I feel bad for Rex Ryan. That's not a sentence I utter often in reference to the New York Jets' brash, bombastic, endlessly trash-talking head coach. But I do. This foot fetish video thing has nothing to do with football, nothing to do with what makes Ryan such an annoying (if entertaining) figure and nemesis, and should be left alone.
It won't be, of course, since it's such rich fodder. But the only real mistake here was made by whoever posted the videos to the web. There's nothing wrong with making videos like this, nothing wrong with those people who happen to have this fetish — or other, far stranger ones.
Ryan sets himself up for criticism with his constant antics and blabbing, and the Jets, despite a successful season on the field, have been no stranger to controversy this year, from Sal Alosi's shameful tripping incident to allegations that Brett Favre sent inappropriate text messages and photos to Jenn Sterger during his time on the team. These and other issues point to the fact that the Jets organization isn't as disciplined and well-run as... well, certain others.
But the foot-fetish videos are in a separate, personal category that has nothing to do with Ryan or his outsize personality. I know this won't stop people from endlessly laughing at them and sending them around, and, like everyone else, I couldn't help but watch one of the videos. I just think this is one of the few times Ryan — not to mention his wife — doesn't deserve the heat he's getting.