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The Scandal That Isn’t: Tattoogate


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#1 JetNation

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:15 AM

For any member of Jet Nation not paying attention these past two days, Rex Ryan has a tattoo. Of his wife. In a (presumably) Mark Sanchez jersey (and not, say, a Ray Lucas jersey).

This was discovered when, after the Jets failed to host a press conference within the acceptable amount of time after the final game of the regular season, Rex Ryan took a vacation to the Bahamas with his wife and the New York Daily News had someone take paparazzi-like photos of him with his shirt off.

As mentioned, the “story” was “broken” by the Daily News, which had three articles on it, including one by Gary Myers that seemed to be seriously analyzing whether or not the tattoo was going to adversely affect the Jets locker room. Yes, really. That this is even an issue says more about the Daily News than it does about Rex Ryan, and hopefully Rex will come away from this more fully aware that newspapers are not really on his side.

But for now, here we are.

No matter what anyone says, there’s no correlation between Ryan’s ink and his leadership ability. The New York Post reported today that the tattoo, which some thought might be Ryan pranking us all, is real and he’s had it since the end of the 2010 season. Further, the coaches and even some players knew about it. Nobody thought it was a big deal, and think it’s funny a tattoo has caused so much uproar.

Rex Ryan’s poor choice in jersey numbers (or maybe his wife’s, if she picked it out) is not an indication of why the  team isn’t united enough, or performed poorly, or whatever other charges you want to level at them. Former Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid’s son was found dead of a heroin overdose in the dorms the team was using during training camp this past year.  Did we hear anybody saying things like, “If Reid can’t control his son, how can he control a football team?” No, because it’s a stupid leap to make. A tattoo is far more trivial.

The Jets have brought a lot of this unwanted, everything’s-blown-out-of-proportion attention on themselves the last few years. It’s not just the press conference. It’s the talking, the guarantees, being a bit too open with the press, never taking the final step, Tim Tebow, standing by motionlessly as Mark Sanchez became a shell of even his former, mediocre self – it’s all created an environment where everything is happening under a microscope.

Rex Ryan deserves a ton of football criticism for the way the Jets were handled this year, particularly the offense, which was an unmitigated disaster. Mike Tannenbaum being fired and not demoted was a miracle. Why offensive coordinator Tony Sparano hasn’t been fired yet is a mystery.

But really? Full stories analyzing Rex’s tattoo because the team skipped a press conference and rescheduled it a week later? Stalking him (and his wife, no less) to the Bahamas? Is Rex Ryan really so interesting we need pictures of him with his shirt off? The answer is no.

If we’re guessing, the press conference was probably postponed because Ryan’s job is in limbo depending on the new GM hire (which is close to officially being Tom Gamble, from news that’s breaking today). Plus, the Jets probably figured they’d have hired someone new by the time the presser took place (which looks to be true at this moment) to talk about the future of the team.

Finally, Rex Ryan having a tattoo of his wife – and that’s what this is, a tattoo of his WIFE, no matter what she’s wearing – isn’t a scandal. In fact, it’s really none of our business. That Rex is still so in love with his wife after 25 years of marriage he’d get her tattooed on his arm is something to be applauded, not criticized, especially during an era where there’s no end to the bad behavior athletes and coaches engage in. Mike Price’s story is my favorite in recent memory.

One poster said to me in the JetNation forums, “The media didn’t make Rex a clown. Rex made Rex a clown.” It’s true that Rex being perceived (at the very least) as a clown is Rex’s fault. But being in love with his wife is not what makes him one.

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#2 T0mShane

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:44 AM

Kind of dubious to try and draw a parallel between Reid's son and Rex's tattoo. Wanting to tie yourself into knots trying to explain away why Rex's team quit on him two years in a row is one thing, but to invoke the suicide of the son of another coach--one who, incidentally, did get fired for losing the locker room--as some sort of equivalence is a bit much.

Edited by T0mShane, 06 January 2013 - 01:45 AM.

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#3 Larz

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

lol tom is the only poster who in 125 views who couldn't let it be a good thing

poor tom

what if the jets hire gamble ?
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Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.

#4 Klecko73isGod

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

lol tom is the only poster who in 125 views who couldn't let it be a good thing

poor tom

what if the jets hire gamble ?


If the Jets hire Gamble and Gamble keeps Rex, Tom's chosen 2013 offseason narrative is ****ed.
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#5 Klecko73isGod

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:41 AM

Kind of dubious to try and draw a parallel between Reid's son and Rex's tattoo. Wanting to tie yourself into knots trying to explain away why Rex's team quit on him two years in a row is one thing, but to invoke the suicide of the son of another coach--one who, incidentally, did get fired for losing the locker room--as some sort of equivalence is a bit much.


