On Monday, Bills coach Rex Ryan tried to split hairs regarding his decision to introduce a man with one of the most intriguing (and at times gravity defying) configurations of hair.
“I am going to introduce him,” Ryan told reporters. “That is true. That is a true statement. I am not going to say who my endorsement is and all that stuff.”
Ryan didn’t say it then, but it he made it clear when making the introduction.
“We’re all here tonight because we all support Donald Trump,” Ryan said. After the perfunctory crowd roar, Ryan continued.
“Absolutely,” he said. “There’s so much that I admire about Mr. Trump, but one thing I really admire about him is he’ll say what’s on his mind. And so many times you’ll see a lot of people want to say the same thing. But there’s a big difference. They don’t have the courage to say it. They all think it. But they don’t have the courage to say it. And Donald Trump certainly has the courage to say it. And that’s what I respect.”
In an effort to gain similar respect from Ryan, let me say a couple of things that are on my mind. First, why didn’t Ryan have the “courage” to say that he supports Trump when speaking to reporters earlier in the day? Second, does Ryan not realize that nothing good for his career comes from openly supporting Trump or any other candidate in an election that quickly has become very contentious, for both major parties?
The Bills already have had to issue one statement distancing themselves from Ryan on this point. When else has any NFL team ever had to do what the Bills did on Monday, for any reason?
Complicating matters is that, of all people to support, Ryan has decided to support the guy who competed with Ryan’s boss to buys the Bills, failed to do so (but possibly made it more expensive for Terry Pegula to buy the team), and then fired a shot at Pegula after losing the effort to buy the Bills.
Regardless of political beliefs, the move reflects a degree of judgment that falls somewhere south of “ideal” on the international scale of discretion. It also suggests that, unless the Bills get to the playoffs this year, Ryan eventually will be hearing Pegula say what’s on his mind. In the end, the coach who has admittedly stolen the hokey and obvious “All In” slogan from Dabo Swinney could be on the wrong end of Pegula stealing Donald Trump’s favorite catch phrase.