As it turns out, Rex Ryan may be nothing more than a mediocre NFL head coach. He’s now been fired twice and boasts a career record of 61-67. Typically, losing coaches are forgotten as they exit the game. But due to his braggadocious demeanor, Sexy Rexy will forever be in our hearts.
The last true highlight of Ryan’s head coaching career came six years ago, when his New York Jets ousted the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round at Gillette Stadium. It was the second straight season the Jets had qualified for the conference championship under Ryan. But they never made the playoffs again, finishing below .500 over the next four years.
Following his 4-12 campaign with the Jets in 2014, the Buffalo Bills wasted little time snatching Ryan up. He promised the Bills would return to the postseason under his watch, only to lead them to an 8-8 record in 2015. He was fired prior to Week 17.
While Ryan’s teams stopped performing on the field, he never failed to disappoint when he got in front of a microphone. Even if he never steps onto the sidelines again, his legend will live on. Five of his most memorable faux pas and pranks are below:
5) A ride to remember
The picture speaks for itself.
4) Not kissing Belichick’s rings
Ryan is famous –– or infamous, depending on who you’re asking –– for his brash statements at press conferences. He set the bar high for provocation at his first presser with the Jets, when he said he wasn’t there to bow down to Belichick.
“I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick’s, you know, rings,” Ryan said, via Fox Sports. “I came to win. Let’s just put it that way. So we’ll see what happens. I’m certainly not intimidated by New England or anybody else.”
Nowadays, Ryan is singing a different tune. He called Belichick the best coach ever last year and has routinely expressed admiration for the Patriots’ organization. That’s what happens when Belichick beats you 70 percent of the time (Ryan’s career record against Belichick, including the playoffs, is 5-12).
3) ‘Walt Patulski’
Ryan was on the hot seat before the 2016 season began, but that didn’t stop him from taking part in some locker room shenanigans. Prior to the Bills’ Week 4 matchup against the Patriots, he decided to have a little fun with wide receiver Julian Edelman. Ryan pretended to be a reporter for the Buffalo News named “Walt Patulski” –– an apparent reference to the former Bills defensive lineman. Edelman, who clearly didn’t catch onto the joke, gave Ryan a typical Patriots-like stock answer:
“Are you playing quarterback?” Ryan asked.
“I’m going to do whatever the coaches ask me to do,” Edelman said. “If they ask me to go out and give a glass of water to someone on the sideline, I’m going to do that with a smile on my face if it helps our team win. You can ask our coach about that.”
Ryan responded by saying, “All right buddy, I will.”
The exchange perfectly encapsulated the difference between the way Ryan and the Patriots conduct themselves. Outside of the 2010 AFC Divisional Round, this may have been Ryan’s greatest victory over New England.
2) “Let’s go eat a goddamn snack”
The Jets were must-see TV when they were featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks prior to the 2010 season. The four weeks of television provided numerous memorable moments, such as Antonio Cromartie struggling to name all 12 of his kids.
But Ryan was the star of the series, stealing the show with malapropisms and outrageous behavior. His most legendary line came at the end of a fiery team address, when he yelled at his players to “go eat a goddamn snack!”
1) The foot fetish video
In 2010, a foot fetish video featuring Ryan and his wife leaked. In it, the head coach compliments his wife’s feet and strokes them intimately.
Ryan caught a lot of flak for this –– including from Patriots wideout Wes Welker, who was benched for the first series of the Divisional Round for making 11 references to feet at a press conference –– but this is the kind of thing that should be celebrated. There’s nothing wrong with some sexual expression. If only all married couples still enjoyed each other as much as Ryan appears to enjoy his wife’s flawless feet.