Rex and his twin brother Rob looked like the wrestling tag team of Haystacks Calhoun and Andre The Giant in a Nashville bar over the weekend.
No matter who provoked the brief altercation that of course made its way onto social media and quickly went viral, it was a sad sight: Two out-of-work, overweight football coaches scuffling with a guy half their size.
Maybe the guy was asking Rex to show him the Super Bowl rings he won with the Jets.
Rex now lives in Nashville and he and Rob were at Game 3 of the Predators-Penguins Stanley Cup Finals game Saturday night dressed in their oversized Predators jerseys. Rex took part in a ceremonial smashing of a car before the game outside the arena.
Then a video surfaced late Sunday night of Buddy’s boys teaming up to take on a patron at what was reported to be Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville bar. There was some shoving by Rex and the guy before Rex tagged off to Rob, who with his long reach put a choke hold on the opponent by grabbing his throat until a bar manager stepped it to break things up. The video was posted on Twitter by Cooper Stefaniak, a former captain of the Hobart College lacrosse team in upstate New York.
Earlier Sunday, Rex and Rob were pictured sitting at a table by the open-air portion of same bar with one observer saying they were greeting fans.
Really, can anybody be surprised that Rex and Rob are teaming up for double trouble now that neither one has a football job? Well, Rex does work for ESPN now, so it will be interesting to see if the network’s personal conduct policy is as tough as Roger Goodell’s. If either Ryan ever hopes to coach, that video will be a bad look in the job interview.
The Ryans caused their share of mayhem as little kids — well, they were never really little — and now they are just big kids.
I used to love watching wrestling years ago and the tag team matches were my favorites. Rex and Rob would be awesome together on the circuit, better than they were together last season in the NFL. Rob worked for Rex in Buffalo and both were fired with one game remaining in the regular season.
So, on Sunday, there was Rex in his Bryce Harper jersey — his Aaron Judge and Michael Conforto jerseys must not have been back from the cleaners — and Rob was wearing a Clemson t-shirt to support Rex’s son Seth, who was the holder and occasional wide receiver on Clemson’s 2016 national championship team.
Rex and Rob are the perfect wrestling tag team, especially now that Rex appears to have put back a chunk of the weight he lost after having lap band surgery in 2010. He had weighed 348 prior to the surgery in March of 2010, lost 140 pounds by March of 2013, but by last season in Buffalo had gained back about 30 and now it looks like quite a bit more. He’s apparently back to eating very well, which will help him if he makes wrestling his new career. Rex last year had his lap band removed in a show of togetherness with Rob, who had complications after he had lap band surgery.
Calhoun used to bounce his opponents off his stomach, sending them flying into the ropes and then to the mat before he would pounce on them and pin them. It was one of his signature moves. Rob, if not Rex, certainly seems capable of pulling off that maneuver.
Without the details of who instigated the brief dustup — by the end of the 10-second video, it was clear Rex was trying to remove himself from the situation as Rob directed his anger at another patron — it’s hard to assign blame, other than as soon as trouble arrives, the Ryan Bros should have departed.
Rex has been a magnet for getting grief when he’s out in public. His big mouth, inflated opinion of his coaching skills and Super Bowl predictions make him an easy target.
Who can forget Rex saying hello to heckling fans with his middle finger at a mixed martial arts event in Sunrise, Fla., in January of 2010 following his first season with the Jets? It was caught on video by a fan on his cell phone camera. Ryan was fined $50,000 by the Jets and he called his behavior “stupid and inappropriate.”
Proving his anger is not solely directed at Dolphins fans, Ryan outdid himself on the way to the locker room at halftime of a Jets loss to the Patriots in 2011 at MetLife Stadium.
As he approached the entrance, Ryan was verbally assaulted by Jets fans.
“Hey, Rex, Belichick is better than you,” one fan said.
Ryan reacted in character. He didn’t break stride as he opened his mouth to respond.
“Shut the f— up,” he fired back.
The NFL fined him $75,000.
Ryan did plenty of cringe-worthy things in his six years as the coach of the Jets. He’s not their problem anymore. He lasted only two years in Buffalo and was tame by comparison in a smaller market.
Now he is ESPN’s problem. They hired him to add juice to their football studio shows. Ryan can be quite entertaining, but it’s not like he provided stand-up comedy material in every one of his press conferences. Once or twice a week he would come up with a memorable line or two.
ESPN will be disappointed if it thinks he’s going to have viewers doubled over in laughter every Sunday. If he falls short of expectations, they can always send him and Rob to a different bar every week with a camera crew and just wait for something to happen.