Guest Column: 'Fireman' Ed steps away, but not as fan
Fireman Ed will no longer play team's mascot
Published: November 25, 2012 6:56 p.m.
Last modified: November 25, 2012 7:00 p.m.
On Thanksgiving night, I left the Jets game before halftime. This was the second time in a row I left before there were four zeroes on the clock. We have had much worse teams than this and I never left before. I pride myself in that, because I am not a quitter.
I decided to leave Thursday because the confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common, even though most Jets fans are fantastic.
This is an indication of how society has lost and is continuing to lose respect for one another. The stadium has become divided because of the quarterback controversy as well. The fact that I chose to wear a Mark Sanchez jersey this year and that fans think I am on the payroll — which is an outright lie — have made these confrontations more frequent. Whether it’s in the stands, the bathroom or the parking lot, these confrontations are happening on a consistent basis.
Although I can “hold my own,” I do not want to lose my temper and make a stupid mistake. I have a responsibility to the families and kids that enjoy the game and Fireman Ed.
I have enjoyed my time in chanting the greatest chant in all of sports. I have enjoyed meeting all the wonderful Jets fans around the world and look forward to the day we all can raise the Lombardi Trophy as one and celebrate a world championship down the Canyon of Heroes!
I will always love the Jets because they are in my heart, and I will attend games as usual, just not as Fireman Ed. God bless and, as always, let’s go Jets!
–Fireman Ed Anzalone was a New York City firefighter for two decades and has been a Jets fan since 1975.
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I love being a Jets fan and they will always be the team I have in my heart. Also note, I would never get into some sort of confrontation with another Jets fan just because we do not see eye to eye on the direction the team should take. Although you may not believe it, I do respect everyones opinion on this board. I steadfastly disagree most of the time with sugar coated beliefs of others, but I do not take things personal. I'm sure we can all agree that we all want the New York Jets to win it all sometime soon.
I had no problem with him..... I think the state of the team didn't help either.
hard to stand by Woodys decisions lately.
People are a-holes. As much as we all disagree with one another - about the players, about the zip code, whatever - we are all Jets fans. It's a brotherhood. And it is shameful that he had to put up with the **** he had to from those who are jealous of the attention or just haters in general.
Been going to games since I was 5 years old. As a kid, I didn't really understand what was happening on the field, but I always enjoyed watching for the crazy guy on the other guy's shoulders and seeing how he could quiet the crowd and then make it roar with the chant. Never understood all the hate for the guy.
Thanks for the memories, Ed.
Last edited by The Green & White; 11-25-2012 at 09:12 PM.
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Originally Posted by The Green & White
I always enjoyed watching for the crazy guy on the other guy's shoulders and seeing how he could quiet the crowd and then make it roar with the chant.
And guess who wont take up the mantle? Those same dooshbargs who spewed countless hours of jibberish right here bashing the guy, while they sat on their hands at Jet games...but all the while... keeping careful track of how many games they have been to so they can wear it like a medal.
For 26 years now, Ed Anzalone has gotten transformed eight Sundays out of the year into “Fireman Ed,” the most iconic football fan in the nation. Anzalone, sitting atop his brother’s shoulders, his image displayed on the stadium’s big screens, leads the green-clad crowd in the “J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!”
The franchise will turn to a new era on Dec. 2 when the Jets host the Cardinals, as he will be “Fireman Ed” no more.
The retirement of Anzalone in his special role in the game day experience at MetLife Stadium is the end of an era for Jets fans used to his presence in section 124. On Thursday night, with the Jets down 35-3 at halftime of what turned into a 49-19 home loss to the Patriots, Anzalone left the stadium. It had nothing to do with the team’s 4-7 record this year or the fact that they likely won’t make the playoffs for a second straight year.
“Listen, I went through the Rich Kotite era — we were 4-28 in that era. Any Jets fan knows this isn’t the worst of times; it isn’t close,” Anzalone told Metro. “It’s been about the nastiness. I just think society in general — you’re out in your car there’s no respect at all. I don’t want to put up with that from people taking it out on me anymore.”
Anzalone said fans have gotten nasty and confrontational with him, often mistaking him as part of the organization when he is merely a season ticket holder “who has never received a dime from this team.”
He said he will still go to games and that he never, ever can quit on the Jets. It isn’t the mounting losses or the lack of wins that is bothering him, but rather the boorish behavior of fans.
“That is right. For me to write a letter, I think it is best that I move on. I’m sure there will be somebody else that takes over. I wasn’t the originator of the chant and I won’t be the last one. It’s got to end,” Anzalone said.
“I wouldn’t go to my same seat. I’ll be in different seats. I have a ton of guys that have 10 or 12 seats that sell and I’ll grab a couple of theirs. I can’t be in the section that I’ll be in. I can’t be in the same section and not be ‘Fireman Ed.’ But I am thankful to have been the maestro of that chant all those years. The fans humbled me by getting behind me and joining me.”
Anzalone, a New York City firefighter, would spend his pregame time not with his buddies drinking beers and grilling burgers but rather visiting children’s birthday parties in the parking lot or posing for pictures with children battling cancer. He was everywhere before the game but minutes before kickoff he’d walk down the stairs to his seat, often to a standing ovation from Jets fans in his section.
A season ticket holder since 1976, he was first put on the big screen at the old Giants Stadium 10 years later to fire up the crowd.
Anzalone hasn’t informed the Jets of his decision to hang up his fireman helmet.
“No, I haven’t notified them of anything. I’m not on their pay roll,” Anzalone said. “I don’t owe the Jets anything.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.
Last edited by Traitor Jay & the Woodies; 11-25-2012 at 09:21 PM.