My Thoughts on Fireman Ed Stepping Down

My Thoughts on Fireman Ed Stepping Down

Warning:  Angry Post below.  If this offends you, then you are one of the haters I talk about and mission accomplished.

The man we have grown to know as the unofficial leader of Jets Nation has stepped down yesterday as “Fireman Ed”.  Ed Anzalone is still a Jets fan, make no mistake and he plans on going to every game, he just won’t be leading chants, taking photographs with fans and doing the things he’s been doing since I can remember.  To clear the record, he didn’t quit the Jets because of their recent play or record, he quit the haters.

I’ve never been more disappointed in Jets nation than I am right now, and no I’m not lumping everyone in that category.  I’m talking about the people that spew their hate at Ed.  I’m talking about the people that think it’s cool to attack fellow fans.

I do get that people didn’t like Ed.  If you are one of them and did it without saying vile things, then I’m not lumping you in with the haters.  You have your reasons, and I’m not trying to convince you that you had to support him.

Let me reiterate, I’m referring to the people that go out of their way to hate.  Hate him in person, hate him on Twitter, hate Jets fans that supported him.  You know who you are.  I’m talking about the people who are sub-tweeting about people who don’t share their views.  Grow up and confront people in a respectful manner.  Do you need to participate in goon behavior?

Ed talked about it in his open letter of why he’s stepping down.

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.

I have seen some of the ugliest most vile tweets in the last day than I have in the six years I have been on twitter.  This has nothing to do with me or the fact that I supported Ed.  It’s the fact that everyone has a right to feel the way they do, but if you don’t agree with someone, you get called out and demonized.  Why does it have to come to this?

Jets nation is a mess.  Oh yes, and it started from the top to the coaches, to the players and now to the fans.  We are a split nation, not a Jets nation.  Am I being too dramatic, maybe, but this is how I feel and this is my blog.  You know where to go if you can’t take my words.  Click Off.

I’ve seen just about every reaction and again I find it funny that people criticize others because they are expressing their feelings.

  • I’ve seen tweets that this is a non-issue, Ed stepping down.  That we should only talk about the X’s and O’s.  I disagree.  If this is a non-issue, why is this consuming Jets nation.  Oh you are going to say that bloggers like me caused this because I keep talking and writing about it.  Ok then.
  • I’ve been slammed with people telling me Ed was a Dolphins fan.  AND?  This one I laugh at.  Ok, and he found his way to Jets nation and has been with them for most of his life.  I was a Steelers fan at 7.  Should I be run out of town too?
  • This one I love.  Ed gets free tickets.  Unless he lied to my face, he pays for his own tickets and pays for his PSL just like I do.  Many people love to tell me it’s not true and every time I ask for a source I get no reply or I get a troll trying to “bust my balls”.
  • Ed made money by being Fireman Ed.  He had an app, he charged for appearances.  So?  Good for him.  You’re telling me he’s not a fan because he made a profit of his celebrity?
  • Fans say he stole the Jets chant.  Ed never claimed to start it.  He knows where it was created, he just carried on the tradition.
  • The Jets Chant won’t die.  Oh it will exist, but not in the way we’ve seen it for the last four decades.  I was told that the four video boards will do the trick.  Great, that must be an answer from Generation Y.  Call me old fashion, but a human leading the chant is way better than an electric board.  Some say we were sheep following Ed when he told us to stand and chant, but now we’ll be sheep following a lifeless robot board.  Great.
  • Most Jets fans born BEFORE 1982 understand this as a big deal.  I’m not lumping everyone together as their are exceptions to both sides.  I know 19 year old’s that are sad that Ed is gone, and I know 50 year old’s that are glad he’s gone.  I’m just saying that a tradition ended yesterday, and the old timers know the stadium experience won’t be the same.  But then again, I never felt at home in the new one.  Something doesn’t feel just right.
  • Some fans say I feel this way because he was “my boy”.  I met him once and spoke with him in Canton Ohio this summer when Curtis Martin was inducted into the hall of fame.  He’s as authentic a Jets fan than I have ever met.  He’s intense and he loves his Jets.
  • Some fans say he did this for the attention.  That he is being a baby.  That Ed is a media whore.  Ed felt that he was at the point where he was going to lose his cool and end up in jail with the haters confronting him.  When he just left the Thanksgiving game without a word, people went nuts.  How else is he supposed to step down.  People would have gone nuts if he didn’t show up to the last two games without this open letter.  This was his only play.  Haters are hating on how he left.  Unreal.
  • Some fans say that he brought this on himself by changing his Jersey from #42 to #6.  That showing support for a JETS PLAYER who was struggling caused this.  This had nothing to do with Tebow by the way.  Ed was saying that because the fan base is split between Sanchez and Tebow, the people who lost faith in Mark took offense he was wearing #6 and received hate.  Tim Tebow didn’t cause this.  To say he did is ridiculous.  On the flip side, to say Sanchez also caused this is also silly.

So I’m sorry to go on in a rant as it’s not typical of me, but this one bugs me.  Our OWN fans drove Fireman Ed to quit something that he has done for four decades.   It must take some great hate for a man to quit something he had great passion for, that is leading the stadium in chants.

If you didn’t like the guy and participated in the hate, congratulations.  You got what you wished for.  Now go look in the mirror.  I hope you like what you see.  The sad thing is, you probably do.

  • BillyDee

    I agree with you %100!

