Today In Ridiculous ‘Building Team Unity’ Bits: Rex Ryan Buries Game Ball From MNF
In one of the more moronic gambits ever attempted by an NFL coach in order to symbolically “bury” the scarring memories of an unfortunate incident from the recent past, Jets coach Rex Ryan performed a makeshift memorial of a game ball from the Jets’ 45-3 thrashing at the hands of the New England Patriots on Monday Night. Instead of having the team meeting inside the auditorium, as is the usual routine for team on Wednesday, Ryan led his shell-shocked squad outside to the practice field and gathered them around a hole in the ground. Ryan then placed the game ball in the hole and performed last rites for the inanimate object. Dirt and sod were placed upon the “deceased” pigskin and apparently the team could move on after such a brutal performance. Brilliant.
Some thoughts on Ryan’s unique methods from Darelle Revis and Santonio Holmes (via ESPN New York):
“I’ve never seen a coach do that,” Revis said. “We all got the point. Usually, in the past, you hear a coach say, ‘Let’s bury this’ and you have to visualize it. When you actually see it, you’re like, ‘Wow, this is serious.'”
“When he asked us to go outside, I knew the message was going to touch everybody,” Holmes said. “I liked it, just the fact that he called us up and told us to come follow him. … What he did today was something that grabbed everyone’s attention.”
Said Revis, “Everybody was just shocked. Nobody said anything.”
Yeah, I would have been shocked as well…at the stupidity of it all. Although it should be pointed out that the Genius, Bill Belichick once did the same thing after the Patriots lost to the Dolphins in 2001, so, um, there you go. I guess even the best and the brightest can be prompted to grasp at straws in order to restore sanity to a team by doing something completely insane.
I guess the proof will be in the pudding, as the saying goes. If the Jets respond well in their next game against the Dolphins on Sunday, we will have to give Ryan some modicum of credit for his unorthodox approach. All I know is I hope the Jets practice field wasn’t built on top of an Indian Burial Ground or, even worse, a Pet Cemetery (or Sematary, for you Kingsian traditionalists). If it is, the Jets have even bigger fish to fry than recovering from their brutal loss to the Patriots. The next thing you know, some weird looking midget lady ends up getting sexually harassed by Jets players after being hired to implore LaDainian Tomlinson to “Run to the light…Rexy is in the light,” or, in the pet cemetery scenario, the football rises from the grave and severs Mark Sanchez’s Achilles tendon with a scalpel. And neither of those outcomes would be very good.
Jets bury ball, put Patriots game to bed [ESPN New York]