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Rex Ryan Probably Didn't Mean To Encourage Fan Violence, But That's Not The Point

Yesterday, Rex Ryan, the annoying and loud coach of TBL’s New York Jets said something outrageous that got people up in arms. I know. The shock is still wearing off over here.

“I don’t know why they’d be here. They’re coming into our stadium. It’s probably not recommended that you wear Cowboys stuff, I would think.”

Normally, that’s just regular teasing of fans from the other team. In the wake of the Bryan Stow beating, and now the death of a soccer fan outside Wembley Stadium, it’s not really the time to be saying things like that. Personally, I would wag my finger at Rex, say he’s a douche and move on. I don’t have newspapers to sell or national columnists to shout over on PTI. Bill Plaschke does. From the LA Times:

But the sports world has changed, it’s now colorful and caustic, and Ryan should have known better than to urge Jets fans to defend their turf against fans who just happen to cheer for the other team.

Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, needs to immediately fine Ryan for these comments and issue an edict warning NFL coaches against issuing similar statements.

This is the easiest column ever. (Unless you count this one) Plaschke is basically blaming rock ‘n roll for societies ills. Roger Goodell does not need to be invited to fine someone. I bet he had a fine lined up for Rex Ryan as soon as the lockout ended. He’s probably just been waiting for an excuse.

Of course, Rex clarified his poor choice of words today. From The New York Daily News:

“If it was taken that way, it certainly wasn’t my intention to be taken that way,” Ryan said today. “I certainly didn’t mean it to come out like that if that’s the way it was taken. I’m serious about it. I think that our guys should be… our stadium doesn’t need to have visiting color jerseys. I want to have our stadium filled. If it’s somebody else come to enjoy the game, that’s fine. I’m not calling for our guys to do anything. The safety of every fan is important to everybody in this organization, including me. But would I prefer not to see another team’s jersey? Absolutely. I would to see our stadium just in our colors.”

“We have such a fanbase now that these tickets ought to be hard to get and Jet fans aren’t going to give their tickets to the Cowboy fans,” Ryan added. “I don’t see our fans doing that.”

My question is, instead of acting like angry finger-pointers, why can’t we use Ryan’s original comments – or the actual, awful incidents themselves – as an excuse for columnists nationwide to write to ticket-holding fans to get their heads out of their collective ass? Stop acting like animals. Stop fighting at games. Leave people you don’t know alone. Just stop being assholes. Why do we have to pretend that Rex Ryan is the problem? Just because he’s from the school of hard knocks doesn’t mean he has anything to do with these “fans” behave in public. I guess that doesn’t make for a tidy column though.

When I was growing up and I would get bent out of shape after a sporting event, my mother would always say, “Do you still have to go to school tomorrow? Do I still have to go to work tomorrow? Well then I guess the game doesn’t matter that much.” Of course, she was right. It didn’t make me feel any better when a team I was rooting for lost, but it was the truth. If sport events do become life-or-death and someone does miss school or work the next day, that has nothing to do with the action on the field or the comments of a loudmouth coach. No matter how much you fine him.

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