When Rex Ryan gets around to thinking about the dedication for his forthcoming book, he should really think long and hard about giving the honor to the Indianapolis Colts and their president Bill Polian.
If those Colts had decided to go all out for an undefeated season in Week 16 at home against the Jets, there's a pretty good chance that Ryan would have been the coach of an 8-8 team that finished out of the playoffs. If that happens, there is no run to the AFC Championship Game, no praise given to the way the coach's brash attitude inspired confidence in his charges and no deal to write his memoirs one year into his head coaching career.
Rex probably doesn't see things that way which is a good thing. He isn't a media darling with a summer reality show on HBO and publishers interested in his memoir because he's a modest character. It's the ego that sells and it's the ego that makes it possible for a football coach to get a deal like this.
One question that remains to be seen is whether or not the book actually turns out to be a memoir or if Ryan becomes the latest person to take a whack at writing the Great American Novel. The book, which is being written with former Sports Illustrated writer Don Yaeger, proposes to be as much a leadership manual as it is a straight history of the life and times of Ryan. It's a fairly typical approach for books by coaches from around the world of sports, including a recently released tome by Saints coach Sean Payton.
The big difference is that most other entries in this genre come out after the coach in question has actually used his leadership skills to achieve the ultimate goal in his field. This book is slated to drop on Kindles and shelves in 2011 by which point Ryan may have climbed to the top of the mountain. If he hasn't, though, it will read sort of like a book by Michael Dukakis on running a successful Presidential campaign.
Of course, all of that just means that the title for the book might write itself. Just look for "Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Rex Ryan's Guide to Leadership" at the top of a best-seller list near you.