Rex Ryan gets tattoo of wife switched to Bills colors

By on February 3, 2015

Rex Ryan fixes up his tattoo of his wife to match his new team -- the Buffalo Bills.Jordon Berry Rex Ryan fixes up his tattoo of his wife to match his new team — the Buffalo Bills.

Rex Ryan’s loyalty to the Bills now runs at least skin deep.

The coach used to rock the world’s most famous Jets tattoo on his right arm: an image of his wife, Michelle, wearing nothing but a Mark Sanchez jersey.

But as of Friday that well-known ink job has been transformed and Michelle Ryan is now wearing a Bills uniform, tattoo artist Ben Verhoek confirmed to the Daily News. But Ryan has learned a lesson — this time around, his wife isn’t wearing EJ Manuel’s number.

The coach had the tattoo altered at a tattoo parlor called Old Town Ink in Scottsdale, Ariz., while he was in town for the Super Bowl. Ryan called to ask about availability on Thursday and was told the tattoo would have to be checked out in person to see if the green was too dark to tattoo over. The coach and his wife went to the shop on Friday, where Verhoek painted blue over the green for the shop’s minimum charge: $ 80.

It actually seems that Sanchez had lost his place in Ryan’s heart before the Jets did. Because Verhoek revealed that the sleeve that had previously had Sanchez’s No. 6 on it had already been filled in with black. It makes sense, given that Sanchez wasn’t even on the Jets last year, but it also robs everyone of the image of Michelle Ryan wearing Bills punter Colton Schmidt’s jersey if the coach had kept the No. 6.

Verhoek said he isn’t a big football fan, and though he recognized Ryan’s face, he couldn’t quite place him at first. Then, finally, it hit him. “Oh s—, you’re Rex

Ryan?” he said.

Of course, Ryan provided quite the giveaway: “He was in a full Buffalo Bills jumpsuit,” Verhoek added.

The tattoo may have been Ryan’s last remaining vestige of his time with the Jets in his possession. The coach had previously said on a video on the Bills website that he had gotten rid of all of his Jets clothing.

Daily New front page from Jan. 4, 2013. New York Daily News Daily New front page from Jan. 4, 2013. 

Ryan was fired by the Jets on Dec. 29 after a 4-12 season. He was hired as the Bills head coach on January 12.

Verhoek said the coach couldn’t have been friendlier and he seemed like a regular guy.

“He was definitely cool,” Verhoek said. “They were both nice, honest people.”

Ryan’s tattoo was instantly thrust into the spotlight in January 2013, when the Daily News spotted it on the coach’s arm while he was on vacation in the Bahamas. That the tattoo depicted the number of the team’s down-and-out quarterback made it even more of a story.

It took tattoo artist Ben Verhoek a while before he realized the man's tattoo he was fixing was new Bills coach Rex Ryan.Jordon Berry It took tattoo artist Ben Verhoek a while before he realized the man’s tattoo he was fixing was new Bills coach Rex Ryan.

“I know what you’re thinking, obviously if Sanchez doesn’t play better then that number’s changing,” said Ryan a few days later at a press conference. “That’s pretty much a given.”

Sanchez, actually, didn’t ever play another regular-season down for the Jets. He was injured in the following preseason and cut a year later.

Perhaps there is one scenario where the number six could return to Ryan’s arm — if Sanchez, an impending free agent, reunites with his old coach in Buffalo. 

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