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Ireland expresses regret for verbal altercation with fan

NFL's Miami Dolphins team owner Ross and General Manager Ireland look on as Philbin speaks to the media after he was named head coach in Davie Reuters

The Miami Dolphins have acknowledged that G.M. Jeff Ireland had a verbal altercation with a fan at Sunday’s game against the Raiders.

As explained by Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, a fan told Ireland he should fire himself.  Ireland responded by using the term “asshole.”

Ireland has confirmed the incident in a statement released by the team.

“It did happen at halftime and I was going back to my booth after seeing my wife and I did talk to several fans that were very nice,” Ireland said. “But as I’m walking back this guy introduces himself to me and says I should fire myself.

“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.”

In 2008, former Browns G.M. Phil Savage dropped an “F” bomb on a fan who heckled Savage via email.  Although this one wasn’t nearly as bad, it could serve to make Ireland’s reportedly hot seat even hotter.

After all, at a time when the Dolphins are desperate to get people to show up for games, those who do should be given wide latitude when it comes to expressing their views about the quality of the product they’re paying to see.

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51 Responses to “Ireland expresses regret for verbal altercation with fan”
  1. suhnum1fan says: Sep 18, 2012 1:58 PM

    Jeff, you should fire yourself….

  2. dilberry says: Sep 18, 2012 1:59 PM

    At least he’s honest.

  3. jessieboom says: Sep 18, 2012 2:01 PM

    Good for Ireland. I’m pretty sure the “fan” was an A-hole.

  4. eddardofthehousestark says: Sep 18, 2012 2:02 PM

    This sounds like a fairly appropriate response when someone tells you to “fire yourself.”

  5. conseannery says: Sep 18, 2012 2:02 PM

    No big whoop. I’d probably let loose a lot worse than that if someone dropped that on me.

  6. medtxpack says: Sep 18, 2012 2:03 PM

    Well, what do you call a fan that comes up to him and says you should fire yourself????? I think he actually got this one right. Thats not to say the guy was right as well.

  7. finsuppatsdown says: Sep 18, 2012 2:04 PM

    Non story. That guy was an a hole. What would that guy have said if Jeff would have walked into his job and said he should fire himself? I bet it would have been worse than a hole. Guy was prob a drunk idiot. Just because you pay to see a game it doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. Guy deserved worse then he got in my opinion.

  8. hendeeze says: Sep 18, 2012 2:05 PM

    Come on, you can take a bit of heckling? It comes with the territory. I mean its not like he called your mom a hooker or anything…

  9. drainbameged says: Sep 18, 2012 2:05 PM

    The fan had a point…

  10. metalhead65 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:06 PM

    if you are brave enough to say something like that to a team excutive you should be man enough to accept a mild response like that without being a little bitch and whining about it. I hate the dolphins he has nothing to apoligize for.

  11. ebr362 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:07 PM

    I think Ireland needs a break, who wouldn’t have responded that way. It cracks me up when we jump all over public figures for using the very language the majority of us every day..
    Ireland should be judged by what he builds now that he is no longer the Tuna’s puppet. I blame the Tuna for the state of the current Dolphins. Ireland is respected as a talented evaluator, lets see what he does with all the draft picks and cap room before we call for his head.

  12. yycfin says: Sep 18, 2012 2:09 PM

    A man in his position and profession should have excellent people skills. This is yet another example that he doesn’t have them. Couple that with his poor drafting, miserable free agent signings and one is left to wonder what exactly his talents are that qualify him for the job he is in?

  13. pooflingingmonkey says: Sep 18, 2012 2:10 PM

    Just because Ireland is a below average GM does not mean he has to take abuse from fans.

  14. DubZ480 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:12 PM

    Clearly Ireland can dish but not take it. I mean is the fan wrong???

    Mr Ireland, “You are who we thought you were!!”

  15. ezra954 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:13 PM

    This coming from a team that threw me out of the second game last year because of a sign that said “1-9 @ home makes me sick ” now could understand if I used four letter words but I didn’t so my this team get all the bs it deserves

  16. berniemadoffsides says: Sep 18, 2012 2:14 PM

    He’s horrible.

  17. turfrage says: Sep 18, 2012 2:17 PM

    Have no problem with this. Fans don’t get a free pass to be rude, tacky and entirely inappropriate and then expect him to show “good people skills”. Respect goes both ways. You get what you ask for.

  18. thelastpieceofcheese says: Sep 18, 2012 2:19 PM

    This fan is overreacting.

    Anybody can see that Ireland’s trades of his gems(?) Crazy Marshall and Montel Davis clearly indicates Philbin has taken over the team.

  19. igotgamenj says: Sep 18, 2012 2:20 PM

    Jeff Ireland is a genius – Reggie Bush Baby… In Jeff I trust

  20. chrisjohnston10 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:21 PM

    The fins were 1-15 in 2007. I would say Tuna improved the team.

