Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 9/19/12

MIAMI - 2009: Jeff Ireland of the Miami Dolphins poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Miami, Florida. (Photo by NFL Photos)

Jeff Ireland has to be used to not being the most popular man in Miami by now. Dolphins fans have long been tired of the teams their general manager has assembled and the draft choices he has made, and many of them want him gone. Still, Ireland is a human and humans get frustrated. Not being able to control his frustration resulted in Ireland issuing an apology on Tuesday.

According to the Miami Herald, Ireland was walking through the concourse at Sun Life Stadium during halftime of the Dolphins’ game against the Raiders on Sunday when he stopped to chat with a few fans. One fan, who later called 790 The Ticket in Miami and revealed his identity as “Sean,” reportedly complained to Ireland about the way he has managed the team and told him he needs to fire himself. Ireland responded by calling Sean an “a**hole.”

“I don’t begrude the guy for not appreciating what I had to say,” Sean told The Ticket. “I can’t tell you I wouldn’t respond any differently if someone said I should fire myself. By the same token, I’m not the general manager of a professional football team. I feel like I expressed an opinion he probably needed to hear.”

Since this comes from the same fan base that has hired an airplane to fly a “Fire Jeff Ireland” sign over Sun Life Stadium and arranged a protest calling for him to be canned, you would think Ireland would be used to hearing this stuff by now. After several eyewitnesses confirmed the exchange between the GM and the fan, Ireland called Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald and expressed regret over the incident.

“It caught me off guard. I just turned and walked away but I did say the word,” Ireland explained. “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.”

The fan claims Ireland put his hand on his shoulder and said “nice one, “a**hole,” but that’s beside the point. When you’re the general manager of a team that has had one winning season in the past nine years, a fan telling you to fire yourself should be one of the nicer things you’ve heard.

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