I'm in love.
What's that? Well, he's about 6'3 and a shade under 300 lbs. He's got a huge smile. Come to think of it, he's got a huge everything, including a sense of self confidence that can barely fit in his XXL polo shirt.
No, no stop, you don't need to call my parents, it's not that kind of love. I'm in love with Rex Ryan, the new head coach of the New York Jets.
If you missed Ryan's performance on Sunday afternoon, let me give you the quick Reader's Digest breakdown. Armed with an explosive defense and an unflappable rookie quarterback, Ryan and the Jets beat the New England Patriots 16-9. Yes, those New England Patriots.
And yes, I know that it's only Week 2. And that Tom Brady is coming off major knee surgery. But to understand the significance of the game, you need to go beyond the final margin of victory, and into the psyche of the New York Jets. Not just the guys on the field, but the people in the stands.
This is an organization whose fans are so war torn, so beat up and so left for dead, that even Lifetime is too afraid to make a movie about them. A place, where on any given Sunday, 70,000 people in the Meadowlands and thousands more watching on television are routinely waiting for something to go wrong. They almost never go to bed Sunday night disappointed.
They are the Jets of Doug Brien's missed field goals. The team that saw a simple Herm Edwards statement, "You play to win the game," become an internet cult phenomenon, and a term that gets thrown around about as much these days as "Would you like fries with that."
Heck, this is a franchise that's been so brain-numbingly, mind-bogglingly bad, that someone actually made a YouTube video called, "Jets Draft Blunders." At last count, it had been viewed 788,795 times, with close to 2,000 people feeling the need to comment on it.
The best part of the video? Honestly, I don't know. How can you pick a favorite part when all 98 seconds are filled with edge of your seat, uproarious, unintentional comedy.
Maybe it was when a fresh faced Mel Kiper Jr. said, "It's obvious to me right now, that the Jets just don't know what the draft is all about."
Or the scene right from the 1983 draft, when the Jets took California-Davis quarterback Ken O'Brien over some kid named Dan Marino. In the shot, ESPN is interviewing a fan that is so confused, so befuddled, that from the look on his face, you'd think he just saw his grandmother naked.
After being asked about the selection, here's his response:
"Everybody said if Marino was going to be around at that time, they'd take Marino. Obviously the Jets know something the people here don't..."
The Jets know something the people here don't.
Twenty-six years later that statement is just starting to hold water. Because what I want to know is how the Jets knew to pluck Ryan off Baltimore's defensive staff last winter, when everyone else in the NFL whiffed on the guy.
On the January day when Ryan was introduced, he immediately endeared himself to Jets fans everywhere. His opening comment centered on the idea that he was shocked to see so much media coverage for his first press conference. He assumed the President must be in town.
Of course, he followed up that statement by coolly saying, "I guess we are going to meet him in a few years anyways."
Wait, what? I thought I'd misheard. A Jets coach talking about winning championships? That's like hearing Michael Vick babble on about the cute puppy living next door. It never happens.