An unprecedented and frankly offensive thing happened today: a coach was asked questions about the team he’s playing, by reporters who cover that team.
Rex Ryan did his mandated conference call with Patriots reporters this afternoon, ahead of Monday night’s game in Foxboro. It was all going well until this question:
Question: You’ve lost eight of nine to the Patriots. Is that something that keeps you up at night considering how much time you spend talking about them?
Rex Ryan: “You know what? The only reason I talk about them is they’re the No. 1 team in our division. That’s where we want to be. You guys always say that I’m obsessed with them and all that. You guys are obsessed with them, not me. You’re the ones who talk about them every single day. I’ll tell you this, we prepare for them the same way we prepare for every team that we face. But do we want to beat them? Absolutely. Do I want to beat them more than any team? Yeah, because they’re the standard. They’ve won. They’re the ones who win the division. To me, that’s why. But do I obsess with them and all that? You guys write that I’ve lost seven of eight, so why are you even talking to me. I obviously have no clue how to attack them or defend them, so you guys should talk to somebody else who has a better record than I do against them.”
Rex, what’s the problem?
Question: Why are you mad at us?
Rex Ryan: “I don’t know. I just like the way you guys spin everything. You put everything I say, you take whatever it is, hey, you guys put it out there the way you want to, and I understand it. You guys have covered this matchup for years and years. We’ve got no business being on the same field. That’s what you’ve said. We lost seven of eight. I’ve lost seven of eight against them. So don’t talk to me. I’m sitting back here. I’ll answer the question, whatever, but I don’t know why you even bother.”
It does seem odd that Ryan, who seems to find reasons to talk about the Patriots even when he’s not playing them, would get so pissed off by questions about them in a week that he is.
But as the Herald’s Jeff Howe notes, Ryan was already testy in response to Patriots questions asked by Bills reporters in his morning session. So it’s either just one of those days, or Ryan is doing his usual “make the media focus on him so they don’t bother his players” schtick. (Which is a big reason his players love him.) Either way, I’m glad. Something newsworthy happening on a conference call is reason to celebrate. I hope he gets mad in his postgame presser when reporters mention the Patriots.