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Compared to Ndamukong Suh, Rex Ryan is a saint

Jets coach vs Lion Suh facing opposite each other

It’s only after a petty robber stands next to a serial killer does the former’s actions seem less severe. When Rex Ryan cursed out a fan during the New England Patriots vs. New York Jets game, the ensuing $75,000 fine seemed just by many.

And then the Ndamukong Suh’s stomping episode put things into perspective.

Although both incidents are similar, the differences between the two highlights how Ryan’s punishment is unjust.

Comparing crimes

During the Thanksgiving matchup between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, Suh kicked a Packer player who was on the ground after an entangled confrontation. The officials immediately ejected Suh and a fine and suspension is already expected. The incident occurred in the third quarter when Suh and Evan Dietrich-Smith locked in with each other at the end of a play.

Although similar to Ryan, in that the altercation happened outside the game of play and was caught by cameras, the key difference is that the Ryan sound off was never meant to be heard or seen. Millions of viewers could not have avoided seeing the Suh kick because it transpired live during the national television coverage.

But for Ryan, if the few hecklers did not have a camera phone handy, the Jets’ head coach would not be at the center of attention by the media.

What’s expected of coaches & football players?

Acknowledging that in this day in age there is no privacy or secrecy, Rex Ryan unfortunately cannot avoid his actions going unnoticed. Despite this, Ryan’s reaction is more understandable than Suh’s because Suh’s job duties calls for composure.

Suh’s work entails being a productive defensive lineman. It’s inherent that as a defensive football player there will be an aggressive nature to the game. Suh will always face pushing and shoving. Yet, as a professional he should expect this and handle himself appropriately. Countless other NFL linemen do.

Comparatively, Rex Ryan is meant to coach his team to win. That’s his primary and principle duty. It is not to put up with heckling fans. So there needs to be a bit more understanding of why a head coach will react irresponsibly to a taunting fan; especially when losing a game against an AFC East divisional rival.

Suh is conditioned to endure the physical nature of the game since the start of his football career but putting up with aggressive spectators is not in the scope of head coaches. Ryan should know better but it’s understandable for him to react as any other person would. How many people have not responded with the same use of profanity?

On the other hand, physically attacking a person who is laying down is an action very few will commit.

Ryan has a history of having a foul mouth. Suh is classified as a dirty player. Both have a history of their most recent actions and are repeat offenders. Again, though, there has to be a distinction between verbally and physically attacking someone. Ryan simply responded with words; no physical harm was done. He did not randomly insult a fan.

And to that point, why was a fan ever in a position to heckle a team personnel? There has to be some accountability too on the part of the fan. Anywhere else, where can you instigate someone and not expect an insult in return? The fan should be at fault too and, to some extent, the NFL as well for allowing such people to be that close in proximity. Just because this is a sports event should not excuse “fans” to be carelessly insulting. Irregardless if Ryan is an outspoken coach.

Last Call: Ryan vs. Jim Schwartz

For further proof of the unfair treatment towards the Jets’ head coach, recall the head coach altercation between Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh at the end of the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers game.

Schwartz was displeased with Harbaugh’s dismissive approach when they went to shake hands and so Schwartz ran after Harbaugh to confront him. Players along with coaches managed to get in between both coaches and settle the escalating emotions.

However, in this incident the NFL chose not to fine either coach, citing that no actual fight took place. So why is Ryan fined if the gravity of his actions is much less than the Schartz-Harbaugh confrontation? Ryan did not physically attack someone like Suh did. Nor did he seek to confront someone else, like Schwartz did. He merely responded to a heckler in passing in a normal response many of us would take. Ryan by no means is innocent, just not as guilty as everyone is making him out to be.

Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall, cool13902008

I don't know. Sometimes it feels like my writing & thoughts are way off. Who knows if it'll help anyone or if it means anything.

Written by Nassau Jones

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