To me, the upshot of this whole Rex Ryan foot fetish fiasco is that the Jets really should have done a more thorough background check before they hired him. Embarrassing online videos like this can completely derail a team’s season. Just look at what happened to the Rams back in 2005 when that footage surfaced of head coach Winnebago Man.
If you remember, Rex Ryan was passed over for the Ravens head coaching job two years ago, even though he was a highly regarded coordinator at the time. Now, I’m not saying the Ravens knew anything about these disgusting, shameful videos when they made that decision. But I am saying that I’m heavily implying it in a way that could not get me sued for libel.
Of course, I believe in every person’s right to privacy, no matter what kind of dirty, sinful non-procreative sexual nastiness they may get up to in their own horrible homes. But I also believe that you forfeit that right to privacy if you post a video of yourself to the internet. Or if someone steals a video from you and posts it without your knowledge. Or if someone has taken footage of you from across a darkened alley. You’re just asking for trouble if your goings-on can be filmed from 300 feet away with a high-powered telescopic night-vision camera.
In my book, the fact that you’re even mentioned in any way on the internet means you are fair game–particularly if you are mentioned on my site Pro Football Talk, which is mine, by me, Mike Florio. If you wanted to remain so private, maybe you should have thought of that before you decided to be good at football in the internet age. Don’t blame me for your poor life choices, buddy.
If I had received this tip about Rex Ryan, would I have run with it? Absolutely. Fans pay a lot of money to watch and root for their teams, and they have the right to know if the head coach’s wife is a complete freak in the sack. And fans of opposing teams have the right to a fresh batch of heckle fodder.
Not to mention my obligation as a fully accredited, NBC-approved Rumor-monger. If a rumor like this came my way, it would be my duty to report it. If I didn’t, that would make me no better than The New York Times, which decided to ignore this story for a whole day. They denied themselves the opportunity to put a picture of Rex Ryan’s filthy, filthy wife on their front page with a hilarious headline, like the Daily News did.
And to those who say these sordid details have nothing to do with his job, they do once I report on them. At that point, all the media attention that I focus on Rex becomes a potential distraction, thus forcing me to ask my Jets sources how he’s dealing with it. And then I would also have to ask myself how I managed to snag such a scoop and be so handsome at the same time.