As you all may have heard by now, “Fireman Ed” is no more. Retired firefighter Ed Anzalone will no longer be leading the famous J-E-T-S chant at the Jets games anymore. He will attend the games, but as himself, sitting in a different section. He left the game early on Thursday night, and has decided to end his reign as chant leader. He talked to the “Metro” about why, and wrote a guest column for them. Let’s see, in his own words, why he decided to end things, courtesy of www.metro.us:
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!
I quickly wanted to address this issue. Yes, this is far from the biggest issue facing the New York Jets right now. But, this is a sad day for JetNation. For many years, Fireman Ed leading the way got the stadium rocking. It was unique, something we could call our own in a stadium that we don’t even own. He made it our home.
He made a good decision. Doing this is not worth being harassed, threatened,…etc. He didn’t deserve that. Fireman Ed did nothing to anybody, except for getting the fan base excited. Shame on the fans that felt the need to hold him responsible for the Jets issues. Kudos to him for looking out for himself.
I, for one, will miss the tradition. I have had the pleasure of interviewing Ed for this site, as well as chatting with him at Curtis Martin’s Hall of Fame induction. He doesn’t deserve the treatment he has received from Jets fans. Well, this one will miss him.