  21. silverhornet says: Sep 18, 2012 2:23 PM

    wonder what the same fan thought after the game.. outscoring the Raiders 28 to 3 in the 2nd half. “Boy that Reggie Bush trade sure was a dud. And that Cameron Wake can’t play. Randy Starks is soft. And resigning Soliai was a mistake. ”

    Instead they rather focus on the Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis trades. Saw this morning that PFF has Vontae ranked 93rd out of 95 this season. But clearly, he is still getting used to his surroundings up there in Indy. I wonder if his grandma went up with him to help him get sorted out.

  22. cubano76 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:29 PM

    I’m not a GM, or football expert. So I’m not in a position to pass judgement on Ireland for his football moves. His boss can do that. But if someone walked up to me and said the same thing, I’d knock him the F out right then and there! So good job Ireland for not beating that punk’s ass right in the middle of that stadium. (Oh yeah, and if he had a little kid w/ him. I’d kick the kid in the shin for having a dipwad for a dad!)

  23. dg0122 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:29 PM

    Truly an argument where both sides have a good point

  24. HitsDingers says: Sep 18, 2012 2:30 PM

    People involved were on 104.3 FM in Miami today around 11:45. The guy who Ireland called an a-hole said Ireland was right to say so (because he was kinda being an a-hole), but that it was funny and he laughed it off. Afterwards another guy called in and said a more drunk guy was following him around, calling him “Fireland” and whatnot and Ireland gut in the drunk guy’s face a little said if they didn’t stop he would make sure they all got tossed from the stadium. Thought it was pretty funny. What a bad look for a GM.

  25. xpensivewinos says: Sep 18, 2012 2:30 PM

    It is pretty funny.

    There were like eight people at the game because the product has been so bad for so long that people no longer care and this schmuck ends up cursing at one of them.

    Oh yeah………the future is bright!

  26. jolink653 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:35 PM

    Good for him…He did a lot better than Ron Artest would have done

  27. igotgamenj says: Sep 18, 2012 2:35 PM

    Drafts Odric, Pouncy, Heartline, D Thomas, J Jerry, Tannehill, L Miller, O Veron picks up Cam Wake, Reggie Bush, Devon Bess, Javorskie Lane and does not pull the triger on Kyle Orton Has 11 draft picks 3 in the top 45 and will be 50 million under the cap in 2013.

  28. jpb12 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:38 PM

    Thin skin should not go out in the Miami heat

  29. realitypolice says: Sep 18, 2012 2:41 PM

    I’m sorry, whatever you think of Ireland, his one word description fits the guy who confronted him to a T.

    And I don’t understand the comment that he couldn’t take a “bit of heckling”. I think he took it just fine. One mumbled expletive? I would have done alot worse than that.

  30. thewizardofbs says: Sep 18, 2012 2:42 PM

    When asked about this today, Ireland was heard to say “I’m going to call my grandma.”

  31. gottaplan says: Sep 18, 2012 2:45 PM

    After all, at a time when the Dolphins are desperate to get people to show up for games, those who do should be given wide latitude when it comes to expressing their views about the quality of the product they’re paying to see.

    _____________

    I’d say the product looked pretty legit on Sunday. Anybody that had a problem with that game as a Dolphins fan needs to have their head examined.

  32. goldrush4949 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:47 PM

    If I were drafting as bad as Ireland is, I would fire myself.

  33. canehouse says: Sep 18, 2012 2:53 PM

    The fan should have minded his own business… very crude to do that to someone while they are working. But what do you expect from a fan that may have been tossing some cold one’s back while tailgating, and no doubt in the first half of the game.
    Ireland could have been a better man by saying something like: “I am sorry that you feel that way, we are working to remedy that. Hang in there, and we appreciate you coming out today”.
    With that being said, My expectations of an NFL fan is a lot less than what I expect out of a General Manager of an NFL franchise. Ireland’s handling of the situation shows his lack of self dignity… he is feeling the heat!!

  34. tndiver says: Sep 18, 2012 2:53 PM

    And if memory serves me, isn’t this the same guy that asked if a draft prospects mother was a hooker?? Stay Classy Ireland!

  35. dbones750 says: Sep 18, 2012 3:11 PM

    Ireland handled that pretty well, IMO. He could have socked the guy and been justified.

  36. broncobrewer says: Sep 18, 2012 3:16 PM

    He’s a human being. He should be allowed to say stuff like that and nothing should come from it. Just bc of his job doesn’t mean he shouldn’t say stuff like that. At least he took responsibility for it and maned up unlike a lot of people now a days. Looking at you Goodell with the replacement refs and the horrible job on the bounty case.

  37. johnqhorn says: Sep 18, 2012 3:18 PM

    If somebody walks up to you and open insults you, what are you supposed to do? I think calling him an ay-hole was pretty tame, considering that the guy just unleashed an unprovoked verbal attack. Yeah, yeah, he’s the GM, he should conduct himself accordingly. But he’s also a grown-ass man. His reaction really is a non-story.