I think making the case that neither caused the problems on the team is a strong one.
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#6 Darth Vader

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

Kind of dubious to try and draw a parallel between Reid's son and Rex's tattoo. Wanting to tie yourself into knots trying to explain away why Rex's team quit on him two years in a row is one thing, but to invoke the suicide of the son of another coach--one who, incidentally, did get fired for losing the locker room--as some sort of equivalence is a bit much.


reid didn't get fired for losing the locker room....
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#7 SenorGato

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:25 PM

Rex has been the same guy he's been since he got here. Just saying...they blew him when he won, generally ignored the nonsense or at least didn't write about it as a bad thing....now we are here.

I'm not even a Rex fan and the reaction to him now strikes me as dumb.

Edited by SenorGato, 06 January 2013 - 12:26 PM.

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#8 SayNoToDMC

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:35 PM

Rex has been the same guy he's been since he got here. Just saying...they blew him when he won, generally ignored the nonsense or at least didn't write about it as a bad thing....now we are here.

I'm not even a Rex fan and the reaction to him now strikes me as dumb.


He set himself up for this kind of backlash when he became a caricature of himself and fell in love with the attention. He didn't just lose after all that talk, they collapsed in epic fashion.

Edited by SayNoToDMC, 06 January 2013 - 12:35 PM.

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#9 Maxman

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:39 PM

Excellent article by Kristine Gammer!
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#10 Blackout

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:51 PM

Rex got this tattoo a year ago
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#11 SenorGato

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:09 AM

He set himself up for this kind of backlash when he became a caricature of himself and fell in love with the attention. He didn't just lose after all that talk, they collapsed in epic fashion.


That's one way to put it. He's just as annoying now as he was then, but he was winning then so it was allllll good. Now that he's losing he's a caricature of the guy who was saying and doing the same stuff before when he was shiny, new, and productive.

Every collapse is epic. There's no such thing as a small collapse. It always looks bad. There's no way around that if it happens.
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#12 Ryno the Jet

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:08 AM

Rex got this tattoo a year ago


"The New York Post reported today that the tattoo, which some thought might be Ryan pranking us all, is real and he’s had it since the end of the 2010 season."

Obviously, you're not a golfer.
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#13 Integrity28

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:07 AM

"The New York Post reported today that the tattoo, which some thought might be Ryan pranking us all, is real and he’s had it since the end of the 2010 season."

Obviously, you're not a golfer.


2010? That explains why she is Tebow'ing. LOL
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#14 Irish Jet

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

Because Mangini was loved when his team collapsed.
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#15 GangGreen25

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

HIs inability to lead is the indication he is no leader. The idea that he thought Sanchez was his guy for the long haul, so much so that he created a permanent image on his bodyis also a problem. Even during the good runs most NFL smart guys had questions about Sanchez's footwork, accuracy on mid range throws and his head for the game. But not Rex. He was so sure he and Sanchez were attached at the hip for a string of championships that he got a tattoo. Its not this single bizarre act, its the body of work. Andy Kaufman was not weird because he locked himself in a footlocker during an SNL bit.. He was weird becasue of the countless acts of that nature. If Mike Shanahan got a tattoo of RG3 it woudl not garner such a reaction. Becasue Shanahan is seen as a smart reasonable level headed guy. This is just one in a series of head scratching choices that further confirms my desire for him to leave ASAP.
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#16 Irish Jet

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:33 AM

More ****ing symbolism and metaphoric significance being drawn out of this tattoo than the ****ing bible.

I hate people, I truly ****ing do.
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#17 GangGreen25

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:00 PM

More ****ing symbolism and metaphoric significance being drawn out of this tattoo than the ****ing bible.

I hate people, I truly ****ing do.

I speak neither symbolically nor metaphorically when I say its just a weird thing for a head coach in the NFL to do. I am not adverse in general to weird. In fact just the opposite, as I find the quirks and differences in people keeps things from getting too stale. In the interest of full disclosure I dislike Rex as a man and a HC. I just want him to literally go away.
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#18 Irish Jet

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:10 PM

I speak neither symbolically nor metaphorically when I say its just a weird thing for a head coach in the NFL to do. I am not adverse in general to weird. In fact just the opposite, as I find the quirks and differences in people keeps things from getting too stale. In the interest of full disclosure I dislike Rex as a man and a HC. I just want him to literally go away.


It's not really aimed at you, it's the media in general.

Honestly, who gives a **** why he has this tattoo. It has nothing to do with him as a football coach. I don't care if he secretly wants to **** Mark Sanchez with his feet while giving his wife a rim-job, that's his ****ing prerogative.
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