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To hear Rex Ryan talk football to a room crammed with enthusiastic young people without once uttering the word “fuck” is like filing out of a Springsteen concert and realizing the band never played “Born to Run.” On this cool spring day in New York, the merrily profane former NFL head coach has scrubbed his speech of any corrosive elements, this despite the efforts of the guy in the audience who tries to goad Ryan by invoking the Butt Fumble.
It’s Wednesday, March 28, and Ryan is perched on a Lucite chair on the third floor of IPG Mediabrands’ Herald Square digs, where he’s joined by fellow ESPN football insiders Trey Wingo and Dan Graziano. While the panelists are for the most part fixated on the mechanics of next month’s NFL Draft, most of the Magna staffers in attendance are more interested in Ryan’s tragicomic tenure as head coach of the New York Jets. Asked about his immediate reaction to the Thanksgiving 2012 play in which Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez coughed up the football after sprinting headlong into the rear end of 305-pound right guard Brandon Moore, Ryan is quick to censor himself.
“Me being me, let’s use the beep right now, and several times over,” he cracks to an audience of media buyers. “Because it was like, ‘What are you doing, dude?’ I mean, oh my goodness!”
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