If the Jets make the Super Bowl today, the chant should be “Rex Rex, Rex, not "Jets, Jets, Jets.”
The 350-pound coach has transformed America's perennial losing team into the hottest team in football.
He has done it with a mixture of Irish bluster, ego, arrogance, foolishness and humor – all attributes greatly appreciated in New York.
He has also displayed an intense loyalty to his players, which is reciprocated, and which has led to his team becoming the most shocking success story of the NFL year.
Most importantly, he is putting down the roots of a long-term franchise success story. Next year, Mark Sanchez will be even better. Next year, he will no longer be a rookie coach. Next year, this team will have the confidence that playoff success guarantees.
Ryan relishes being big fat and out of control. He cries at the drop of a tissue, he emotes at the sight of a notebook. In a league dominated by stiff upper lip, Tom Landry-type coaches – imagine Bill Belichick having a tearful moment – Ryan is everything they are not.
He is also everything his father was not. Buddy Ryan was a contrary and cranky old man when he came to prominence with the Bears. His son seems the exact opposite.
The Indianapolis game will be a win-win for him no matter how it turns out. To lead his side to the AFC title game in his first year with a rookie quarterback is an extraordinary achievement.
We are looking at the birth of a legend here, an ego so big and a talent so huge it fits right in with New York.
In case you didn't know, “Rex” means king in Latin. As in King of New York.
Rex, Rex, Rex.
Why all Irish men’s beards are red