Jets make light of ‘Fire John Idzik’ airplane banner with toy helicopter at practice
The stories surrounding the New York Jets as the team stumbles through a miserable season has reached a new level of absurdity courtesy of a bit of whimsy displayed by the team on Thursday.
Reacting to the entire “Fire John Idzik” movement regarding its beleaguered general manager, specifically how an airplane trailing a banner calling for Idzik’s ouster flew above the team’s practice on Wednesday, the team added some much-needed levity to the situation by flying an aircraft of its own during practice.
Granted, it wasn’t a real airplane flying high in the skies, but it did contain a much more positive message than calling for the GM’s ouster.
The Jets reportedly had a team videographer fly a remote control helicopter around the team’s indoor practice facility. A Jets PR staffer confirmed to Newsday that the helicopter had a banner of its own that read, “Go Jets.”
Sadly, no video or photo has been made available documenting the preciously humorous scene.
In other “Fire John Idzik-gate” news, the embattled general manager had a terse response to an inquiry regarding the presumably embarrassing experience of having a small plane flying overhead at with a banner calling for his firing while speaking to the team’s owner and head coach.
Idzik, just arriving in North Carolina at the Piedmont Triad International Airport Friday morning, reportedly int own to attend the Clemson-Wake Forest game along with some other GMs and NFL scouts, was confronted about the mocking-by-airplane incident by a New York Post reporter. He was not pleased, not only with what had occurred at Wednesday’s practice but possibly the inquiry as well.
“What do you think I think?” he said, per the Post, apparently in an irritated tone. “We’ll get it straight.”
If only it were that easy.
Moving on, Rex Ryan, as much-maligned, embattled and beleaguered as his general manager, came to Idzik’s defense when asked about the “Fire John Idzik” movement, a cause that appears to be gaining steam with each passing day, not to mention each additional loss.
“I recognize the fans are in pain,” Ryan said, via Pro Football Talk. “But to place it on one person, I don’t think it’s fair.”
But Ryan understands how the fans are feeling.
“Trust me, I get it,” he said. “I know our fans are really frustrated. There’s no doubt about it. Obviously, we’re very frustrated. Everybody is. We want to win and all that type of stuff. I personally don’t think it’s appropriate. I’ll say this, we’re working our butts off. John, everybody, is working their butts off to find a way to win.”
Ryan, when asked if things are perhaps being taken a bit too far in singling out Idzik, he responded somewhat in affirmative, saying, “Maybe a little.”
But he nevertheless said fans should be free to express themselves in any way they see fit.
“The fans, I will never, ever say that the fans don’t have a right to do whatever they want,” Ryan said. “They absolutely do. They have a right to their opinions and everything else. Do they have the right to buy a billboard? Absolutely. They have a right for everything. I just think when you look at the big picture, this isn’t about one man falling short. That’s not it. We’re 1-8 collectively. We don’t like it. Trust me, we don’t like it. And so that’s kind of how I feel. I don’t understand this part of it. I really don’t.”
Depending on how things progress — or continue to regress, as it were — it may not matter much whether Ryan understands the manner in which Jets fans have reacted to all the losing or not. He’ll be out the door soon enough, perhaps just like Idzik.
The two, like it or not, may be in lockstep as they navigate the stairs to the gallows of things with the Jets don’t turn around … quickly.
Here are Idzik and Ryan taking a gander up into the sky at the airplane during the bizarrely surreal scene that played out at Wednesday’s practice.
But hey, the coach should take solace in one thing: At least there’s no “Fire Rex Ryan” website. Yet.
(photo credit: Bill Kostroun/Post)