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Play Like You Mean It

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Sometimes successful and often controversial, Coach Rex Ryan has kept the New York Jets in the media spotlight since 2009. In his new autobiography, Play Like You Mean It, Ryan reflects on his time in the NFL including his stint on television during HBO’s Hard Knocks series.

Click on the Listen link above to hear Bill's interview with Coach Ryan.

Bill's Thoughts on Play Like You Mean It

New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan is of the "knock the snot out of 'em" school of football strategy. He says so himself.

His father, Buddy Ryan, was also a pro football coach, and Rex, referring to himself and his twin brother, celebrates his dad's single-minded dedication to the game thusly:

"My dad didn’t even know we'd been born until we were three days old."

Coach Rex likes to think of himself as similarly dedicated, though his sense of humor is probably better than his father's.

Play Like You Mean It, which Ryan "wrote" with the assistance of former Sports Illustrated editor Don Yaeger, is not an especially illuminating book, though it has its moments. At one point, Coach Ryan comes out against the eighteen game schedule the owners have been trying to institute. He claims that in a longer season, "the product would suffer." It would be heartening if he'd said the health of the players would also suffer, but, hey, in Play Like You Mean It, you grab what's available. Ryan expressed his opinion well in advance of the lockout, and now he has adopted a diplomatically neutral posture regarding matters over which the owners and players differ.

Anyway, 214 pages into his book, Rex Ryan says "Football is that rush like being shot out of a cannon after gulping 20 energy drinks." If you find that sort of analogy appealing, perhaps Play Like You Mean It is for you.

This segment aired on May 7, 2011.


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