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NY Jets Coach Rex Ryan Really Got Into the Spirit of an MMA Event at Strikeforce: Miami

Rex Ryan middle finger
(Rex Ryan: a jowly, unkempt Johnny Cash for the modern age.)

If you watched the Showtime broadcast of Strikeforce: Miami on Saturday night then you probably saw the cageside interview with New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, where his comments were partially drowned out by the chorus of boos from the Florida crowd. Or, if you got up to make yourself a sandwich and wonder why they hadn’t opted to try and squeeze in another fight from the undercard, maybe you missed it altogether. Regardless, the crowd at the BankAtlantic Center had more verbal abuse in store for Ryan throughout the night, and at some point he evidently got fed up and resorted to that great intellectual equalizer, the obscene gesture. This was naturally followed by the media storm, and ensuing hollow apology, all within just a little over 24 hours.

Fifty years ago, if Bear Bryant had gone to a boxing match and responded to a fan’s jeering with a middle finger, one gets the sense that it would not have been news. For one, nobody would have been there to snap a picture with their cell phone. For another, the fan on the receiving end of the finger would probably have just been glad to get away without being punched in the mouth.

But we live in a different era. Ryan has already apologized for the gesture, calling it “stupid and inappropriate,” and the Jets have issued a statement on it. There’s also a very real possibility that he’ll face a fine from the NFL as a result of all this, though his players seem to think it was pretty awesome:

"I’m not surprised," said Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis, who seemed amused. "He’s one of those guys who if you come at me, I’m coming at you. It was all in fun. They were probably yelling and talking stuff at him and it ticked him off. Fans can be like that."

Yes they can, particularly at an MMA event, where some fans seem to be paying solely for the opportunity to boo everything they see, and others maintain constant vigilance for anything that might serve as an excuse to start a fight.  Factor in the beer and the halter tops, and you’ve got yourself a volatile cross section of humanity charged up with bloodlust and choking on the smoke from the pyrotechnics.

In the face of all that, you really can’t get too worked up over a guy giving another guy the finger. As MMA event etiquette goes, that’s downright civil. Besides, how long is Ryan supposed to stand there and let Dan Henderson yell at him about his team’s inability to stop Peyton Manning before something in him just snaps? 

Cagepotato Comments

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G Funk- February 2, 2010 at 10:47 am
Fuck you too Rex! The NFL fine is just retarded though.

Jets fans are seriously the douche-scum of the earth. Growing up in the South East nearly all Jets fans were grease-ball cocks who always talked chit about South Fla. though they wouldnt go back to the North East where life sucks frozen empty balls. Its fucking paradise down here and all you North East faggots knows cause you're always fucking down here.
Bloodlust- February 2, 2010 at 6:06 am
As a Jets fan, I love me some Rex Ryan. The attitude he's brought to the team has been sorely missed for years. I knew he was a mma fan from the day he first identified the Jets as a "ground and pound" offense.
Dolphin fans are particularly annoying. Growing up in the northeast, nearly all Dolphin fans were half a queer Marino nut huggers who were probably brought to the Fish first by their pretty colors and then roped in by Danny's baby blues and Isotoner collection.
burmese bandit- February 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm
burmese bandit- February 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm
Clearly he was just saying he is a Nick Diaz fan
meanfinger- February 1, 2010 at 9:58 am
he shoulda called out bill "the queer coach from the patriots" billichick.. gay fans from boston please correct the spelling of his last name.

he's the most normal coach in the history of the NFL. i gotta give him some props for goin into enemy territory and not being a bitch... im sure he coulda went to a few pro bowl parties that night.. but its good to see he went where he did.
Belvey631- February 1, 2010 at 8:28 am
WAR Rex Ryan!!
iDestroy- February 1, 2010 at 8:23 am

Mark Sanchez sucks.
nsiegel5- February 1, 2010 at 8:07 am
This has gotten more news coverage in ny then anything anyone else has done for MMA thus far
PingPong- February 1, 2010 at 7:46 am
I was at the event and those fans were brutal, This is why we need Teddy Roosevelt back in the white house.
TheFactor- February 1, 2010 at 7:43 am
Hilarious ... good for him. Too bad about that fine though .. NFL always get their footbal panties in a bunch over this stuff ... for the gentlemans sport that it is.
Psully- February 1, 2010 at 7:41 am
MMA fans and football fans are assholes, and water is wet.