With the Birth of Jets-Patriots, There's No Rivalry Like Any Other

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IJanuary 14, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets looks on against the Indianapolis Colts during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

We all have flashbacks on moments when rivalries in sports came alive, moments we espoused the antipathy involving a pair of teams unable to stay above the fray and maintain a sense of calmness.

If you were a Jets' supporter dating back to the late '60s, you probably recall Joe Namath, the famous pretty boy with gorgeous features who chicks were dearly obsessed with.

Back in those days, he led the New York Jets in the bitter rivalry against the then-Boston Patriots. But today, in which a rivalry has renewed lingering debates in what has become newsworthy, the latest installment of the Jets-Patriots rivalry is what we demand as a way to amaze our senses, as every football lover craves the sentimental high and the beauty in witnessing the birth of an intriguing rivalry.

There are episodes, a number of episodes, when Rex Ryan loud-mouthed opponents at press conferences by his silly antics he exhibited, quickly considered to be the funniest clown in the NFL for belittling the Patriots and his own belly. 

So how does a proud, accomplished franchise known as the New England Patriots respond after Ryan and Antonio Cromartie made inane comments towards a hard-driven team that earned its fair share of Super Bowl greatness last decade?

By now, the Patriots are motivated, and it is now clear that Brady's Bunch is angry, hearing Cromartie boldly slur Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

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It should be interesting to see how the Patriots, the favorites by many to reach the Super Bowl with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, answers to the Jets. And as usual, it will be appealing to see how New England answers to the Jets cornerback for lashing out on the enemies of football.

As for Ryan, he's a bombastic clown to many, simply because he is constantly trash-talking or saying sarcastic stuff that pisses off the average critic or opponent, particularly the emotional Patriots.

After hearing that, as always, the Patriots are alarmed and ready to meet on a collision course against the Jets for what could be an epic showdown.

It's abundantly clear, no matter if this is the eventful matchup of the weekend or one of the greatest clashes in sports, that there's bad blood involving a pair of sinister franchises, whether it's because of Belichick's Spygate scandal or Ryan's bombastic post-game interviews.  

When the Patriots encounter the loudmouthed Jets this weekend, they'll be alarmed and fiercely approach the Jets by their ferocious style with a greedy and masterful offensive scheme.

For Ryan, that is, he should be very careful of ripping Brady with his nonsense. Once again, as for what has become a daily rite, he blasted Brady about his work ethic. Not too long ago, he said the Jets substantial matchup against the Patriots "is about Bill Belichick versus Rex Ryan...There's no question, it's personal."

It's certainly an event that features two disdained coaches, one of whom is Belichick, a disloyal con artist and usually has a genius/deceptive idea of pulling off the victory. He stands on the sideline, and on Sunday across from Ryan, he'll acknowledge the Jets head coach by gazing at him directly with an evil stare, reminding us of the old days when Belichick barely exchanged handshakes with his ex-partner and former demon Eric Mangini after a relationship unraveled for the infamous accusation in 2007.

Ryan's personality is so molded, he couldn't change his ways if his life depended on it, wearing the same Jets vest in every appearance. Pretty much, he's set in his ways and there's no suggestions for shifting the identity of a man who allows his emotions to send him on a laughable tirade. The difference in Belichick's traits is that he is very vague and close-minded, unwilling to release a number of specifics to the press.

Instead, he is serious and dull in his coaching role, not really the kind of coach comfortable with alerting or exciting the media. Don't you hate Belichick? Haven't you given him the nickname BELICHEAT??

There are not too many people outside of New England who really cares for Belichick, an evil-doer responsible for the corruption of scandals in the NFL, when Spygate literally embarrassed the Patriots and their remarkable dynasty that even turned into an asterisk. 

Many believe, if not everyone other than a Patriots fan, that the titles won last decade are tainted by the scandal.

You don't have to like Ryan or his characteristics, but if he does somehow backs up his nonsense by winning the Super Bowl unexpectedly, then he clearly deserves respect when the Jets reach gratifying heights under one of the most unlikable coaches in the game.

The timing couldn't be better for Ryan definitely to confirm that he's worthy of his coaching job.

However, even though he's an owner of four Super Bowl rings, Belichick can't significantly be undermined. The history in the past is an indicator that the Patriots can be victorious in the AFC Divisional showdown, of which adds to a bloody war.

