If you know me, I haven’t been one to support many of Jeff Ireland’s personnel decisions, trades, draft picks, etc. I will take a firm stance and support Ireland in this instance.
During halftime of the Dolphins game this weekend Jeff Ireland left his suite for some reason and wandered into the stadium amongst the fans. He had people come up and take pictures with him and had a decent experience. As he started to go back to his suite one last fan, who obviously wasn’t happy with Ireland, came up to him and told Ireland that he should “fire himself.” Ireland didn’t saying anything directly to the fan but as he turned to walk away he called the fan an “asshole.”
This fan, in an obvious attempt to garnish his 15 minutes of fame, decided to call a local Miami radio station and tell his story on the air.
Jeff Ireland has made the news with his mouth before. He infamously asked Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, Dez Bryant, during the combine interviews if his mother was a prostitute. This was not one of his better moments.
Ireland has never had the reputation of being much of a people person. If you watched Hard Knocks, he didn’t handle many of the players getting cut or traded very well either.
That being said, Ireland called the Miami Herald reporter Armando Salguero and explained his side of the story. Ireland said, “It caught me off guard. I just turned and walked away but I did say the word. I regret I used the word I used. I thought I was using it under my breath. I guess I kind of said it loud enough that he could hear it. I literally said it under my breath. At the time I felt I handled the situation pretty good. Probably muttered it a little too loud. I regret that I said anything.”
Okay, I wouldn’t call that an apology but I don’t think he needs to apologize. He was being honest. If this fan can’t handle
being called an asshole he probably shouldn’t leave the house. I’ve been called an asshole for much less. If you walked up to anyone at their place of employment and said that “you should fire yourself,” they would probably call you an asshole too.
Listening to Miami radio today I heard many fans call in and demand that Ireland issue an apology. For what? He admitted that he shouldn’t have called the fan an asshole. What more do you want? His statement actually sounded, to me, like he didn’t regret saying it, he regrets that the fan heard him.
I would love to see if that fan could be the General Manager of an NFL team. He would probably shit his pants after the first day. Most fans have no idea what it takes to be a GM of a professional sports team. If it was easy every team would draft well and every team would be loaded with all-stars.
Even though I don’t agree with many of Ireland’s moves, I can admit that he is probably doing a better job than I could do in that situation. He did draft Tannehill who is young but progressing. He brought Reggie Bush to the Dolphins in free agency. He scouted and brought in Cameron Wake. He also drafted John Jerry, and Jonathan Martin also adding Richie Incognito in free agency to shore up the right side of the offensive line. That’s not too bad.
My point is that people need to relax. Should Ireland call critical fans assholes? Probably not. Are most critical fans assholes? Absolutely. Most fans don’t know much about the sport that they watch or the teams that they cheer for. All they know is the record at the end of the season. Many of these fans can’t hold a job delivering pizzas but they think they can run a multi-million dollar NFL franchise…OKAY!
Ireland doesn’t owe anyone an apology. If anything, he should tell more fans that they’re being assholes. There are other things that fan could have told Ireland to voice his displeasure. He was being an asshole and Ireland called him out.
I do believe that Ireland does need to prove himself this season, though. He needs this team to improve on last year’s record and make this team respectable. If he can do that then he deserves another year. If he gets that extension he needs to draft a top-tier wide receiver in the first round or he’ll have more fans telling him to fire himself, including Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross.