I don't like Jeff Ireland. I have been a proponent of his firing at the end of the last two seasons. I think his drafts have been mediocre, at best, and horrific, worst. I hold him at least partially responsible for the malaise this team has been bogged down in since he got here. In fact, I seem to be one of the few that hold him responsible for personnel decisions even when "Knock and run" Parcells was running the show, if for no other reason than I believe that if you hold a job title, you need to be held accountable for the responsibilities of that title. I think his people skills are poor. (Though admittedly, I found him a bit more likable after watching Hard Knocks this year.) I think he is a bad GM and I think there is a good possibility this team never regains relevance while he is at the helm.
What has gone on today, however, is horseshit nonsense.
I am referring, of course, to the report today that after being challenged by a fan at half-time of the Raiders game, Ireland called the guy an asshole and walked away.
Now, I'm not condoning how Ireland responded to this (presumably drunken) idiot. In a perfect world, he should have shrugged and walked away. I get that. However, how much time do you spend living in a perfect world? Not much, I'd bet. Do you always behave exactly how you know you should? I know I sure as hell don't. So let's try and keep this in perspective: A guy was at work, minding his business. Another guy, a stranger, approaches him and immediately criticizes him and tells him he should lose his job. There are a million ways this can be handled, but the guy being criticized responds with a muttered "asshole" as he is walking away. Is that REALLY the worst thing in the world? At least he didn't take a swing at him.
The only people "outraged" over this are those that spend all day shouting from the tallest fucking rooftop they can find that Ireland should be terminated. They seem to spend all day and night looking for any reason to rally a lynch mob and go looking for Ireland with a flaming torch and a noose. They are the Rush Limbaugh of south Florida sports. And what most people fail to realize is that when you spend your time crucifying a guy over small, inconsequential things, you lose all credibility when you try to crucify him over valid, legitimate issues.
Then, in a phone call to Armando Salguero, the offended "fan" said that he would probably respond the same way if he were Ireland, but Ireland should know better because he is the GM of an NFL franchise. What happened to treating people the way you want to be treated? So it's OK for you to be an asshole, but not OK for someone you are criticizing to call you an asshole. Well, that's logical.
The bottom line is this: There are plenty of good reasons to want Jeff Ireland gone. Let's not invalidate those reasons by screaming about the nonsense.
I'm also a little embarrassed by the fan-base today. Two days ago, the team won its first game in over twenty months that didn't come after the season was already essentially over. Now, I know it wasn't a Super Bowl win, but can we just be happy for a few days and not find something petty to complain about? I'm not the "always positive" type, but how about we spend the week enjoying a blowout home opener and getting ready to play the team we all hate more than cancer? Is that too much to ask?