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Rex Ryan makes movie history

Craig (Rex Ryan), Donny (Adam Sandler), Todd (Andy

Craig (Rex Ryan), Donny (Adam Sandler), Todd (Andy Samberg) and Brie (Ciara) in Columbia PIctures' comedy THAT'S MY BOY. Credit: Photo by Tracy Bennett

Rex Ryan does a decent acting job in Adam Sandler film “That’s My Boy.’’ That in itself is unusual for a coach, but what is more unusual is that unlike most active coaches who have appeared in movies he plays not himself but a lawyer named Jim Nance (for the former Patriots and Jets fullback).

From Giants manager John McGraw in “One Touch of Nature” (1917) through Don Shula in “Ace Ventura: Pete Detective” (1994), Jim Boeheim in “He Got Game’’ (1998), a bevy of SEC coaches in “The Blind Side’’ (2009) and many others, coaches tend to play themselves.

Not Ryan, of whom Sandler said, “He stepped in there and nailed it.’’

I came up empty on other active coaches who played characters other than themselves in films so I begged for help on Twitter, where followers suggested two 1992 flicks: Jerry Tarkanian in “Honeymoon in Vegas,’’ when he (briefly) coached the Spurs, and the Dodgers’ Tommy Lasorda as Coach Cannoli in “Ladybugs.’’

As for Sandler’s next coach cameo, Ryan had a suggestion: “Belichick,’’ he said. “I think he would be good. There is no doubt. He's a funny guy. He just doesn't let people know it."

New York Sports