There's usually nothing less interesting than hearing coaches speak about their opponents in the days leading up to a game. Everyone goes out of their way to be polite, build up threats that don't really concern them and generally go out of their way to avoid saying anything insightful or provocative.
This week has been a nice departure from that script. Rex Ryan's matchup with his twin brother, Browns defensive coordinator Rob, has given birth to some entertaining profiles in local papers and provided fodder for the best Halloween costume ever to get its debut a couple of weeks after trick-or-treating. If there's any way to make annual meetings between the brothers part of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, we should really band together as football fans and make it happen.
Even better, something about this game coming the week after Eric Mangini blew out his mentor and now mortal enemy Bill Belichick has brought out a new side of the former Jets coach. He doesn't mumble anymore nor does he make it a point to be blander than plain yogurt. He's having fun and letting people see him have fun, up to and including a good-natured jab at Rex's post-surgical weight loss on Thursday.
"I think everyone in New York is happy about that, except maybe Macy’s losing one of their floats."
What have you done with our dour Mangenius?
It's not all fun and games, though. Braylon Edwards and the city of Cleveland do not like each nearly enough to come up with ways to laugh and joke their way to Sunday's game. Edwards ignited the flames via Twitter after the Jets beat the Lions and hasn't played the diplomat for one moment since then. He's openly calling it a "personal war with Cleveland" while promising to write a book about his bad relationship with Cleveland fans.
His final salvo was a description of his feelings upon learning that he'd be leaving Cleveland last year. It's not quite as gleeful as what LeBron James did, but, then, Edwards hadn't scammed the whole city up until that point.
"I just couldn't show how excited I was at the time," Edwards said. "I thought it'd be unprofessional to do a dance in his office....When he told me that, I couldn't get out of Berea (the location of Browns HQ) fast enough."
The nice thing about this one, as opposed to the LeBron mess, is that the feeling was mutual. Browns fans were more than happy to drive him to the airport to make sure he caught the quickest possible flight out of town. Jets fans certainly don't have that negative an opinion about Edwards, but there's certainly enough fodder on and off the field to understand the negative feelings he generated in Ohio.
Should be a nice counterpoint to all the fun and games between the coaches, especially if Edwards should catch a touchdown that puts him in range of the Dawg Pound.