  38. titansbro says: Sep 18, 2012 3:30 PM

    The guy is a terrible GM but he has the right to defend himself.

  39. promickey says: Sep 18, 2012 3:37 PM

    Obviously the fan is wrong and acted himself like an A$$whole. However fans are frustrated that Ireland will have final say in what will be an important time for the Dolphins. They will have salary cap room and extra draft picks that should help this team rebuild. Unloading talented players without a replacement as Ireland did with Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis is just stupid. Moreover they look at some of the low round drafted Dolphin players that were cut two years later and realize all the great players the Parcells’ regime passed up. Fans know Jeff is not good for the team. The Atlanta Falcons were as bad as the Dolphins were several years ago but are now a playoff team. No GM is perfect but fans do not trust Ireland to do the right thing for many reasons.

  40. jsnrobles1 says: Sep 18, 2012 3:38 PM

    This is the same human being who asked if Dez Bryant’s mother was a hooker and also traded his corner on a live show rather than pulling him aside and doing it later. He did that for the ratings. That’s funny cause now he is in need of cornerback help. Yah he’s a real human being.

  41. yankthis21 says: Sep 18, 2012 3:49 PM

    who cares good for Ireland I’d of said a lot more than that if I were him. give Ireland time and he patient he will turn the dolphins into playoff contenders

  42. cavemanna says: Sep 18, 2012 3:58 PM

    I think they’re both entitled to there opinion. Only one of them is apologizing. I wouldn’t want my GM any other way. Phins up, A-holes down

  43. joetoronto says: Sep 18, 2012 5:19 PM

    What allot of people here don’t seem to understand is that as an executive of the team, Ireland crossed a line you just don’t cross.

    The Dolphins should fire him now with cause, while they have a great excuse.

  44. mmlkr2c says: Sep 18, 2012 5:35 PM

    “I’d say the product looked pretty legit on Sunday. Anybody that had a problem with that game as a Dolphins fan needs to have their head examined.”

    ————————————————————–

    At halftime the score was Oakland 10, Miami 7. It was reasonable to believe at the time of the incident, the Dolphins could very well have lost the game.

    Not saying he was right to do it, but he has the right to say it. It was not profane. Ireland’s response WAS profane. Ireland once again looks like the bad guy here.

  45. Max says: Sep 18, 2012 5:39 PM

    Hey I don’t like Ireland as a GM. But some random fan comes up to him and tells him that sort of thing face to face, in that kind of manner is uncalled for. Calling the fan an A$$hole is the very least I would have expected.

    Ireland time as GM with Miami will be defined by the Tannehill pick. How Tannehill plays this year will determine Ireland job security. Not our record.

  46. bsizemore68 says: Sep 18, 2012 5:46 PM

    Dream on if you think Ross will fired him over this deal, years ago the Vice – President of this country use worse words on the floor of the congress. perhaps this will help fire up the team to beat the New Jersey aint’s. Bill

  47. billsfan1 says: Sep 18, 2012 6:27 PM

    Talk about a person in power having low emotional intelligence! You gladly accept fans $ so they have a right to say things, although there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Telling you that you should be fired is NOT crossing that line. You are Pathetic Ireland and a poor excuse of a gm of a professional sports team.
    Get off your high horse, you are the azzhole

  48. dolfan8385 says: Sep 18, 2012 6:27 PM

    Gotta be honest if someone had said that to me probably would have responded worse then that..

    Anyone remember Rex Ryan flipped off Miami fans? How about Rex Ryan telling patriot fans to shut the %$**& up

    Good for you Ireland

  49. miamatt says: Sep 18, 2012 6:58 PM

    Frankly, I would have a problem with a GM who smiled and walked away after somebody said something like that to him. It sounds like Ireland walked away and muttered “A$$hole”, which is a lot classier than I might have been. Paying money to go to a game doesn’t mean you are in the right for telling a team employee they should join this nation’s unemployed.

  50. ddogdaddy says: Sep 18, 2012 7:06 PM

    If the fan had used a curse word then that could be described as abusive. Sounds as if he stated an opinion to a GM that is not very well thought of. Get over it Ireland and quit being a baby.

  51. brandon780 says: Sep 19, 2012 7:42 PM

    Yes Dez Bryant’s mother was in fact a prostitute and his father was her pimp. Those are facts. I reland had a right to ask him the question he did. In hindsight he was smart not to draft that head case who has allready proven to be unreliable off the field to say the least. I mean who has to have a security detail to follow him around so he stays out of trouble. Ireland is not looking real good right now but I like the direction the team is going and am willing to give him one more year to make some things a little clearer. The Tuna screwed this team over and they are picking up the pieces right now and it takes time to rebuild. That fan was an a hole and needs to shut the f up.

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