Stopping the Bad Rex Ryan Puns is No Mean Feat - NBC New York

Stopping the Bad Rex Ryan Puns is No Mean Feat



    Rex Ryan addressed the media on Wednesday, and as expected was peppered with questions about a bizarre series of foot fetish internet videos, allegedly containing Ryan and his wife of 23 years, Michelle. (Published Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010)

    It seems like a sad thing for Jets coach Rex Ryan. But it’s been a bonanza for reporters and headline writers.

    The issue, as created by the media in this age of journalistic nonsense and triviality, is purportedly Rex Ryan’s wife’s feet. A profile on Web site featuring sexual fantasies has come to light and it appears to detail the foot fetish of Ryan and his wife.  A woman’s bare feet virtually filled the screen on the web video-- and that unleashed a flood of puns and wisecracks.

    Among the headlines: “Tormented Rex Bares ‘Sole’ Over Kinky Feet Vids”; “Say it Ain’t Toe! Rex Mum on Vid;” “Now that’s Foot-Ball!”

    The Jets coach sheepishly refused to answer questions about the video. “This is a personal matter,” he said, “and I don’t intend to discuss it.”  But, when asked directly about Michelle, he brightened up: “My wife’s beautiful, she’s wonderful. We’ve been married for 23 years. She’s awesome.”

    The headline writers couldn’t resist writing about his press conference: “Doesn’t Deny He’s Sole Man, Says It’s a Personal Matter”; “Agony of De-Feet.”

    Punsters are like pundits: they can’t resist an opportunity to play with words. But it’s hardly a new phenomenon. If you go back to William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar,” there’s a scene in the first scene of the first act.

    Marullus, a tribune, asks a commoner in the street:


    “What trade art thou? Answer me directly.”

    “A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe conscience: which is indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.”

    Marullus: “What trade, thou knave? Thou naughty knave, what trade?

    Commoner: “Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me: yet. If you be out, sir, I can mend you.

    Marullus: “What meanest thou by that? mend me, thou saucy fellow!

    Commoner: “Why, sir, cobble you.”

    Flavius: “Thou are a cobbler, art thou?

    Commoner: “Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl. I meddle with no tradesman’s matters. I am indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes, when they are in great danger. “

    So, you see, there is truly nothing new under the sun. Poor Rex Ryan, whose only crime seems to be that he loves his wife, is just the latest victim of a wholesale assault by punsters on the issues of soles, souls and feet.

    We could pun on an international stage -- using melodies or phrases like “O Sole Mio” or “A Bien
    Tot. “ Or should that be “toe” ?

    Or, better still, we could make a New Year’s resolution to stop this. It would be no mean feat.