The horror, which all the remarks that the Jets publicly said magnified the Patriots mentality level, is staring directly at the Jets. For now, as times in the season becomes intense and crucial, it's not so surprising to hear Ryan jabber from the mouth when it actually could be a solution that inspires mental toughness, tenacity and stability.

But, on the other hand, his words may have just taunted the Patriots badly that it has awakened them, energized them and enraged them. If anything, however, Ryan is a sportswriter's best friend whenever he takes the podium to give his animated news conference. 

Clearly the face of the Jets and its organization, he is unique and hilarious unlike many coaches, a majority of whom take a moral stance in the business, but also take their jobs very seriously. 

Not Ryan. He lives for the moment. He assures victories. Each week, it seems, he is teased in the New York tabloids, while his star quarterback accepts all the praise. 

The headlines focus strictly on Mark Sanchez or either Ryan, but more than ever, the tabloids absorbs its attention on Sanchez, a beloved superstar in a town where fans love to cheer on their sports franchise, in a town where he's compared to Namath with his sex appeal.

And as a result, he's as well-known as Derek Jeter. But this weekend, in reality, we'll learn if he's a pretty boy or a franchise quarterback, a vital element for the Jets future of possibly capturing multiple titles. 

He's nowhere near as superb as Brady, yet he is the face of the Jets, but with much on the line, he has to beat the Patriots and then he'll earn more cheers from a rabid fanbase in New York.

It's one thing to be defined as a good quarterback, but he still needs to perform amazingly in a game that he's placed under the radar until he produce eye-opening wins and elevate his legacy. 

His 54.8 completion percentage and 75.3 quarterback rating, which ranks low in the NFL, is evidence that if he desires to validate his legacy and improve as one of the league's top quarterbacks, he'll need to beat the Patriots.

If so, maybe this can shut Ryan's mouth.

Who cares??

As long as he backs up his trash-talking, I couldn't care less what he says. His trash-talking, dirty mouth doesn't bother me. And it shouldn't bother you, either.

Aside from Ryan's mouth, in the playoffs alone, his quarterback, Sanchez is 3-1 as a starter. Although he settles for the entire spotlight given to him, he's matured and ignores the media, including the critics that belittle his performances each week.

The underdogs of such a watchful playoff game are the Jets, even if New York is loaded with supremely talented running back LaDainian Tomlinson, a veteran star everyone thought was washed up and well past his prime.

Along with running back Shonn Greene, who had 35 carries for 152 yards in the Jets' 17-16 win at Indianapolis last Saturday, and Braylon Edwards, a lengthy and explosive wide receiver, Sanchez is surrounded by reinforcements and Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

The luxury of having a coordinator as confident as Schottenheimer is that he trusts Sanchez and allows him to call the plays.

Ever since the summer, when the overblown reality TV show "Hard Knocks" bothered us, the Jets created unnecessary drama, from the television chaos to the revelations of Ryan's foot fetish.

The Jets are caught in the middle of bedlam, but amid the insanity, they are managing to win when it matters. There's no doubt that he's not an excellent football coach, not even an average coach, but a funny man with a unique style of coaching. 

It turns out that Ryan cares about his mind-blowing ego, but not so much about winning games. In many ways, he's concern with not only his legacy but winning as well, especially outlasting the Patriots in this intense rivalry.

Where there is bad blood, Ryan is definitely inclined to open his mouth and rip his foes, such as the Patriots, ready to face the Jets and silence their babbling. 

This is the fourth time in the last two seasons that Belichick and Ryan meet. More troubling is that the Jets talk too much, but the Patriots let the game speak for itself.

In Ryan's tenure, the Jets have trailed painfully by a score of 24-7 and 24-3 in two road meetings at New England, but it's a new year, so none of this is relevant. Whether the Patriots are the stronger team of survival, the Jets are committed to an assertive, play-making defense.

Whether the Patriots utilize a systematic style, as agile running back Danny Woodhead could be a problem for the Jets to handle since New England diagrams running plays out of the shotgun, New York has the deepest secondary with Darrelle Revis and Cromartie, even if the shut-down corner was a factor in the Jets win over the Colts.

Facing a tougher assignment this postseason, Revis is expected to cover Brady's go-to receivers Deion Branch and Wes Welker. So obviously, as the Jets have spent much time talking, the Patriots have spent time preparing.

By now, however, the Jets-Patriots enlarge as an intense rivalry, from the nonsensical chatter to the preparations and quietness by New England. That's what we love, a rivalry like no other. 


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