Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan announced his support for GOP frontrunner Donald Trump as he gave the candidate a somewhat surreal introduction at the billionaire’s big Buffalo, New York, rally on Monday.
“Obviously, we all know I’m not a politician,” Ryan said. “I’m not a public speaker. I’m just a football coach.”
Ryan began his introduction by telling a long story about Trump from his days in the mid-1980s as an owner of the New Jersey Generals, a team in the now-defunct United States Football League. Chris Palmer, now a coach on the Bills, was a part of the staff on Trump’s team.
As the story goes, after the Generals gave the ball to a fullback over the team’s star running back, Herschel Walker, at the goal line, Trump called down to the field with a warning.
“The conversation went like this,” Ryan said. “‘The next time you give the ball to Maurice Carthon instead of Herschel Walker, you’re fired!’ That is a true story.”
After saying “we’re all here tonight because we support Donald Trump,” Ryan listed what he admired about the Republican frontrunner.
“He’ll say what’s on his mind,” the Bills coach said. “You’ll see people that want to say the same thing, but the big difference is they don’t have the courage to say it.”
“Donald Trump certainly has the courage to say it,” he continued.
Trump, for his part, called Ryan a “great, great football coach.”
“You know, he won championships in New York,” Trump said, referencing Ryan’s past head-coaching gig with the New York Jets. “AFC, I think twice.”
Ryan did not win any AFC championships with the New York Jets. His teams, however, did reach the AFC title game in both 2010 and 2011.
Ryan is a “great football coach and a great guy,” Trump said. “Always had these teams that were brutal, they were just good. Great defense. You’re going to have a very, very good season this year. You watch. It’s going to be great because you have a great coach.”