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Play Like You Mean It: Passion, Laughs, and Leadership in the World's Most Beautiful Game Hardcover – May 3, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Rex Ryan has extended his general approach—open, blunt, direct . . . from the spoken word to the written one.”
     —The New York Times

“Typical Rex: no-holds-barred and thoroughly entertaining.”
     —WFAN/CBS Radio

About the Author

REX RYAN is head coach of the National Football League’s New York Jets. He is the son of former Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals head coach Buddy Ryan and the twin brother of Rob Ryan, defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.

Don Yaeger is a former associate editor for Sports Illustrated. He is the bestselling author of seventeen books, including Never Die Easy: The Auto biography of Walter Payton.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385534442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385534444
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By H. D. Espinosa on May 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a football fan, and given the almost superstar notoriety - for better or worse - of Rex Ryan as he will start his third year as the head coach of the New York Jets, I thought I should give this book a shot and I am so glad I did it.

Don't expect an autobiography based on personal life, recent "scandals" (involving home made foot-fetish video by his wife) and other issues, except for two short passages on family and dyslexia. All of the themes revolve around football, more football and his passion for the game and the team currently under his command. Through the good and the bad, the easy and the difficult, a win and a loss, the book reveals the backstage of important moments (including recent 2010 season highlights, such as the ugly Monday Night defeat in New England and the table-turning performance of the playoffs against the same team at the same stadium months later) and what's inside the mind of today's most outspoken and cockiest head coach in sports. When planning and developing the season or each key game in individual, Rex offers every detail going through his mind, from options to decision. He takes every victory or defeat on a personal level and shows it.

Other highlights include the Hard Knocks season and his thoughts on Bill Belichick, Peyton Manning and other peers on the field.

The book is entertaining and of easy read. Specially great if you are a football fan - not necessarily a Jets fan.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By ConcreteResurfacer on May 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll admit up front, that I am a Jets fan, and my review is a best effort to keep my personal feelings and associations to the team aside.

Love or hate Rex, he can't be ignored. It is definitely a football book. Very easy to read, light heated, and fun. I think the most intriguing part was the stories about his father. Rex did a good job of clearing things up behind the stories about Buddy and some of the issues he dealt with. Albeit, its obviously skewed to save face for Buddy, I think it reveals a lot about the behind the scenes that the Media didn't portray or write about. Rex gave a lot of props to guys that were "at odds" with Buddy such as Ditka, Gilbride, and Jaworsky to name a few.

Rex give a lot of people the credit they deserve (Bill Belichick, Brady, Manning, et al) and after this book is more widely read, he should get some back. He has a true fire and passion for the game and he just happens to wear his heart on his sleeve. Any football fan can read this and think that this is what is going on in the mind of their own team's head coach. Rex just happens to spice it up with his usual colorful language and he isn't afraid to put it our there instead of keeping it behind closed doors.

Great info about the Ravens and his time there. I enjoyed the history lessons about other teams and how he worked with those guys. Great stories about Tony "Goose" Siragusa too.

Jets fans will absolutely love this book but ALL football fans will definitely enjoy reading this inside edition of Rex and might gain a better understanding of what every coach in the NFL has gone, is, or will go through.

I highly recommend it to everyone that is a fan of the most beautiful game in the world.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J.S. on May 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Honestly, not a Jets fan but I like the bravado Rex brings to the Jets. In Play Like You Mean It, Rex talks about everything from his time as kid with dyslexia to being with the Ravens for 10 years, to how he became the Jets head coach. I recommend all football fans read this great book. You truly will enjoy the insights and stories Rex shares.
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Format: Hardcover
My five-star review is not based on the literary merit of this book. The writing is basic and the degree of in-depth analysis you'll find between the covers is rather elementary. None of this took away from my enjoyment of Play Like You Mean It. I happen to be a die-hard NY Jets fans so I am the primary audience. But fans of football in general, sports in general, and the motivational process required by a coach in the NFL and beyond will also find this to be a valuable read. If you enjoyed the HBO program Hard Knocks that featured the Jets leading up to their 2010 season, don't walk but run to get a copy of this book. You'll fly through it so quickly you may decide to immediately read it a second time just for the heck of it. Even if you are not a Jets fan I'd think anyone that has heard interviews with or even just brief soundbites from Rex Ryan will find him to be an intriguing figure. Everybody want to have a boss like him, someone who shows such relentless confidence in your abilities that you can't help but fall for his spell and perform at optimum level. His cockiness is contagious because it's built on genuine belief that he has an eye for talent and the ability to get the absolute best out of those who buy into his program. His positive energy would infect anyone but the most cynical of people, and extreme cynics are not the type you want around anyway no matter how talented they may be. Read this book if you're a Jets fan. If you aren't, there's a pretty good chance you will be by the time you reach the last page. Rex makes it quite easy to root for him even if you start off otherwise inclined.
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