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

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JohntheBaptist

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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.
 
No, it's pretty simple--he's crafted a profile of a compelling character, but he massaged the history in doing it. Yes he mentions failure, but it isn't serving the piece you want to be reading, it distributes it in such a way as to mitigate his culpability. Yes, if you're not aware of the specifics, it makes for a compelling character all the same and you'll never know the difference. If you do, you know he's fudging the record and missing out on profiling a perfectly compelling reality in the process. 
 
I think it's more like the film Moneyball--many understandably enjoyed it as an entertaining story about a compelling character in a familiar environment, but it was also a wasted opportunity. The film skips on the clear purpose of the book, which was about an institution having a major cultural change.  That's what the people involved will tell you it's about, and you can pick out surface elements that seem to suggest it, but they exist in that movie (and are given the tone necessary to serve that end) to further a narrative--the underdog Billy Beane and his life of iconoclasm and conflicts with ambition and success and innovation. It is an entertaining narrative, and well done, but if you have any awareness of the truth hidden within just a step more complexity of approach, you know a chance was missed on the overall. If you don't, it was a good movie and who cares that it was the small-town Old School Twins that beat the A's in the end.
 

Reverend

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JohntheBaptist said:
No, it's pretty simple--he's crafted a profile of a compelling character, but he massaged the history in doing it. Yes he mentions failure, but it isn't serving the piece you want to be reading, it distributes it in such a way as to mitigate his culpability. Yes, if you're not aware of the specifics, it makes for a compelling character all the same and you'll never know the difference. If you do, you know he's fudging the record and missing out on profiling a perfectly compelling reality in the process. 
 
I think it's more like the film Moneyball--many understandably enjoyed it as an entertaining story about a compelling character in a familiar environment, but it was also a wasted opportunity. The film skips on the clear purpose of the book, which was about an institution having a major cultural change.  That's what the people involved will tell you it's about, and you can pick out surface elements that seem to suggest it, but they exist in that movie (and are given the tone necessary to serve that end) to further a narrative--the underdog Billy Beane and his life of iconoclasm and conflicts with ambition and success and innovation. It is an entertaining narrative, and well done, but if you have any awareness of the truth hidden within just a step more complexity of approach, you know a chance was missed on the overall. If you don't, it was a good movie and who cares that it was the small-town Old School Twins that beat the A's in the end.
So you hate Moneyball too?

Do you know from the expression "Wants better bread than can be made from wheat?"
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Jun 27, 2006
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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.
Exactly my thoughts. Never read this as a pure football piece, and definitely not an analytical football piece.

And the "history" he depicts is fairly right on. Some here may remember it differently, but it never detracted me from the article.
 

JohntheBaptist

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There is no Rev said:
So you hate Moneyball too?

Do you know from the expression "Wants better bread than can be made from wheat?"
 
That read as hate? And "too"? What else am I to have hated?
 
I do know that expression. I'd amend it here to "Sees better bread than can be made from fudge."
 

dcmissle

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Totally OT -- Is he the son of Mike Taibbi, Boston television reporter now a long time ago?
 

tims4wins

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EricFeczko said:
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:
Such statements are what probably set SJH off, which is a shame because the writer does acknowledge, repeatedly, that Rex Ryan is heavily flawed:
 
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:
 
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.
 
But one of the pieces you quoted included the line "more than occasionally, a big part genius underdog coach". Just way too positive of a referendum IMO.
 
I'm done beating this horse now.
 

EricFeczko

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tims4wins said:
 
But one of the pieces you quoted included the line "more than occasionally, a big part genius underdog coach". Just way too positive of a referendum IMO.
 
I'm done beating this horse now.
Yes, if you take individual phrases out of context, they willl certainly appear positive. You could have also pointed out that the letters "good" and "great" appeared 16 times in the article, which is far too many. However, such pedantry misses the bigger problem here: Rex is portrayed as an american hero when he's just a reality TV celebrity.
 
 

reggiecleveland

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Put the article in context. Rex has been on the way out for over a year. His firing was inevitable. Plenty has been written by more nuanced football guys about how bad a coach he has been. This guy fondly remembers Rex, and wrote a mood piece. Even in the piece makes clear the BB way of saying FU to world is just as subversive, and way more effective than the RR way.
 
At the end of this season, at the end of this era does he really have to point out Rex failed? He points out Rex talked more than he delivered. Rex has his stapler and coffee mug in a little card board box, while the Pats are awaiting a home game as the number 1 seed. Does the writer really need to point out the obvious?
 
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