Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Book: Rex Ryan fined thin-skinned players, coaches
Nicholas Dawidoff’s behind-the-scenes book about the 2011 Jets, “Collision Low Crossers,’’ was released Tuesday but written well before then – and before the recent bullying controversy that engulfed the Dolphins.
In light of that episode a passage on pages 72 and 73 is particularly timely, and revealing.
Dawidoff tells of a team-bonding game of “Jets Pictionary’’ in which a player drew then-GM Mike Tannenbaum, who is Jewish, as a sheriff wearing a Star of David.
“In many communities that would have been offensive, but at the facility, neither Tannenbaum nor anybody else considered the star a big deal. In football, everybody was as aware of race and ethnicity as the rest of society. Football people just tended to talk about it all, and since none of them softened the blow for anybody, many differences seemed less different.
“Around the facility, where everything was joked about, what got you ostracized was the inability to take it. There was simply no such thing as political correctness in a football meeting room. Ryan urged those who worked for him to grow ‘skin like an armadillo’ and advised them that the best way to approach anything was ‘blunt-force trauma.’
"With the Jets, Ryan imposed sensitivity fines on thin-skinned players and coaches.’’