Empty seats galore for woeful win
- Last Updated: 6:41 AM, December 3, 2012
- Posted: 12:49 AM, December 3, 2012
Disgusted Jets fans left an embarrassing quarter of the seats at MetLife Stadium empty yesterday.
But those who showed up were doubly rewarded — they watched as the main object of their scorn, quarterback Mark Sanchez, was benched and his third-string replacement became the sad-sack team’s new hero.
Even in victory, supporters of Gang Green poured out of the game wondering why it took so long for the Jets to turn to the little-known quarterback Greg McElroy.
“McElroy helped us to the win. Sanchez did nothing to help us,” said Jets fan Kerry O’Connor, 24, from Bethpage, LI. “If [Jets coach] Rex [Ryan] starts Sanchez next week, there’s gonna be some problems.”
The once-anonymous bench warmer led struggling New York to a 7-6 victory over the even-more-incompetent Arizona Cardinals in one of the ugliest NFL games ever played in New Jersey.
Fans heartily booed Sanchez’s name during pre-game introductions, and it only got worse from there when he threw three first-half picks.
“Sanchez was throwing interceptions for no reason. He was playing like garbage,” said Michael Devlin, 27, of Branford, Conn. “Then they brought McElroy on, and the place erupted as if the Jets just made the playoffs.”
McElroy engineered the game’s only touchdown drive, capping it with a 1-yard TD toss.
“Sanchez who? I don’t know who he is. Oh, wait, didn’t he throw three, four interceptions?” said wisecracking Jets fan Chris Plumaker, 50, from Harmony, NJ. “Everybody went nuts when he [McElroy] came on. It was the most exciting moment of the game.”
High-paid second-string quarterback Tim Tebow was unavailable, because he’s out with an injury.
The attendance was officially listed as a full house with 79,088 paying customers.
But the comedy of errors that passed for an NFL game actually unfolded in front of a little more than 60,000 actual attendees.
At halftime, hordes of angry Gang Green supporters clogged the aisles, near the stadium runway where players pass to get to their locker room.
Screams of “You suck, Sanchez!” were punctuated with one man yelling: “If you can hear me, Rex, bring in McElroy!”
Chants of “Mc-El-roy, Mc-El-roy!” grew in volume on every Sanchez errant pass.
“The chanting for the whole game, from the starting kickoff to the finish, was for McElroy,” said Robert Mecabe, 26, from Massepequa, LI. “After the way he [McElroy] performed today, he’d better start next week.”
Additional reporting by Zach Braziller