This is like if Casey at the Bat was written today, people on the main board having a fight about whether or not Casey had a negative WAR or if it was a problem of cherry picking the data.
 
I'd suggest that many of us feel what he wrote and what he was trying to write ended up being two different things.
 

Devizier

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Jul 3, 2000
13,367
Somewhere
There is no Rev said:
This is like if Casey at the Bat was written today, people on the main board having a fight about whether or not Casey had a negative WAR or if it was a problem of cherry picking the data.
 
Casey never played well in day games after night games from mid-April through June.
 

EricFeczko

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Apr 26, 2014
3,422
After reading the article, I sort of agree with SJH, but for different reasons. Like SJH, I think the article is shallow and lazy. Unlike SJH, I don't think the writer is praising Ryan's coaching ability too much. Its clear to me that the writer is toungue-in-cheek regarding his successes. For example the author writes in the fourth paragraph:
 
No, the only people at this moment who genuinely want Johnson to fire Ryan are the fans of opposing AFC East teams who are tired of ugly surprise losses like this final-week 37-24 beating of the Dolphins, people like the security guard who wolf-whistles at Johnson as he tries to slither down the tunnel.
Such statements are what probably set SJH off, which is a shame because the writer does acknowledge, repeatedly, that Rex Ryan is heavily flawed:
 
 
The whole situation is both classic Jets and classic Ryan, who over the past six years has established himself as one of this century’s great American characters — part showman, part salad antagonist, part unlikeliest sex-taper, and, more than occasionally, a big part genius underdog coach. Echoing Houdini (or Andy Kaufman), underdog Rex made a mockery of his own funeral, beating the favored Fins with a dazzling array of balls-out coaching decisions. And the locker room is oddly joyous afterward. There are plenty of negative things to write about Ryan, and there are some sizable holes in his legend — more on that in a bit — but that thing about his players loving him? That seems more true the more time you spend around his team.
Such a paragraph is part of the thesis of this piece. That Rex, despite his flaws, had a character and personality that fit the jets. Almost paradoxically, the more Ryan lost, the more his players seemed to love him.
We don't see the second and third part of the thesis until much later (that rex was a great foil for belichick and, in the spirit of American ideals, deserves a second chance)  until the very end.

My problem is that the writer here is praising a Rex Ryan as a hero and not an anti-hero:
 
 
The NFL has seen some great showmen over the years: Namath; Jerry Glanville; Bum Phillips (we really can’t find another coach to either wear a cowboy hat or call himself “Bum”?); Rex’s dad, Buddy; even Jerry Jones.
 
But there’s never been anyone like Rex Ryan. This is a man who (a) maxed out the barnstorming potential of the digital age, (b) simultaneously authored both some of the greatest coaching performances of the generation and some of the worst football ever played (the Internet equally devours the genius and the train wreck), and (c) successfully marketed himself to fans not just in New York but everywhere as the fun-loving, recognizably human challenge to the staid, corporate, calculating side of the NFL represented by villainous androids like Roger Goodell.
I couldn't disagree more. Rex Ryan isn't a hero, a larger-than-life character who, despite his flaws, can overcome the cold calculating NFL. He's a distraction. A way for people to forget about the domestic violence, the media exploitation, and the concussion white-washing that is represented by "villainous androids like Roger Goodell".
 
In other words, Rex Ryan isn't a Donald Trump or even a Kim Kardashian. Rex Ryan is the Honey Boo Boo of the NFL.
 

Marciano490

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Nov 4, 2007
47,890
It's pretty simple; this is a Grantland profile of Rex Ryan, not a Pynchon novel.  If really intelligent people as well as Rev are confused/conflicted as to the author's intent and appraisal of Ryan, the article is a failure.
 

Salva135

Cassandra
Frankly I simply detest the Jets organization and their fanbase, I don't want them to be energized by anything.   While the Rex rivalry was "fun,"  I'd rather they continued to get obliterated year after year and never give us a sweat.   Fuck them.   
 

Tony C

Dope
Dope
Apr 13, 2000
12,673
Marciano490 said:
It's pretty simple; this is a Grantland profile of Rex Ryan, not a Pynchon novel.  If really intelligent people as well as Rev are confused/conflicted as to the author's intent and appraisal of Ryan, the article is a failure.
 
Precisely. It's a basic rule of writing -- if you have to make the argument "you don't understand what I was saying, I meant to say...." then you've failed.
 
I have no problem with an article celebrating the absurdity of Rex Ryan...in fact I'd embrace it cuz it is hard not to sort of love the guy. But you all are projecting if you think that is more than, at best, implicit....
 

Reverend

for king and country
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Jan 20, 2007
45,086
Marciano490 said:
It's pretty simple; this is a Grantland profile of Rex Ryan
I quite literally don't know what you mean by this.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Dec 24, 2002
34,755
We can move this to the My Errors forum but Taibbi is a bomb thrower and while he clearly has talents as a writer, his excessive use of hyperbole as well as his need to have clearly defined heroes and villains makes his pieces tough to stomach.  This article is the sports equivalent of one of his over-the-top Rolling Stone pieces.  Its a shame because his investigative skills and writing have the potential to be very good.
 
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