There's been a lot of famous Ryans over the years, in various capacities, but you know what? With few exceptions, they're all pretty much overrated.
I think Ryan Seacrest started off as a deejay in LA, and now he's everywhere. Overrated.
Everybody knows who Ryan O'Neal is. He made the classic movie "Love Story" with Ali McGraw, another flick named "Paper Moon" with his kid Tatum, and married Farrah Fawcett. That's pretty much it. Big deal.
Now Nolan Ryan was one of the exceptions. During his long career in the major leagues, the Hall of Famer and all-time strike out king could intimidate just about any batter with the heat he could bring. But there was another Ryan that was always even more intimidating. I'll get back to that.
There's the Ryans currently in the NFL. Rex is the head coach of the NY Jets. He's been known to dress up like a clown, amongst other antics, and certainly gives very entertaining press conferences, but what's he ever won? Nuttin. His twin brother Rob is the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys. Anybody watching a Cowboys game on TV would think he's the head coach, with the way he prowls the sidelines, rants and raves at the officials, and basically finds a way to get the TV cameras focused on him during the course of a game. Actually, Dallas' head coach is Jason Garrett, but one would never know it, because he stands there like a cardboard cut-out. Kind of like that guy holding the pitchfork in Grant Woods' classic painting "American Gothic". Garrett would seem to be a perfect fit to do Bartles and James commercials on TV, but I digress. By the way, when's the last time Rob won anything?
At any rate, the NFL's Ryan boys always seem to grab the most attention, even though their ultimate work product isn't so hot -- as in wins and losses -- the only thing that really matters in the NFL. Entertaining guys? Sure. But guess what? Yep. Overrated. Chances are, if it wasn't for their daddy Buddy, they wouldn't even BE in the NFL. And even HE got all the media attention back in his day, when he was merely a lieutenant in the Chicago Bears organization. Long time NFL fans will remember the 1985-86 Bears squad that won the Super Bowl. What's the first thing that comes to mind? Buddy Ryan's vaunted 46 defense, featuring Mike Singletary, Richard Dent, William "the refrigerator" Perry, etc. Sure they were good, but Buddy was only the defensive coordinator. A very fiery guy himself named Mike Ditka was actually the head coach, but like Buddy's boy in Dallas right now, it was all about Ryan.
Anyplace a Ryan goes, they seem to have a way of taking over, regardless of whether they're any good or not. Sometimes I wonder if they're not all inter-connected like the "Borg" of Star Trek fame. A massive conspiracy to take over everything they come in contact with. If we're not careful, we could all be "absorbed". Holy death star, my fellow worthy Jedi Knights and Knightesses, our very continued existence as a civilization might well rest on our remaining united, vigilant and fighting back against this nemesis.
Good grief, there's even a Ryan that might be elected Vice President of the United States next month. I have little doubt he'd find a way to take over too. They're everywhere, I tell ya. (Lest anyone think yours truly is showing partisanship in any way, I can assure you that is not the case. It is noted that Obama has enough problems lugging along his own running mate, one Jethro Bodine, ahem, Joe Biden). Which brings me to....
In my humble opinion, other than Nolan, there was only one other Ryan that knew how to take charge and, one way or the other, get things done to the benefit of all, while still knowing their place. That would be the late Irene Ryan. As "Granny" of the "Beverly Hillbillies", her character Daisy Moses just wouldn't tolerate failure. She got things done, while always deferring to "Uncle Jed".
This is the kind of Ryan we need these days. Granny knew how to get her kinfolk, and just about everybody else, in line. While playing good old fashioned country hardball like Nolan once did, she would have scoffed at the likes of Seacrest and O'Neal. Rex and Rob would have been sent out to do chores somewhere, and Buddy would likely be stoned on rheumatiz medicine, while tending the cee-ment pond. And that long wild-man looking hair the boys have been known to sport? Fuhgetaboutit. Never would have happened.
And what could be better than having a Granny Ryan as the Vice President? People say Romney is out of touch? No problem. Granny would have him chopping firewood on the White House lawn the day after they were inaugurated. If Mitt got uppity about it, a "switch" would come into play, and wouldn't it be fun to see THAT on CNN? From Bain to pain, while scampering through the rose garden on the way to the woodshed. Not sure what she'd do with Barack, but all the other nonsense about being an international playboy one day, a double nought spy the next, a brain surgeon the following day, and maybe a fry cook the day after that, would have been dispensed with. So much for Joe Biden.
Maybe there's an upside to this Ryan thing after all.
We just need the right one.