It’s not exactly a stretch to call Rex Ryan one of the most polarizing men in the NFL. Despite all his “goddamn snack” gusto – and his bold proclamations that he’d bring the New York Jets back to the Super Bowl – he was unceremoniously canned by the team at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season.
Undaunted, Rex shuffled off to Buffalo, a city that just might be his spiritual home. Since being hired as Bills coach in January, Ryan has shown that he hasn’t lost a step – at least when it comes to outrageous stunts and notebook-filling quotes. Most of the so-called experts chalked it all up to the bluster of a man who’d lost his mojo, but after leading the Bills to an upset win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, Ryan got the last laugh.
Now, as he prepares for Sunday’s showdown with the New England Patriots, we’re looking back at Ryan’s greatest hits since blowing into Buffalo – a pattern of IDGAF behavior that proves while his team may have changed, Rex most certainly hasn’t.
January 13, 2015: Rex Is Ready
Ryan’s arrival in Buffalo is heralded as the beginning of a new era, and the Bills mark the occasion by taking him out for beers with the franchise’s all-time passing leader, Hall of Famer Jim Kelly – oh, and presenting him with a giant “Welcome Rex” pizza. Sensing that he has finally found a team that truly understands him, Rex guarantees to end the Bills’ 15-year playoff drought and promises his boys will “lead the league in defense.” Then he probably got some wings at Duff’s.
January 26, 2015: Rex Is Stuffed
On the cusp of his mortal enemies the New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl, Ryan masks his frustrations the only way he knows how – with more pizza. In this case, he appears alongside Tony Romo in an ad for Pizza Hut’s “Triple Cheese Covered Stuffed Crust” monstrosity, which is both disgusting and strangely fitting, since that was his nickname in college.
February 2, 2015: Rex’s Revisionist History
Having already put his New Jersey home on the market and given the majority of his Jets apparel to charity, Rex makes the breakup official by having the tattoo on his right bicep – which formerly showed his wife wearing a green jersey – recolored Bills blue. You see, Buffalo? He really does love you.
February 25th, 2015: Revvin’ Rex
Days after showing up at the NFL Combine in a Thurman Thomas jersey, Rex takes yet another step towards fully ingratiating himself with every Bills backer from Tonawanda by getting a huge, team-branded truck. The custom pickup is Bills themed from the front grill to the back bumper, and is pretty fucking awesome. No word if he also splurged for Bills floor mats while waiting in line at AutoZone, but, c’mon, this is Rex. You know he did.
April 14th, 2015: Rex With a Side of Ranch
Ryan goes back to the Big Tree Inn, a bar located near Ralph Wilson Stadium, with Kelly and fellow Bills legend Thurman Thomas in tow. Surrounded by fans, Bud Lights and platters of wings, Rex once again proclaims his love for the city of Buffalo, and gets the coveted Kelly seal of approval: “It took me five minutes to realize that this guy’s cool.”