Sad news out of New York this morning; an era is over. Rex Ryan had lap-band surgery.
The Daily News broke this one in the middle of the night, and proudly slapped an "EXCLUSIVE" banner on it. And why not? This is big news. Ryan's gut has made more headlines in the city than Lindsay Lohan over the past year. It was a shining beacon of adipose tissue, tell Jets fans not to worry, everything was going to be all right.
And now, it's leaving us. The man who consumed 7,000 calories a day will soon be full after just a few bites. In a matter of months, 340-pound Ryan will shrivel to a shadow of his former self; like John Daly, his head will appear a little too big, his clothes won't fit, and his jolliness level will plummet.
You're always concerned," Ryan said at the time. "I want to see my kids grow, I want to see my grandkids. The thing that gets me is, my cholesterol is fine, my blood pressure is fine. I'm a genetic freak, I guess."
We don't necessarily believe that his blood pressure and cholesterol were normal, but we don't begrudge him getting the procedure done. We've had fun with Ryan over the past year, mostly via cheap shots about his appearance. But we do it out of love, and it would be hypocritical to dwell on NFL players dying young if we didn't also show concern for the obese coaches among us.
So enjoy your new body, Rex. And we can recommend a beer that tastes great and is less filling.