At every commercial break during “Rex & Rob Reunited,” viewers watching are reminded that the program “contains language which may not be suitable for all audiences.”
That’s about as big an understatement as saying Rex Ryan’s first year as the Buffalo Bills coach didn’t go as planned.
The bleeped expletives fly from the opening minutes of Ryan’s speech to the players on the first day of training camp at St. John Fisher College and continue throughout trips back to that speech during the program.
Episode one, which was made available for review, could be subtitled: “Rex Answers his Critics.” Part 1 of the two-part program airs on MSG at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Part 2 at 9 p.m.
In those fiery opening minutes, Rex tries to inspire his players by noting that people are saying “I forgot to (expletive deleted) coach” after an 8-8 season in which the Bills defense regressed from a year earlier.
He defends the hiring of his brother Rob against accusations of nepotism. And he quotes Muhammad Ali.
It is a virtuoso performance by the always entertaining Rex, who acknowledges he has a “massive chip” on his shoulder after last season and feels the way to answer all the criticism is by having “massive success.”
The 25 percent decline in the ratings for Bills preseason games seem to indicate that fans are less enthusiastic about Rex than they were a year ago and even wonder if he is massively overrated.
This program, narrated by Los Angeles voiceover talent Kyle Chapple and written and directed by Michelle Girardi Zumwalt, was filmed in “Hard Knocks” style. It seems aimed at bringing back the enthusiasm by illustrating Ryan’s passion for the game and the love and support of his players.
Produced by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the mission of bringing back enthusiasm will likely be accomplished with many Bills fans as long as they don’t go in as skeptically as many national experts are about the 2016 Bills.
The 30-minute opening episode is a behind-the-scenes look at Rex’s relationship with his twin brother Rob; his best friend of 30 years, assistant coach Jeff Weeks; and players that love him like Richie Incognito.
Rex and Rob reminisce and get sentimental about the impact their late father, Buddy, had on their lives and careers. Rex puts a picture of his father and himself on the dresser of his college dorm room.
Rex, Rob and Jeff pass the time with some of the 100,000 baseball cards owned by the Ryans.
And in one of the more revealing moments, Rex illustrates his soft side with players, taking safety Duke Williams aside to tell him not to worry about one bad day.
Rex also has reason to curse the fates when Bills rookie linebacker Reggie Ragland goes down with an injury shortly after the coach sings his praises in a film session.
Ragland’s injury is one reason that it has been difficult for many Bills fans and national experts to get enthusiastic for year two of the Ryan Express.
But after watching the massive enthusiasm of “Rex & Rob Reunited,” many fans probably wish the first game of the season at Baltimore would kick off immediately Saturday night rather than wait for Sunday afternoon.
If the season is as successful as this episode, Rex will be fine.
Rex appears to know what will happen otherwise.
“If it doesn’t work, I’ll be the first (expletive deleted) to go,” said Ryan.