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How to Win

Bulletin Board Material

Have coaches been doing it wrong all these years?

According to sports wisdom, coaches were never supposed to say anything to rile up an opponent. You never wanted to provide something that the other team could put up on its bulletin board for motivation.

Now here comes New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan, who seemingly breaks that rule every time he opens his mouth.

This is what he had to say the day he was introduced as Jets head coach: “The message to the rest of the league is, hey, the Jets are coming, and we’re going to give you everything we got. And I think that’s going to be more than you can handle.”

So Ryan began his stay in New York not only talking trash to one opponent, but to every possible opponent.

“I just build our guys up,” he said at one point this year. “If it’s trash talking that I believe in our football team, then, yes, I agree with that statement. I’m the biggest trash talker there is. I don’t disrespect anybody else. I just have confidence in our football team. I don’t mean to be disrespectful at all to opponents.”

Keep in mind that if the Colts hadn’t rested their starters against the Jets back in December, then Ryan’s team might not even be playing now, and he would be just another windbag. But the fact is that the Jets ARE playing now, and he is breaking all the rules.

Maybe coaches should follow his example a bit more, and be bolder with their pronouncements. It’s not everyone’s style, of course, but Ryan has certainly provided a model of how a coach can inspire a team purely through force of his personality.


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