Raissman: Reasons why TV gig won’t be cakewalk for Rex Ryan

By on December 14, 2014

Rex Ryan will have a bull's-eye on his back if he winds up on TV talking NFL next year.Daily News Photo Illustration Rex Ryan will have a bull’s-eye on his back if he winds up on TV talking NFL next year.

If Rex Ryan gets fired and decides to go into television, the bull’s-eye on his back will be bigger than the one he has worn during his six seasons coaching the Jets.

More than three years ago, Ryan’s TV bandwagon began picking up a few bodies (we compared him to John Madden) and now is jammed with passengers who believe his personality and verbal stylings make him a sure thing to succeed in an NFL TV studio setting or as a game analyst.

Not so fast.

This all may sound good, but it’s bad news, very bad news, for Ryan. Too much is expected of someone entering the business with this kind of hype. In this world Ryan might choose to enter, great expectations are a terrible thing. Once Ryan is in front of a camera, every word coming out of his mouth will be dissected. Every opinion he issues will be over-analyzed. With the bar set over the moon, Ryan will be under intense scrutiny and major pressure.

Especially from the networks competing with the one that hires him. The competition’s operatives will be out to embarrass him, looking to tear Ryan to shreds.

The TV sports landscape is littered with mouths, once labeled “can’t miss” propositions, who failed, miserably. Guys such as Tiki Barber. Or Pat Riley. Or Joe Montana. The very same suits who stood by their side when they were introduced as the next great thing were nowhere to be found, not around to lend any support, when the voices began flaming out.

The safer route for Ryan would be out in the field analyzing games airing in regional markets. Work in the sticks before coming to Broadway. That was Madden’s road to greatness. Ryan won’t travel the same sane path. He doesn’t have the time. The network hiring him will be paying mostly for the buzz his big mouth brings.

Already, before Ryan’s coaching future has been decided, there is industry backlash being directed at him.

“Is Rex going to make that (bleeping) much of a difference (to a network)?” an NFL TV source asked. “Rex better watch his mouth because he’s going to get (bleeping) hammered. If he starts being brash Rex and starts taking players and coaches apart, they are going to ask what did he ever win? No one gives a damn that he went to two AFC Championship games and lost them both. As a head coach, Rex Ryan has accomplished nothing.”

Still, the network suit who hires him will be paying Rex to be the same Rex who entered talking trash when he came to the Jets in 2009. That Rex ticked off many of his peers. On national TV, in a studio show setting, the echo effect of his strong, outrageous opinions will be deafening. If Ryan goes into TV with both eyes fixed on his next coaching job, his brand of candor may not sit well with owners, and GMs, who do the hiring.

So, while performing under a microscope Ryan will be boxed in. If he says too much on TV, his path back to coaching could be blocked. If he says too little is he worth the freight? Network sources said Ryan would likely be offered between $ 2 million and $ 2.5 million per.

Nice dough, but not nearly enough for someone carrying the burden of such great expectations.


Warning: This analyst could be hazardous to your sensibilities.

That’s what Phil Simms told viewers before Cardinals-Rams Thursday on NFLN. He warned the unwashed masses he was about to use a cliché. Oh my God!

“And I hate to be cliched,” Simms said.

Who cares? Simms, who often rips other NFL voices (of course he never names names) for offending his delicate sensibilities, must have too much time on his hands.


Want to be the host of WOR-AM’s Mets pre and postgame shows?

Sorry, Clear Channel, which owns the station, is not holding open auditions for the gig but it is looking. Seth Everett, who hosted the shows last season, is gonzo.

There’s a logical solution: Pete McCarthy, who was in the running for the job last season and was eventually hired to host WOR’s sports talk show, should be moved into the Mets slot. Then the station could dip into the vast supply of radio gasbags, walking around NYC talking to imaginary callers, to fill the talk-show opening.


The following piece of radio gold, manufactured by ESPN-98.7’s (With) Don LaGreca, was hard to follow.

LaGreca was outraged over a young player such as Tim Hardaway Jr. having the audacity to get in Carmelo Anthony’s face and tell the alleged superstar off.

“You can’t go after someone like that when you’re a second-year player,” LaGreca bellowed.

Oh yeah? Then how does DLG explain all the times the new star of “The Michael Kay Show,” Ryan (Kid) Ruocco (he’s been a member of TMKS team for only a few months), makes electric radio by lashing out at the older (or is that elderly?) gentlemen he works with?


Try as they might, even CBS Sports suits can’t mess up CBSSN’s “Monday QB” show.

Something unusual is happening on that set. Three former QBs (Rich Gannon, Trent Green, Steve Beuerlein), who in their game analyst gigs have displayed all the charisma of a buttered roll, come to the Monday mike with a huge personality and a original sense of humor.

Maybe it’s the time of the evening of their rendezvous. More likely it’s the chemistry these three former sticks in the mud have developed while working with host Adam Schein. Could it be as simple as they get a kick out of his animated, and often bizarre, presence?

Whatever the reason this show, which often includes Norman Julius Esiason, not only has something cooking but shows the depth of CBS’ analyst and host rosters.


An upside to having all those live hours to cover the winter meetings was MLB Network’s ability to produce embarrassing moments.

No, not the many times MLBN’s audio crapped out. The more cringe-inducing stuff included Harold Reynolds staring blankly into a camera before asking Ken Rosenthal a question.

Reynolds stared, and stared. Finally, his brain got in touch with his mouth. “I completely forgot what I was going to ask you,” Reynolds said. Yep, that’s why Reynolds is paid the big bucks.

Then there was MLBN airing an old, cheesy Coin Galleries commercial featuring a smarmy looking Keith Hernandez. This was cruel and unusual punishment for anyone watching, including Ron Darling who was on the MLBN set.

Even he looked embarrassed.

* * *


For his hustle and heart. It didn’t matter that the 294-pound defensive end had no chance of catching Jarius Wright, the Vikings’ 181-pound wideout, on his way to an 87-yard OT TD catch-and-run. What counts is Richardson, returning to the game after an injury and playing on a Jets team going nowhere, didn’t give up the chase. In a season full of misery, this was a memorable moment produced by a guy who doesn’t pay lip service to his distaste for losing. He backs his words up with a supreme effort.


For its hype of last Sunday’s football playoff selection show. It was a given the Bristol Clown Community College faculty would over-sell this exercise in promoting the “official” start of crowning Semi-Pro Football’s champion. But even boosters who continue paying “student athletes” under the table had to be laughing at ESPN’s continuous Sunday morning live shots of a lone security man guarding the door of the room where the committee was supposedly working feverishly to select the final four teams — four teams whose presence in the tourney was already a forgone conclusion. Were those multiple shots of a dude “guarding” a door supposed to lend more importance or credibility to a made-for-TV non-event?


What Derek Jeter said: “If you ask me a question and I say, ‘I don’t know,’ how are you going to follow it up?”

What Derek Jeter meant to say: “The rough, tough New York media? I owned them. When it came to me, they acted like fans.”

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