It is possible that many people, to this point in Rex Ryan's work as an author, are unaware of the story Ryan describes on page 174 of Play Like You Mean It. In the book Ryan describes how he asked Commissioner Roger Goodell to scream at Santonio Holmes to bring the wide receiver and the coach closer.
Fortunately, Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe did notice, and he worked up a nice piece, after talking to Goodell, about the problems that such a story creates.
Quickly, here's what happened (I'm trying to save you $17.00 on Amazon, folks): Ryan wanted to get tight with his new wide receiver, who'd had problems with the league. So, Ryan called Goodell and asked him for a favor. Goodell complied by coming to Ryan's office and chewing out Ryan in front of Holmes. Then he chewed out Holmes directly.
"Then I said [to Goodell], 'I'd like for you to try to bring [Holmes] closer to me.' Goodell said okay, but he wanted to know what I had in mind," Ryan writes in his book, per Bedard. "I said, 'When the three of us sit down, I want you to take the first 10 minutes of the conversation to rip my ass in front of Santonio -- about what I've done off the field, how I've embarrassed the league. That is all true about me.
"Then I asked if he would turn and give both barrels to Holmes. I wanted the commissioner to let Santonio know he hadn’t done what he should, either, in being a good employee of the NFL."
|Rex Ryan, Author|
Ryan writes that his "goal" was to have he and Holmes "in the same boat" after the talk.
That's totally cool. What's not totally cool? The commissioner of the National Football League playing the role of "pawn" in a scheme cooked up in Ryan's own kitchen.
Bedard requested an interview with Goodell at the NFL owners' meetings in Indy but was given a "71-second walk-and-talk" instead. During the brief interview Goodell defended his actions with Ryan and Holmes. He also said that the conversation with Holmes and Ryan did not give the Jets an additional competitive advantage over other teams.
"I don’t look at it that way," Goodell said. "I look at it as I was asked to try to help a young man who I like very much, and we're going to continue to try to do whatever we can to make sure that he's in the best position to continue his career and do the right things on and off the field."
The problem here, of course, is that Goodell might not necessarily be willing to take a train down to Charlotte (or, as Bedard notes, out to Seattle) and help new Panthers coach Ron Rivera and disgruntled wideout Steve Smith become best friends.
And if he won't do that for the Panthers, then he's inherently given the Jets a leg up over other teams, which won't sit well with 30 other teams (excluding the Giants) who already might believe that New York-area teams get an advantage over other clubs.
That might not have been what Goodell meant to do, but it's how Ryan portrayed it in the book. Although at least that's humorously ironic considering Goodell's favor was ripping Ryan for his public behavior.
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