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Rex Ryan Puts “Foot” Down, Asks Other Teams to Beat Patriots

Rex Ryan (AP Photo)

Rex Ryan is a lot of things: He’s motivational. He’s emotional. He’s charismatic. He’s creepy. But he’s also paranoid, and lacks self-confidence.

“What’s that last thing you just said? Lacks self-confidence, are you effing kidding me,” you rave,  ”This dude’s a boisterous clown with the self-confidence of Ron Jeremy and Justin Timberlake…combined.”

You’ve been duped, and to that I’d like to channel my inner Vince Vaughn and retort, “Erroneous! Erroneous on both accounts!”

(Side note: Is there a more quotable movie to come out in the last 20 years than Wedding Crashers?)

I never took psychology in high school. I’m as qualified to comment on the mental consciousness of Rex Ryan as Dr. Drew is to help Doc Gooden achieve sobriety. But I’ve seen GoodWill Hunting enough times to realize Ryan’s “lucid” cockiness is masking what lies underneath, fear.

Sexy Rexy’s confidence is a front. He’s a charlatan. The attitude is doctored to fit a persona - an act to serve as a cloak for his insecurities. Rex Ryan is “The Situation” from the MTV show, Jersey Shore. In the program, “The Situation” is constantly looking for affirmation. “Look at the situation [referencing his abs]. Oh we got a situation here [referencing the girl he's making out with]. Isn’t this impressive?”

It is typical “Look at me!” insecurity manifested through overt confidence.

To me, this wasn’t exactly Freudian-esq analysis, and Ryan’s open challenge to rest of the league to beat the New England Patriots validates my original theory.

“Again, I think we have to find somebody out there to beat New England besides us, and I think that would help. Anybody out there that wants to sign up for it? Are you good enough as a team to beat the New England Patriots? Forget about us, are you good enough to go out and beat the New England Patriots? I’m challenging the league.” – Rex

The Jets are well aware their record of 3-2 the last two seasons against New England is extremely impressive. And there’s no doubt, since inserting Ryan as their head coach, Gang Green has amassed credibility as a perennial Super Bowl contender. And just like “The Situation” will inevitably do in tonight’s season 4 debut of Jersey Shore, Ryan’s challenge is actually just chicanery to perpetuate a stigma of the alpha-male. That way he can say, “What? We did it. Pft, you guys can’t? That’s unacceptable. We’re on the road in January because you guys can’t pick up the slack.”

The problem for Ryan is beating the Patriots isn’t a multi-team sport. The NFL is one game a week; one game at a time. Take a gander down Rt. 95. The coach heading THAT team’s pressers will tell you that’s how to approach it. Real confidence is knowing that you, yourself, are adequate. Relying on others shows weakness.

I’m not particularly befuddled Ryan would make that stance. After all, the Jets shouldn’t drop games to a lowly Dolphins team at home like they did last year. Instead of being accountable, he blames other teams for his January predicaments. And it wasn’t just last season, in Ryan’s first year with the team the Jets backed into the playoffs. We oft forget that, because Ryan will remind you of the team’s deep runs after the fact.  But looking back, the only reason the Jets made their deep playoff run in ’09 is because in Week 17 the Bengals laid down like Albert Haynesworth on MNF last year. (Crap, bad analogy. I meant the Bengals laid down like the producers of The T.O.-Cho Show. Screw it.)

Real confidence is personified through action, not words. It’s knowing the task at hand, not the task in other teams’ hands.

About Ryan Hadfield

Ryan Hadfield is the author of the weekly Sports Media Musings column at Sports Of Boston. Hadfield is known as one of the top sports media critics in Boston. He also contributes to Boston Sports Media Watch. In November 2011, Hadfield helped launch the new SoB Point Taken blog featuring his podcasts & musings on sports, media and culture. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

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