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Rex Ryan Runs With Bulls as Jets Coach Joins Pamplona Tradition

NY Jets Coach Rex Ryan
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has a 34-30 record in his four seasons as coach. Photographer: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Rex Ryan ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, and has a red T-shirt to bring home.

Ryan, the New York Jets’ coach, spent part of his vacation fleeing 1,300-pound bulls along narrow streets during the annual Running of the Bulls.

The 50-year-old coach, known for salty language and bantering with reporters, took part in the runs yesterday and the day before, Jets spokesman Bruce Speight said in an e-mail. Ryan had informed the National Football League team of his plan to participate in the annual event, in which at least 14 people have been killed.

A photo posted on showed Ryan standing with three other runners on a Pamplona street. The Jets’ coach was wearing a red T-shirt with a menacing cartoon bull and the caption “Bad Toro.”

The Pamplona tradition features up to 3,500 runners sprinting through an 848.6-meter (half-mile) route in front of six bulls that will fight in the bullring later that afternoon, according to the Pamplona tourism website. The daily run during the San Fermin festival each July 7-14 typically lasts less than four minutes.

There are usually between 200 and 300 people injured each year, with 3 percent “seriously” hurt, according to the website. The most recent death was in 1995, the website said. The Associated Press reported that four people were treated in hospitals yesterday.

Medieval Origins

The run dates to Medieval times and has been regulated since 1867, according to the tourism website. Ernest Hemingway made the Running of the Bulls a worldwide attraction in his 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises.”

Ryan isn’t the first NFL coach to dart through the Spanish streets. Chip Kelly, who is taking over this year as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles after coaching at the University of Oregon, ran with the bulls last year.

In four seasons as coach, Ryan has a 34-30 record. A former defensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens, he led the team to the American Football Conference championship game during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, losing both. The team was 6-10 last year.

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