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Ryan shows Dolfans who's No. 1

MIAMI -- The line that separates fun-loving and juvenile is a thin one.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan crossed it Saturday night, when he was caught on camera displaying a middle finger to Miami Dolphins fans at a mixed martial arts event in Sunrise, Fla.

Ryan has flirted with trouble all season because of his gregarious personality and recently reiterated his regret over getting into a sophomoric exchange with Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder during training camp.

Yes, Ryan is hilarious. But occasionally he goes too far and embarrasses the Jets.

"It was stupid and inappropriate," Ryan said in a statement released by the club. "I wouldn't accept that type of behavior from one of the coaches or players and it’s unacceptable from me. I apologize to the Jets organization, the National Football League and NFL fans everywhere."

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum admonished Ryan.

"Rex showed extremely poor judgment, and his conduct was inappropriate," Tannenbaum said in the statement. "He knows he was wrong, has apologized and we have accepted his apology. Any other actions regarding this incident will be addressed internally by the organization."

The NFL has been known to impose fines for obscene gestures. Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams was fined $250,000 for giving the Buffalo Bills sideline a double middle finger salute from his suite in November. Newsday's Bob Glauber reports the NFL will look into the Ryan situation.

On the humiliation scale, what Ryan did seems pretty minor in my book. He's out in public, not at an NFL event, apparently not wearing Jets gear and presumably getting badgered enough by Dolfans to respond.

That said, as head coach of the Jets, Ryan will find himself in many similar encounters with his brash personality. He's easily recognizable, and he needs to be prepared to handle taunts from opposing fans, especially when he's on the turf of a divisional rival.

"I'd like to thank everybody here in Miami. I know they love me," Ryan said with a grin during a ringside interview shown within Bank Atlantic Center.

"I want to just tell everybody in Miami, hey, we're coming to beat you twice next year."

Yeah, that might get the Dolfans a tad restless.

The Jets went to the AFC title game this year, but the Dolphins beat them both times they played.