Although we’ve sneaked references to the Jet’s 2012 season into the Beat as a cautionary tale here and there, they have only been references and not a full on post, because we just couldn’t make the bizarre saga of the Quarterbacks who Couldn’t and the Coach who Enabled Them (aka The Man Who Mistook a Backside for an Opening) fit into a comics blog.
While we would never condone harassing public figures while they try to relax by the pool on vacation, this photo of Jets coach Rex Ryan sunbathing has captured the imagination of the world because of the tattoo he sports: what appears to be a cartoonish but alluring likeness of his wife wearing nothing but Mark Sanchez’s jersey.
Mark Sanchez is the handsome but puerile quarterback whose debatable skills disintegrated over the Jets season as his confidence eroded like a Mentos in a hot tub full of Pepsi.
As bizarre as the tattoo is, the basic subject matters not all that unheard of — it seems to have been executed in the style of cartoonist Rob Ullmanwho specializes in a similar type of art; his website is replete with images of cute girls in sports jerseys.
Alas, Ullman did not design Ryan’s startling inkwork:
All of which leads us to the inevitable question: Did Rex Ryan hire Rob Ullman to create the image for his tattoo? Or did someone poach one of Ullman’s images?
“No, not exactly,” Ullman says. “I’ve been looking through my own archives, and while I’ve found a couple images that are similar to Rex’s tattoo, I can’t find any pose that looks exactly like it. So I don’t think it’s a direct swipe. But the legs and the hair kind of look like the way I draw legs and hair, if that makes any sense. Also, when you consider how horrible certain aspects of the drawing are [the hands, mainly], you get the feeling that this drawing wasn’t created by the most competent artisan.”
A bad season AND a crap tattoo? Poor Rex Ryan. I would say it could only go up from here….but this is the Jets we’re talking about so let your imagination run wild.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.