Dolphins player is surprise Rex Ryan fan

February, 8, 2010
2/08/10
9:33
AM ET
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Rex Ryan's two most regrettable acts since taking over as New York Jets head coach a year ago involved media misdemeanors against the Miami Dolphins.

He recently taunted Dolfans by telling them at a MMA event in South Florida the Jets would beat the Dolphins twice next season and brandished his middle finger at a particularly nefarious contingent.

But Ryan has at least one fan in South Florida, and the name might surprise you: Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, the player who got into a verbal smackdown with Ryan last summer.

"My mom saw Rex on the beach," Crowder told me a couple days before the Super Bowl while hanging out along Radio Row. "Rex gave her a big hug when he found out who she was."

I asked Crowder if he got a chuckle out of Ryan's middle-finger misstep.

"It's hard for me to say this, but I'm honest. I like Rex now," Crowder said. "He's a funny guy. He first became a head coach, [their feud] was one of the first things that happened. I was like 'Who's this guy?' That's when everything kind of manifested.

"Now that I see what kind of guy he is, he seems like a funny guy, a funny coach. I'm starting to lean towards ol' Rex. I might give him a hug when I see him."

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