Jets' Rex Ryan defends 'playing dad for a day' by attending Clemson-Georgia game

Ryan's son, Seth, is a freshman walk-on wide receiver for the Tigers

Football - Seth Ryan

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Seth Ryan

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has been harshly criticized by the hometown media for his decision to attend the Clemson-Georgia football game on Saturday - the all-important cut day for NFL teams.

Ryan defended his decision, however, saying that most of the Jets' business was done before Saturday and that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see his son, Seth, suit up for his first college game.

Ryan made the decision to attend the game knowing that Seth, a walk-on wide receiver, would likely see no action. His trip was publicized after fans tweeted pictures of themselves posing with Ryan tailgating before the game.

"You talk about two loves: I love the Jets and I love my family," Ryan told ESPN. "I was happy to get that opportunity. I certainly wouldn't have gone if I couldn't do my job. If I had to do it over again, absolutely, 100 percent I would do it over again...

“This was an opportunity to go see my son play his first college game. I think ‘played’ is probably not very accurate. I saw him stand there. But it was a great deal. Obviously, it’s not like I’m going to be able to go to another game. It just so happened I could make that one. It was a night game. That’s really what I did. I took advantage of it. It was great. I just played dad there for a day. That was a lot of fun.”

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Comments » 6

waran writes:

I am glad he attended. It is a big thing to see your son play the first game. And, he explained it very well. I hope more people support him against the NY Media Idiots who don't know the importance of being a dad. I wish Seth Ryan will play for Clemson and in the NFL and will remember the support he received from his dad.

Bleedsorange writes:

The only thing I would add to that would be he could say he was scouting and learning how a real offense works.

rsb8931#286014 writes:

This is really hard to accept this kind of criticism of a father going to watch his son play his first college game at a place like Clemson with an opponent like Georgia. It wouldn't have mattered where the kid played, it was nice his daddy went to see him play. If the media whines about it, so be it. You did right as a father and I know your son appreciates it, too.

richardcd writes:

This is ridiculous. Family is much more important than any job. Besides, the Jets had the day off.

kellytown writes:

Family First.... No applogies just fact.

clawt writes:

The newspaper that published this story first is the NY Daily News which is a rag. The writer's name is Manish Mehta who has it out for Rex and wrote the article. He has done other hatchet jobs on Rex very recently. A terrible reporter working for a terrible newspaper. Like Rex Ryan or not - he did the right thing going to see his son. Go Tigers!

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