By Danny Cox
The horrific season for the New York Jets just continues to get worse, and this time, their biggest fan is giving up on them. Fireman Ed has cheered for the white and green machine for decades, but he has finally decided to hang up his fireman’s hat.
Ed Anzalone – Fireman Ed – caused a lot of talk on Thanksgiving night when he walked out of MetLife Stadium at halftime of the Jets’ blowout loss to the New England Patriots. He then deleted his Twitter account, and announced on Sunday evening that he would no longer attend home games for the Jets as Fireman Ed.
The 4-7 Jets had no idea what hit them on Thursday when they lost 49-19. They truly had no idea what happened when the Patriots scored 35 points in the second quarter alone.
Thursday night was not the first game that Anzalone left early this season. He also left early during the 30-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins. This week’s embarrassing performance and poor season isn’t the reason that Fireman Ed is done with his “J-E-T-S” cheers, though.
In a guest column for Metro New York, Anzalone states that he left the game on Thursday due to the other fans. He just doesn’t like the way the season has gone and how the Jets’ fans have started being more confrontational.
“Confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common, even though most Jets fans are fantastic.”
A lot of the flack that Anzalone has received comes from the fact that he now wears the jersey of Mark Sanchez. He wears the jersey simply to show support for the starting quarterback of his favorite team.
“The stadium has become divided because of the quarterback controversy,” he claims. “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.”
Formerly, Anzalone wore Bruce Harper’s old number 42 jersey, but decided to switch when Sanchez started struggling. Fireman Ed wanted it known that he supported the starting quarterback of the Jets and stood behind him. He even flew to Pittsburgh to attend the road game against the Steelers and root for the Jets.
Anzalone hardly ever attended away games.
After his “retirement,” there was no comment from Anzalone after messages were left for him.
The 53-year-old retired firefighter has been a true Jets fan since 1975, and is most well-known for his fireman’s hat and popularizing the very familiar cheer:
“J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!”
For the 2012 season opener, the Jets even invited him to take part in the pregame ceremony. From midfield, Anzalone led the entire stadium in the famous cheer and got everyone fire up. That goes to show you just how popular he had become.
While Ed is still going to be attending home games and cheering on his beloved Jets, he just isn’t going to be doing it in his usual attire. Anzalone simply won’t be the famed character known as “Fireman Ed” anymore.
“I have enjoyed my time in chanting the greatest chant in all of sports,” he says. “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.”
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.