Rex Ryan, the King of All Media

Ryan wins awards, visits Letterman and much, much more

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    He slings words better than he does footballs.

    What did we do before Rex Ryan came along?

    Or, to ask a better question, what did the football media do before Rex Ryan came along? He's become such a dominant figure in the NFL during his first two years as the Jets head coach that it is hard to remember what people used to talk about when there weren't games to play.

    Given that fact, it is nice to see they recognize the gift that they have been given in Ryan. The Pro Football Writers of America gave Ryan the Horrigan Award, which goes to the non-player whose qualities and professional style helped the media best do its job last season.

    Do you think they even bothered having a vote? Let's see, there's that one coach who makes it easy for us to write something fun and/or scolding every single week and then there are those 31 other dullards who hate speaking to us.

    The media love didn't end there. The Sports Emmys were held on Monday night and one show tied the Winter Olympics for most awards of the session.

    No, it wasn't "Around the Horn," it was, of course, "Hard Knocks." It doesn't take Leonard Maltin to tell you what made "Hard Knocks" such a successful product for HBO last year any more than it takes someone with taste buds to explain the appeal of bacon.

    So, having conquered journalism and television, what is there left for our Rex to do? Win the Super Bowl, of course.

    We kid, we kid (although it would be nice if he could actually see his way clear to accomplishing that feat in less time than it took to find Bin Laden). The answer is publishing, of course, and Ryan's got a new book that's getting promoted all over the place.

    He was on Letterman talking about it on Monday night along with the Sal Alosi tripping incident, the poor character track records of this year's draft picks and why soccer is inferior to football. It should surprise no one to learn that Ryan was a natural next to Letterman and we'll likely see more interviews as his book tour ramps up further.

    The busy coach has even found time to engage in a fun little feud with Giants PR guy Pat Hanlon, who is one of the rare other good humored men around the game. It stems from Hanlon talking a little smack about Ryan's claim that the Jets would have beaten the Packers in the Super Bowl last year, one of the few moments when Ryan's boasts extended beyond the defensible.

    People jumped all over Ryan for that fairly indefensible assertion and many continue to act like he's some kind of blight on the football world. This week has made it abundantly clear that those people are wrong.


    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.