EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Just when you think you have seen the depth of fan idiocy, you cover a New York Jets game, and the definition of classless is rewritten.
When Jets quarterback Chad Pennington went down with what was a terribly scary ankle injury, a chorus of cheers spilled down from the stands. It was thousands of Jets fans. Maybe tens of thousands. They were cheering Pennington getting injured.
|Pennington gets hurt and fans cheer. That's low ... even for New York. (Getty Images)|
What does Pennington get for that? He gets jeered by his own fans.
Thus the Jets have now surpassed the Philadelphia Eagles as the most obnoxious fans in all of sports.
Congratulations, Jets fans.
CBS Sports broadcaster Jim Nantz rightfully wondered just what the hell fans were thinking. He should have said more. He should have called them heartless and gutless because they were both.
It is OK to be frustrated by Pennington's spindly rotator cuffs and his familiarity with injured reserve. That's different from cheering a player who gets badly hurt.
Pennington would even make a return and lead the Jets on a scoring drive.
"He's a tough guy," said Jets wide receiver Laveranues Coles, "he has fought through quite a bit. Just being part of the team he leads, and being a teammate of his is just great. It's an honor to play with a guy like that, to see him continue to fight the way that he does regardless of the circumstances at that point in the game."
"It shows Chad's character," said coach Eric Mangini.
The last time I saw such disgraceful fan behavior was in Philadelphia eight years ago. Dallas was playing the Eagles and Michael Irvin landed awkwardly, injuring his neck. He stayed on the ground for almost 20 minutes while medical personnel strapped him to a stretcher and immobilized his head. It seemed very possible that Irvin was paralyzed.
Philly fans cheered. "Unspeakable, even for us," said a headline in one of the Philadelphia papers.