Like father, like son. That's not always a good thing.

Buddy Ryan was a real hoot. Bravado spewing like mist off Niagara Falls. The former Philadelphia and Arizona coach once proclaimed a winner was in town despite a career 55-55-1 record. Ryan once punched a fellow assistant coach on the sideline, allegedly posted bounties on opposing players and ended a media conference call after one question.

And yet, people liked Buddy. He was a character who truly believed whatever was coming out of his mouth. Ten years after his 1995 NFL exit, Ryan was still the same competitive soul while sitting in a barn overseeing his racehorses, ready to refight the wars once more.

Ryan is forever Mike Ditka's top commander who went rogue and fought a few battles of his own -- on the field, along the sidelines and probably at racetracks nowadays while watching his horses run.

Too bad Buddy's son, Rex, is becoming a real gasbag. Oh, the younger Ryan can coach. Maybe better than the old man. Rex might win the Super Bowl this year if he can just get past the New England Patriots on Sunday.

The Patriots are a better team, though. Even worse, Rex is provoking them into giving their best effort after a 14-2 season.

Rex loves poking the bear -- this time being Patriots coach Bill Belichick, undoubtably the finest boss since Vince Lombardi died in 1970. Belichick has three Super Bowl rings and a real chance for a fourth and Rex still can't quiet down and play the game.

"This is about Bill Belichick versus Rex Ryan," he said. "That's what it's going to come down to."

Rex, you should hope not because Belichick will smack you into the offseason. You better pray sore-shouldered Mark Sanchez can somehow outplay Tom Brady, though that's not where the smart money lies.

Remember that 45-3 beating the Patriots dropped on the Jets on Dec. 6? That will be a love tap comparatively after ticking off New England. The Patriots will take a page out of Sam Huff's revenge guide and do more than kick a late field goal in a runaway win like the Redskins linebacker once ordered. Belichick will just keep scoring touchdowns until the whole offense has a game ball.

Rex said he's not kissing Belichick's rings. So far he is 2-2 against the Patriots boss. But Belichick's jewelry will leave a mark on Ryan's big noggin on Sunday like the lightning bolt on Harry Potter's forehead.

It's hard to believe many fans are now backing Belichick in this duel. Yet, Rex makes even Bill Parcells look lovable.

Thank goodness Belichick will teach Rex Ryan something the latter's dad never passed along -- humility.

Examiner columnist Rick Snider has covered local sports since 1978. Read more at and on Twitter @Snide_Remarks or e-mail