The New York Jets display a giant American flag during the singing of the national anthem for the home opener against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford. Syndication: The Record

Included in the background of the highly anticipated Week 1 matchup between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football was the fact that the game was being played between two New York-based teams on the 22nd anniversary of September 11, 2001, less than an hour away from the location of the World Trade Center.

Unfortunately, one caller into “The Jeremy White Show” on WGR 550 in Buffalo on Tuesday morning used the opportunity to work in multiple references to the terrorist attacks in an apparent attempt to troll following the Jets’ 22-16 overtime victory.

“I’ll never forget that one,” a caller proclaiming to be “Grant in Youngstown” began his call. “Rodgers, I don’t think anyone expected to see him collapse so soon. Maybe you guys would know this, you’re more in tune with the stats and with the history than I am, but someone told me that’s the shortest work day anyone’s had in New York in 22 years.”

After a beat of silence, the host replied: “He hung up. I don’t know if anyone got it, Grant. So I guess, good one.”

It’s tough to say why anyone — let alone a grown adult — would spend their time waiting on hold to make “jokes” about a tragedy that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people. Perhaps the best guess is that “Grant” is a disgruntled Bills trying to take some potshots at New York City following the Jets’ win over his favorite team, but it would be tough to even assume that as the explanation for a crank call in such obviously poor taste.

While listener calls have been a staple of sports talk radio — especially after NFL losses — the format does leave shows susceptible to such content. In this case, however, the caller was subtle enough (at least initially) to evade any potential guardrails in place to prevent such calls from making it to air.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only time the anniversary of 9/11 was linked to the sports world this week for the wrong reasons. On Monday, DraftKings apologized after initially offering a “Never Forget” parlay promo featuring the Yankees, Mets and Jets to win.

[Garret W on Twitter]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.