In an effort to inspire his team, Jets coach Rex Ryan once threatened to punch Patriots coach Bill Belichick before a game between New York and New England.
At least that’s what former Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson claimed on the NFL Network.
“Rex got in front of us. He said, ‘I’m going to set the tempo today, guys. I’m going to set the tempo,’ ” Tomlinson said. “When I meet Bill Belichick in the center of the field, I’m going to start it off and punch him in the face.”
That never happened, but Tomlinson still maintains that Ryan is a “master motivator” who always knew the perfect way to fire up his players.
“He was motivating his guys,” Tomlinson said. “We won. Our coach showed the confidence that he has in us.”
Ryan once said he didn’t go to New York to kiss Belichick’s Super Bowl rings, but he might have ended up having them imprinted on his forehead if the Pats coach landed a counterpunch.
Belichick probably simply is grateful Ryan didn’t threaten to give him a foot massage or to re-enact the butt fumble.
■ CREATIVE GRAFFITI — Los Angeles sports reporter John Ireland tweeted an amusing photo Saturday from the Los Angeles Coliseum after Southern California’s embarrassing 10-7 loss to Washington State.
The photo was of a fire lane, followed by “Kiffin,” written in red spray paint. If the Trojans continue to struggle, we’re guessing every fire lane at the stadium will call for the firing of USC coach Lane Kiffin.
■ HAZING DAYS OF SUMMER — The New York Yankees forced their rookies to dress as pop stars for their annual hazing.
Pitcher Preston Claiborne was dressed as Billy Ray Cyrus — or “Joe Dirt,” we couldn’t tell the difference. Pitcher Cesar Cabral was Rick James, interpreter Jiwon Bang was Psy, pitcher Brett Marshall was one of the dancers in Psy’s “Gangnam Style” video, infielder David Adams was Vanilla Ice, and catcher J.R. Murphy was Justin Bieber.
Alex Rodriguez should have been made to dress as Milli Vanilli. He’s already a fraud; now he just needs a wig to complete his outfit.
■ EYEBROW FOR AN EYEBROW — In a commercial for the Madden 25 video game, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson bet that whoever loses Sunday’s game between San Francisco and Seattle will be forced to shave an eyebrow.
“Big game on Sunday,” Kaepernick says.
“Yup. You know what we should do?” Wilson replies. “Whoever loses has to shave an eyebrow.”
“A’ight,” Kaepernick says. “Hope you don’t like your eyebrow.”
We’d like to get odds to bet against either one of them doing it — although that’s a wager we wouldn’t mind losing.
■ BLIND LUCK — Greg Gilbertson has limited vision because of diabetes, but it hasn’t stopped him from playing golf.
Gilbertson, who relies on his playing partners to track down his ball, sank a hole-in-one last week at Steamboat Golf Club in Steamboat Springs, Colo. He used a recovery club to ace the 135-yard eighth hole.
“It was just blind luck,” he said jokingly. “Somebody said, ‘I think it went in.’ I asked, ‘Where? The water?’ ”
COMPILED BY TODD DEWEY LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL