A top-secret poll by a well-known sports magazine asked over 100 NFL players to name (anonymously) the most overrated coach in football.
Hands down, Rex Ryan won the prize. Not since Norma Desmond came down those stairs for her closeup has there been such a surprise winner.
Ryan is, by far, the most blustery, man-eating coach in recent years. In a field where ego and appetite for self-importance are hors d'oeuvres for the big Super Bowl meal, Rex has rung the dinner bell more times than all the SB winners in the past ten years.
Part of the requirement to be considered overrated is to win nothing, but promise the world everything. In this category Rex Ryan is no best supporting actor. He has come in from the cold without a trophy more times than the actress who plays Erika Kane.
SI magazine did not reveal which New York Jets voted in the poll (presumably about three players from each of the 32 teams must have been called). Are there three Jets who'd turn on Tyrannosaurus Rex? Off-hand we can only think of two: Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez.
With the aplomb of Mack the Knife in the dark, voters told SI that Rex is a notorious showboater who puts his bombast above the losses. We used to think this was good, taking the heat off inept and underwhelming players.
We are still puzzled how a man who seldom wins regular games, let alone playoff games, can be overrated. NFL players must think Rex is incapable of coaching a team to any victories.
If the smug fans up in New England are chuckling, they likely didn't see who came in second in the contest: yes, the first runner-up is also the first to lose. Bill Belichick who has gone to the Super Bowl five times in a decade was dismissed as second-most overrated. Belichick likely would respond like Mark Twain: rumors of his demise are greatly exaggerated.
Under the circumstances, we conclude that the poll actually reveals who the most well-known celebrities are in coaching ranks. As our old journalism teacher used to say, as long as they spell the name correctly, you shouldn't mind being in the headlines.