    People need to grow up, learn some manners, respect and get a life!

    Didn’t your parents ever tell you that if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything! I’ve always been a Jets fan and will continue to be a Jets fan. Not happy with how this season is going, but there’s always next year.

    Nice job EM.

  • firstklass

    Erik it’s sad that people take pride in disrespecting and insulting others only because they share different views then they do. I agree with you 100% the stadium will never be the same. Personally I have seen Ed leading the chants since I was just a kid and it’s a damn shame to see him give up on something he loves to do because of other fans. As a Jets fan I’m embarassed and disgusted about this. Sad times for JetsNation.

  • Jerry

    I fall in the pre ’82 crowd (been watching this team for 30 years) and I myself am sorry to hear that Ed has stepped down, not due to health or just getting older but by the negativity he received. I’ve always felt a kindredship with other fellow Jets fans and to hear that a very visible “fan” is being verbally abused shows a bad precedent. Never thought I’d see this happen within the fan base.

  • Laurenc825

    I love your blog. I am also a die hard Yankees fan and we have an unofficial roll call from the bleacher creatures. I do not understand why Ed is being victimized. However, I do feel that the jets community has fallen apart. People are mad but harassment like this is inhumane.

  • CandiKay

    I have been a Jets fan since I was 4 years old, and Joe Namath was QB, in 1969. I have always known that NY fans can be brutal. Toss in the media, and it can be a real gruesome affair. It used to be the haters were a small minority that we tolerated and ignored, but their numbers have grown to a point where they can’t be ignored anymore. Like bratty juvenile delinquents, you simply can’t just ignore their raunchy behavior and think they will outgrow it. And the unfortunate truth is, those rotten apples truly are spoiling the whole barrel, as the unfortunate loss of Fireman Ed attests to. My wish is that the good fans, the true fans who love and support the Jets, win, lose or draw, would stand up and cheer so loudly and heartfully for the Jets, we could completely drown out the vicious haters, and silence them once and for all. Unmask their hatred as the unacceptable behavior that it is. Silence this growing minority once and for all, and make it clear to each and every one of them, that their rudimentary behavior will not be tolerated any more! People like that are not true fans. They do not belong in our trenches, and we need to weed them out. Pointed out in the light of day, surrounded by the true fans of the Jets, half of them would bow their heads in shame, and become silent once again. The other half, the true villains in the trenches, we would either snuff out, or choke them out with their own vomitous chants of hatred. They are the rabid dogs we have allowed to breed, and it’s time we castrate them and send them packing! True fans support their team regardless of how many wins they manage. In fact, when your team is struggling, that’s when they need a fans support all the more. The true magic that carries many teams across the finish line into the win column rather than a loss, IS the love and support they feel from the stands, which hoists them up on a giant wave of inspiration and adrenaline, and carries them into the end zone! Likewise, the rabid, vile hatred the Jets are faced with from some so called fans and media alike, I believe to be the true culprit of the number of losses our team has suffered. Success in the face of such negativity and rabid rancor, would be miraculous for anyone to achieve! True Jets fans have to unite! Support your team when they need you the most! Put Fireman Ed back in full form where he should be! And once and for all, knock the haters out of our ranks, and let them puke their rancid bile somewhere else! I hear the Giants have some openings! Go plunk your worthless butts on their benches, and stay the hell away from my Jets!

  • ‘NYCPE’inGermany

    Nice post, well said.

  • bonozoffa

    Well said and I agree w/ all your points…except for the one that this is a story. The only “reporters” who are giving this thing legs are the bloggers. Otherwise it might be the one instance where the MSM has gotten something right and ignored this as a story. Or wrote just enough about it to stoke the bloggersphere and get themselves some attention.

    And I look forward to seeing you and the rest of my fellow Jets fan lifers on Sunday @ MetLife Stadium. The rebuilding of a nation starts on 12/2/12.

  • nickballs2000

    like ive said a million times Eman….no real, lifelong, diehard Jet fan would treat Ed or any other fan like this……just like the fools in that thankgiving video…those are fraud fans imo…people that could care less about this team ….the type of people who say “ill start rooting again, when they start winning”…….im not being pompous or arrogant..but they arent fans like myself, or my dad, or you Eman….we love this team…and more importantly we love the name on the front of the jersey….of course we criticize the team…of course we are furious and angry and pissed off…….u see me all week on twitter Eman….im fed up with the crap on the field….but id never get in the face of our players and call them garbage, or trash or mock them…….id never go up to fireman Ed and try to fight the guy……..i care too much about this team…..and honestly, maybe it is TOO much……but my pops had season tickets in Shea…this team is in my blood…..i protect it on twitter and on the blogs to a fault maybe….but thats how it goes………not sure what else to say…im furious about this Fireman Ed thing……not that he left, but that he was forced out by fraud A$$ fake Jet “fans” that go to the game once in a while because they get free tix from a guy at work…that go there to get hammered drunk and yell at everyone…….screw them…..

  • Observer

    Never been a Fireman Ed fan and thought he was phoning it in the last few years (he used to make the letter with his hands — the last few years he just moved his hands a drop in the general direction he used to when actually making the letters). On the one hand, there is no reason to be rude and although not a fan, I wouldn’t have challenged the guy for any reason. On the other hand — you live by the sword you die by the sword. He chose to make himself into a public persona — once you do that — you have to expect to take the hits that go along with it.