Now that Brett Favre is seemingly retired and out of football (the more I say it to myself, the less I actually believe it), ESPN has officially hitched its trailer to the Rex and Rob Ryan sideshow. Twin sons of legendary defensive mastermind Buddy Ryan, the brothers currently have their meaty paws placed firmly on the throat of the sports media monolith, and the involved parties couldn't be happier. ESPN loves to listen to the Ryans blab and the Ryans love to hear themselves blab.
While Rob was mired in obscurity as the Browns defensive coordinator, leading a defense ranked 31st in 2009 and 22nd in 2010, it seemed like the only relevant ham in the family would be Rex. With the press Rex gets from brashly guaranteeing Jets' Super Bowl victories, calling out Peyton Manning, and digging his wife's feet a little too much, it's just easy to put a camera on him. You know he's going to say something outrageous just to say something outrageous. It's part of his charm, I think. Add in the fact that he's made the Jets a real football team again, taking them to the AFC championship game in each of his first two years, you have to give him a great deal of cred and face time, regardless of how much it pains you (and me).
But in the offseason, the lesser known Ryan landed the defensive coordinator job with America's team, the Dallas Cowboys. With the help of his 72-foot-tall, 160-foot-wide high definition TV, owner Jerry Jones decided to project Rob's flowing locks and beefy exterior up on the monstrosity in hopes of counteracting head coach Jason Garrett's somewhat wimpy and eggheadish aura. I mean, it was either that or Rob was hired because of his family's football lineage and his brother's recent success. It's a tough nut to crack, I know.
What I definitely know is that the brothers and their sideline and press conference antics will be the talk of ESPN's talking heads for months to come. My morning SportsCenter routine has already become a bit of a chore since the Jets signed the NFL's recently reinstated quick-draw Plaxico Burress. It means more face time for Rex and his fantastical proclamations. It also means I may switch the channel on occasion to catch an early morning rerun of Saved by the Bell.
As long as the Ryan brothers don't end up starring in Wrangler Jeans commercials, I think I'll probably make it through the season.