The former Jets boss isn’t the only NFL representative
Rex Ryan is once again poised to make an impact on CBS. His new timeslot, however, lands on Wednesday nights rather than Sunday afternoons.
The former New York Jets head coach will partake in the upcoming 34th season of “The Amazing Race,” the long-running CBS reality competition. Premiering in 2001, the series features teams of two embarking upon a worldwide competition, the eponymous race.
Each season is typically separated into a series of legs, which feature tasks and objectives before reaching a checkpoint. One pair is often eliminated after each leg. In the coming season, set to debut on Sept. 21, a dozen teams will compete for a prize of $1 million. For the first time in series history, the event will begin outside of the United States, as the first leg is scheduled for Munich, Germany.
CBS introduced the competing couples on Wednesday, with Ryan teaming up with fellow Tennessee resident Tim Mann, a 40-year-old probation officer and the former coach’s golf buddy. In their introduction, Ryan and Mann wear apparel bearing the name “Team T-Rex”, complete with an animated Tyrannosaurus Rex serving as their logo.
The pair’s friendship, Ryan explains, stemmed from Ryan’s post-Jets destination when he was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills for two seasons, a task that Ryan claimed he “failed miserably” (posting a 15-16 record over two seasons, though one of those wins infamously kept the Jets out of the playoffs).
Mann claims that Ryan, however, went above and beyond for him after the former’s mother was diagnosed with ALS.
“Rex was there for me during that time,” Mann explains.”We just became good friends after that, almost like a brother.”
Ryan claims that his knowledge of “team building” will come up big in the competition, which was filmed in the late stages of this past spring. Mann claims that Ryan will undertake any task involving heights, which the latter claims is only because “(Mann) doesn’t want to do them.”
Ryan also claims that he and Mann will likely be among the coming season’s underdogs, but he’s looking to, once again, use that to his advantage. As a head coach, Ryan is perhaps best known for taking low-seeded Jets teams to consecutive AFC title game appearances. To date, it’s the last time the Jets have appeared on an NFL playoff bracket.
“A lot of people, I think, will love us just because we are kind of the underdogs,” Ryan said. “Why not us? We’ve got a 1-in-12 chance, we might as well go for it.”
Ryan is far from the first face familiar to football fans that has competed on “The Amazing Race.” All-Pro running back DeAngelo Williams teamed up with Pro Bowler Gary Barnidge to finish fourth in the 32nd season that aired in 2020. Nine seasons prior, former Houston Texans teammates Chester Pitts and Ephraim Salaam came home in ninth.
Ryan and Mann’s competition in the upcoming episodes includes Mattie Lynch and Quinton Peron, a pair of former Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags