FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan is a Hall of Famer, and he's got the jacket to prove it.
The New York Jets coach showed up at his news conference Wednesday wearing a navy blazer with a big logo slapped on the left side of the chest with the words "SWOSU Hall of Fame 2011" below a picture of an angry bulldog.
"What it is, is a Hall of Fame blazer," Ryan said with a big grin.
He then pulled out a letter from Southwestern Oklahoma State University that congratulated him on being among this year's inductees. Ryan was a defensive end, as was twin brother Rob for the Bulldogs, and he graduated from SWOSU, located in Weatherford, Okla., in 1986.
"I'll say this, anytime I got a letter from the office of the president, it's usually not a good thing," Ryan said.
With the Jets (2-2) in the midst of a two-game losing streak and taking a lot of criticism from fans and media, Ryan got back to keeping things loose. Yes, even with New York having to go to New England to face Bill Belichick and the AFC East-rival Patriots (3-1).
"It boils down to two Hall of Famers butting heads," Ryan said. "So, that's why I'll wear the jacket today."
Belichick is in Wesleyan University's Athletic Hall of Fame after a standout career as a center and tight end, and as a captain on the lacrosse team.
"We know he's going to have a bust in Canton and all that in that other minor Hall of Fame," a smiling Ryan said. "Two great athletes, obviously. I think I could've held my own with him on the football field, but I also saw that he was a lacrosse player and I have no idea what I'm doing in lacrosse. I do like the idea, though, of hitting people with a stick, so I think I might've been all right.
"So, he clearly has it."
So, Rex, who's going to present you on that big day? Maybe Rob, and add this to the sibling rivalry?
"Well," Ryan said smiling again, "unfortunately I found out my brother got the same letter."