Jets coach Rex Ryan coached for the Ravens from 1999 to 2008.(Photo: Michael Conroy, AP)
Those who dialed in to the Rex Ryan conference call Thursday expecting to hear the coach quip about facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 or perhaps shed light on the Darrelle Revis trade talks with Tampa Bay were disappointed.
But Ryan put on an unexpected show when he torched Major League Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles for not stepping aside to allow the Baltimore Ravens to host their season opener, as every Super Bowl champion has done since 2004.
The Ravens will travel to Denver to face the Broncos.
"I understand the Orioles are playing a game at home. Well, who really cares?" Ryan said. "You've got 81 of them things at home and maybe you could've done the right thing and given one up and played 82 on the road and 80 at home. I really don't think people are going to care about that game.
"You have a chance to have the defending world champs open the season at home where they rightfully should. I think that's unfortunate."
Ryan was a member of the Ravens coaching staff from 1999 to 2008, so he was asked if it's his connection to the fan base or his love of the city that spurred such a strong reaction on this one.
"It's my love of this game, of the National Football League," Ryan said. "The defending champion, in my opinion, should always open at home. They've earned that right. To think that something couldn't have been worked out, that's disappointing."
Ryan added, "I do love Baltimore. I spent 10 years there. I love the New York area here better than I do Baltimore now." After a laugh, he continued: "It's not just my loyalty to that fan base, it's anywhere. If whoever wins it. That's just the way I feel.
"If baseball had a 16-game schedule, you might understand it. But when they have 162 games, I think you might just, out of common courtesy, say, 'You know what, maybe I'll play this one on the road or whatever.' "