Rex Ryan’s six-year stint as head coach of the Jets was unforgettable, filled with guarantees, costumes, middle fingers and kinky tattoos.
With Ryan and his Bills hitting town Thursday, the Daily News takes a trip down memory lane to revisit his 10 most memorable moments with the Jets:
10. It ain’t over till it’s over
When the Jets dropped to 7-7 following a loss to the Falcons in 2009, Ryan declared the Jets officially out of the playoff race. . . but they weren’t. And as it turned out, they ended up not only making the playoffs that year, but making it to the AFC Championship Game. Good thing for Ryan his playoff math was wrong.
9. Sideways press conference
After Mark Sanchez suffered a season-ending injury in the fourth quarter of a preseason game against the Giants, Ryan became incensed with The News’ Manish Mehta questioning his decision to have his starting quarterback in the game. “I can say anything I want, that’s the beauty of this country. I can answer it 100 times. Here, I’ll stand backwards and answer the question. I’m going sideways,” Ryan said, turning sideways toward the podium in what has since become an infamous YouTube video.
8. Dressing up as Rob Ryan
In anticipation of his team’s game against the Browns in 2010, Ryan mocked his twin brother Rob — then the Browns’ defensive coordinator — by dressing up as him for his press conference. Ryan, wearing a long dirty blond wig, put a pillow under his Browns shirt for the costume. “Truly, he is looking bad,” Rex joked about his brother.
7. Flipping the Bird
In February 2010, shortly after losing in the AFC title game, Ryan took his bold behavior to another level, giving the middle finger to Miami Dolphins fans at an MMA event in Florida. Ryan was fined $ 50,000 by the Jets for the gesture. In 2011 he was fined $ 75,000 for shouting “shut the f— up” at a fan at halftime of a Patriots-Jets game. In 2014 he received a third bill, this time for $ 100,000 when cameras caught him yelling “F— you!” in the direction of officials.
6. Beating Pats in playoffs
Many of the best Ryan memories came off the field, but his personal highlight on it has to be his team’s 28-21 victory over New England in the 2010 divisional round. Ryan had beaten his nemesis Bill Belichick on a huge stage, and the win gave way to Bart Scott’s famous “Can’t wait!” interview. The Jets fell short in the AFC Championship Game for a second straight season, however.
5. Super Bowl guarantees
Ryan set the bar high right from the start. In his introductory press conference, Ryan insinuated the Jets would win the Super Bowl soon enough.
“With all the cameras and all that, I was looking for our new President back there,” Ryan said. “I think we’ll get to meet him in the next couple of years anyway.”
It wasn’t the last time he’d guarantee a Super Bowl win for the Jets. He never quite got there.
4. The feet
Maybe you heard, but Ryan likes feet. Allegedly. Foot fetish videos apparently featuring his wife, Michelle, (and Ryan’s voice) surfaced in 2010. Ryan never really commented on the issue, calling it a personal matter, but that didn’t stop him from facing many questions about it.
3. Hard Knocks
Ryan’s stardom grew nationally when everyone got a good look at the large and foul-mouthed coach on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” There were enough highlights on that program that it could get its own top-10 list, but no one will ever forget Ryan’s famous, “Let’s go eat a goddamn snack” speech. Ryan was pissed at the team, especially the defense, after players ate McDonald’s during a practice at Hofstra.
2. No love for Belichick
Ryan made it clear he wouldn’t be sucking up to Belichick, despite all the Patriots’ success under their head coach. “I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings,” Ryan said in 2009. That was only one of many tweaks at Belichick during Ryan’s tenure.
1. The Mark Sanchez Tattoo
Ryan’s vacation after the 2012 season turned out to be a little more revealing than he’d hoped.
Spotted by the Daily News in the Bahamas, the public got its first a look at a previously unknown tattoo on his right arm that featured his wife in a Mark Sanchez jersey — and nothing else. And on top of that, she almost looked like she was Tebowing.
Ryan later removed the No. 6 from the tattoo and changed the color to blue for the Bills.
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