The J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets

Walt HaleyContributor IJune 15, 2009

I am a die-hard Eagles fan. I have never liked another team in the NFL but the Eagles. I hate every team that has beaten the Eagles even once.

I hated the 49ers with Joe Montana. I really hate every team in the NFC East.

I did like Dan Marino and the Dolphins, but I never really rooted for them.

That is about to change all because of Rex Ryan. I am rooting for the Jets now as my second favorite team. If they are not playing the Eagles, I am rooting for them.

Dick Vermeil changed the losing culture of the Eagles. He changed the philosophy of the Birds and made the city believe again. Then he got burnt out and the Eagles went into a little tailspin and lost their way.

Enter Buddy Ryan, the dynamic defense coordinator of the fearless Chicago Bears. Buddy Ryan and the booming of sports-talk radio turned the Eagles fans into what they are today, one of the most passionate and knowledgeable in the country.

When Vermeil was coaching, the Philadelphia sports scene was very relevant. The Phillies won the World Series in 1980, the Sixers were actually a prominent team in the NBA (now they suck), and the Flyers were an awesome franchise in hockey.

It was tough to distinguish which franchise was the most relevant in the city. I would have said back then the city was a baseball town first, either way there was room for discussion.

There isn’t room for discussion anymore. Philadelphia is now a football town. The Phillies are the reigning World Series champs and are in first place, the Eagles are conducting OTA’s and they still grace the cover of the sports section.

Buddy Ryan and the boom of sports talk radio in Philadelphia were the cause of this.

Ryan was awesome. His defense of the 1980's were one of the top 10 of all time. They were so much fun to watch and his personality shined through their tough play.

He knew how to capture the people’s attention. In Philadelphia, he knew that he only needed to beat Dallas twice a year and his job would be safe.

Who could forget the Bounty Bowl? The players went after the freaking kicker! Man that was a great time in my life.

He didn’t care about the offense. He only cared about the black and blue defense that mirrored the blue collared nature of the city. He never won a freaking playoff game, and people still rank him as the best coach in Eagles history. On a side-not, this shouldn’t even be a debate. Andy Reid is hands down the best coach in Eagles history and he is still one of the top five coaches in football.

Donovan McNabb is still a top-five quarterback and is the best to play the position for the Eagles as well, yet the fans want to run these two out of dodge. I will never get it. The grass won’t be green on the other side, folks! That is a discussion for another day though.

Buddy Ryan hated ownership, he hated authority and he hated Dallas. The fan base adored him for it.

He is still revered in the city.

He punched Kevin Gilbride in the freaking face during a game! That was awesome. He really hated offense though. If it wasn’t for him, coach Ditka would not have a Super Bowl ring and that much is a fact.

Now his son is at it and the NFL could use the spark.

The NFL head coaches of today are so standoffish and I understand their dilemma. They work around 82 hours a day and they have to keep things close to the vest. It is the ultimate chess match and they don’t want to promote bulletin board material for anyone.

Rex Ryan is a breath of fresh air though.

He said he didn’t come to the Jets to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings. He isn’t intimidated by them and that is awesome. He doesn’t mind if his players talk a little smack either. Kerry Rhodes tweeted about being the best defense in the league.

Rex backed him up.

Now Rex is verbally sparing with Channing Crowder of the Miami Dolphins. Their exchange is pretty funny too:

Channing seemed a little pissed that Rex only mentioned New England, not the reigning AFC East champion Miami Dolphins.

Channing: Oh, he's going crazy. He's going absolutely nuts. I know it's his first chance to be a head coach, and I know he's excited about life. But, like I said, I've never played a football game in June in my whole life. So congratulations to him. He's the OTA, the OTA Super Bowl winner.”

Ryan: "I don’t know this Channing Crowder. All I know is that he’s all tatted up. He’s right about one thing. I’m a first-time head coach, but I’ve been around the game all my life. I'm no different than I’ve ever been, just that more people are listening. If I was younger, I'd handle him myself."

Channing: ''Oh, Lord have mercy. What's wrong with him? Now he's talking about preparation? We play them twice this year. If he wants to be prepared, shouldn't he know the starting middle linebackers of his division rival?'' ''He says he'd take care of me if he was younger? I'd have beat the hell out of that big old joker. Or if he really wants to get retro, my daddy or my uncle could have handled him. Don't get big. Win with preparation? Start watching some tape and learn who your rival is. Come on now.''

Ryan: "First off, Channing Crowder had a rebuttal," Ryan said Wednesday, causing everyone in the press room to crack up. "I love it. The only thing I can say is, and let's see if he can top this one, I've walked over tougher guys going to a fight than Channing Crowder."

He laughed and added, "The dude's going to kill me."

Channing: "This is over. I'm done with this victory. I'm going to save the head coach the embarrassment of arguing with an opposing player to the media. We play twice this season, so we'll see who the better team is then."

I know people are suspect about a coach exchanging verbal barbs with a player from another team, but I love it, I think it is awesome.

I know the NFL will say they don’t condone it, but you know what? There are two more games that just become national stories now. These games just became relevant, outside of the two teams fan bases.

I know I am going to watch them and I know who I am rooting for: The J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS!

The Ryan’s are awesome. They should get into managing wrestlerers in the WWE.

PS—I think it helps that Rex is fat. It is like looking into the mirror.


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