Theme: Rex Ryan had a winning strategy and I didn't see it.
So, in the week leading up to Rex Ryan and the Jets playoff game against the Patriots, Ryan shot his mouth off about Brady and Belichick and how "personal" his beef was with the Pats.
I'm like, dude, you're a head coach of a nationally ranked football team. You're a leader and captain of your ship. You're the elite. Stop talking smack! Let your linemen talk smack. You have to rise above it and guide the vessel.
I think I might have been wrong.
Let's see, what did that smack talk produce? Ryan galvanized his team. They shut the Pats down and won handily. Two players being interviewed before the game talked about how personal it was with them. Ryan had gotten into their heads. The whole team had a chip on their shoulders and they were out for blood. (Pats had beat them into the ground earlier this year with a 45-3 blowout, btw.)
Then, AFTER the game, after the big win against his personal rivalry of Brady and Belicheck, Ryan pulls a 180! I'm like, huh? In his post game interview, Ryan's talking about how Brady is a formidable opponent, the best there is, and how Belichick is the greatest coach in the NFL, probably the best coach of all time. He was sugar coating it so much I about had an insulin rush.
I have to admit, the guy knew what he was doing. Here's Ryan's winning game plan:
1. Make it personal. Engage your team in your vision and have them make it personal, too.
2. Study your opponent. Ryan admits he watched the entire footage of the Pats grinding them into the ground 45-3 about 20 times.
3. Elevate your victory. When you've conquered your created foe, lavish him/them with praise, thus making the win even more substantial.
Could I say Rex Ryan was tilting at windmills? Maybe. Could I say he had the Pats beat before the game even started? Definitely.
P.S. Here's a funny tweet from Jon Acuff (Stuff Christians Like blog): "Rex Ryan announces there's a Pittsburgh hot dog vendor who once slighted him. It's personal with Steelers."