As a New Jersey born Georgian, I have my share of clashes of culture here in the south’s empire state. The most common occurrence is when I’m out at a local pub or sports bar, and find myself screaming the “J-E-T-S, JETS JETS JETS!” cheer along with New York Jets head cheerleader-in-the-stands, Fireman Ed.
Now it appears that I won’t have the most famous Jets fan of all to lean on as an explanation when questioned about my sanity.
Ed Anzalone–known better as Fireman Ed–walked out on the Jets during their Thanksgiving day annihilation by the New England Patriots. No, it wasn’t because the Jets are so hapless this season. Anzalone has seen worse teams come and go. His reason for leaving the game, and the personae of Fireman Ed for good, is much more troubling.
“I decided to leave Thursday because the confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common, even though most Jets fans are fantastic.” stated Anzalone when speaking with cbssports.com, “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.”
As someone who originally hails from the area that gave birth to the rude, I’m not completely shocked by this, but I do find it sad. Fans in the New York/New Jersey area could always point to Fireman Ed as the glue that not only held them together as a fan base, but also gave Jets fans outside of the tollbooth states a feel-good reason to cheer for the not always loveable gang-green.
Fireman Ed is hanging up his hat and sweater, and penning his resignation as the head mouth in charge at MetLife Stadium. His Mark Sanchez jersey has drawn the ire of far too many fans, and to the man who always put his team before all, that’s just too much to deal with.
Take note Woody Johnson. Your front office and their blundering ways just forced out the greatest Jet fan of them all. It wont be long now before the rest of the dominoes begin to topple if you don’t make some wholesale changes, and fast.