CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) — Rex Ryan and the New York Jets got soaked for a good cause.
The team accepted the New England Patriots’ Ice Bucket Challenge to their AFC East rivals and ended its last public practice at SUNY Cortland on Wednesday by getting doused — with help from the Cortlandville Fire Department.
“Any time you get issued a challenge by New England, we’re going to accept that challenge,” Ryan said.
The challenge, a social media phenomenon, is part of a program launched by the ALS Association to raise money for fighting ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Participants challenge others on video to do it or donate money to ALS before dumping ice cold water over their heads.
A Jets spokesperson said the team would be donating an undisclosed amount to an ALS charity.
The Jets, who were also challenged by comedian Jimmy Fallon, dumped a few buckets on the rookies and then Ryan and general manager John Idzik before the Cortlandville Fire Department sprayed the entire team with a crane-mounted fire hose — sending the drenched players, including Geno Smith and Michael Vick, scurrying as fans cheered.
Ryan nominated his wife, his dogs, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — “He’s a big dude, but not as big as he used to be” — the Jets cheerleaders and the Cleveland Browns.
“Let the Browns take a page out our playbook, if you will,” a smiling Ryan said. “Play like a Brown, so to speak.”
Ryan later acknowledged that he was taking a playful dig at Browns coach Mike Pettine, a long-time friend and former assistant who said in a recent interview that the Jets coach used to give out playbooks “like candy” and Patriots coach Bill Belichick might have gotten his hands on one.
“I’ll get him back any chance I can get,” Ryan joked during his news conference after practice. “I haven’t had a chance to punch him in the face yet, so that’ll be the next time.”
Idzik nominated the Mets, Yankees and the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
“They have what we want!” he shouted.
Jets owner Woody Johnson accepted the challenge with his two sons Tuesday after he received one from Giants owner John Mara. Johnson then nominated Fallon, comedian Adam Sandler and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan.
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