Rex Ryan

I enjoyed this profile of Rex Ryan, the undisputed star (leaving aside Antonio Cromartie trying to recite the names of his eight kids from six women) of this past season's Hard Knocks, a big man both literally and figuratively, the charismatic antihero of the NFL. If you watched the show, the profile won't surprise you, but the writing makes it worth a return visit:

Wherever he wanders, Ryan is hard to miss. An immense man whose thick foothills of neck and haunch swell into a spectacular butte at the midsection, he possesses a personal geography that, from first-and-10 distance, assumes a form that follows his function — Ryan looks like nothing more than an extra-large football.


Some people question why the profession requires 90-hour weeks; with men like Buddy Ryan, a game plan is their work of creation. Coaches say that on the best teams, only 10 percent of the time do all 11 players perform their roles as scripted. Every night all over America, sleeping badly on office air mattresses are overweight middle-aged men with faltering marriages.