In the end, Rex Ryan's guilt trip worked. New York Jets center Nick Mangold is heading off to London to see his sister Holley try to win a gold medal in the women's heavyweight weightlifting competition. The news, courtesy of CBS and confirmed by Mangold on his own Twitter account, comes after the center insisted for months that his priority was going to be Jets training camp, and not the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see his sister potentially win a priceless award.
That competition will take place on Sunday afternoon, though NBC might not actually show it until after the Jets' first preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday, Aug. 10. You just never know.
"That's a long jump over the pond in the middle of August," Mangold said in June. "We're going to make sure I can watch it and everything. I'll support her the best I can. ... It's disappointing. If it was a week earlier, I would have been there. It's just how the schedule worked out."
Holley told our own Maggie Hendricks that she understood. "I'd choose training over going to one of his games, so I totally understand it. It's a bummer, but I know he'll be watching. I'm happy for his support, and I know it will be there."
Rex, while understanding and appreciative, tried everything he could to get his best offensive player across the pond.
"If I can ever get Mangold convinced to go to the Olympics to watch his sister compete, it'll fall on Matt [Slauson] to be the center for that group," Rex said earlier this week. "You want to be ready to handle it."
"I think so," Rex continued, when asked if putting the screws to his center was paying dividends. "I think so, but we're not there yet. I'm laying the guilt trip on him, and everything else. And you know what? His teammates understand, and they're pushing him as well. It's not just me."
It's not just Mangold over there watching someone important to him try to make a go of it at the Olympics. Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Aaron Ross has been there, supporting wife, Sanya Richards-Ross, who's moving through the heats of the 400-meter competitions.
"It means everything to me," Richards-Ross told NFL.com's Jeff Darlington. "[Aaron] isn't only my husband -- he's my best friend. And to know he'll physically be in the stands for the most important race of my career thus far is priceless. I could never thank the Jaguars organization enough."
Now, Holley Mangold owes a similar debt of thanks to the Jets.
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