If any NFL coach had cause to cry Sunday, it was New England’s Bill Belichick, whose ill-fated decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 from his 28-yard line cost his team the game in a 35-34 loss at Indianapolis.
The steely Belichick showed little emotion, though, in his postgame news conference.
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, meanwhile, shed tears while talking to his team after it lost 24-22 to Jacksonville.
Ryan, who might be the anti-Belichick, poked fun at himself at Wednesday’s news conference, where he was handed a box of Kleenex as he entered.
”Got a new sponsor; I got Kleenex for obvious reasons,” Ryan said jokingly before ribbing quarterback Mark Sanchez, who read a written statement to the media after Sunday’s loss. ”Now, let me get this out (pulling a piece of paper from his pocket), read my statement. It says here that New England’s pretty good.”
As for crying in front of his team, which plays the Patriots on Sunday, Ryan said: ”I’m gonna be myself. I’m man enough to be me. Again, it’s more passion than it is anything else. I have a strong belief in myself and this football team. And if that comes out, that comes out.”
• BROWNS WOULD WELCOME LEBRON — After hearing LeBron James say Tuesday if he dedicated himself to football, he could be ”really good,” Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini said, ”I think he should come on down” and described the 6-foot-8-inch, 260-pound Cavaliers star as ”a freak athletically.”
Cleveland quarterback Brady Quinn said the team would be happy to have James, an all-state wide receiver in high school.
But Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers isn’t so sure James could make a seamless transition from the NBA to the NFL.
”A great athlete? Yes. A football player? No,” he said before looking into TV cameras. ”Yeah, LeBron, I said it. It’s a punishing game. I just don’t think you can step off the basketball court after not going through this year in and year out and just play football. From that standpoint, I just don’t think it’s possible. You have to weather and condition your body to take this punishment.”
But even Rogers couldn’t resist envisioning James in a Browns uniform.
”Yeah, he might make a heck of a tight end,” he said. ”I’d like to see him out there running down the seam.”
• SOSA SLAMMED AT PARTY — Enrique Santos, a Miami disc jockey and TV personality on Univision, was banned from entering a birthday party for Sammy Sosa because he had his face darkened to mock the retired baseball slugger, whose face has been noticeably lightened recently.
Santos, a native of Cuba, said Sosa’s publicist stopped him on the red carpet at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach and accused him of making fun of Sosa.
”I explained to (the publicist) that it was a special cream I was using that darkened my face, and then I asked her, ‘How many women in here are wearing makeup?’ but she wasn’t having it,” Santos told the Miami Herald. ”Was I not white enough for Sammy’s party or have the millions gone to his head … I mean skin?”
COMPILED BY TODD DEWEY LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL