Ode to Fireman Ed

Retired firefighter and Jets fan Ed Anzalone (Fireman Ed)

He was the most recognized fan of the New York Jets. A superfan, if you will. In his white fire hat and his Jets jersey, he was a fixture for the home team…both home and away. His chief responsibility, to lead Jets fans in their chant…


He was Fireman Ed. And he is no longer.

It’s safe to say most Jets fans weren’t feeling very grateful on Thanksgiving night, as they watched their team get blown up by the New England Patriots 49-19. There were mistakes, miscues, and the now infamous butt fumble, when Quarterback Mark Sanchez ran his head straight into Brandon Moore’s backside, knocking himself down, and fumbling the ball in the process. The most poorly executed play in football history? Possibly. The most entertaining? Definitely. That is, until the Patriots recovered the ball and ran it in for a touchdown. Then did it again. On the next play. This time on a Jets fumbled kickoff return.

Yes, it was more than most fans could endure. Even a superfan. Fireman Ed packed up his gear and left Met Life Stadium before halftime. But that’s not all he did. He also went home, deleted his Twitter account, and hung up his fire hat for good. He claims it isn’t the team’s performance that led to his early retirement, rather the growing hostility from the divided fan base. Or so he stated in his letter of resignation, published in the Metro.

Even Jets Coach Rex Ryan seemed saddened by the news of Fireman Ed’s departure. “I love that guy’s passion and the energy that he would bring.”

The fans could use that energy right now. Not to mention the team…

Which begs the question…was Fireman Ed really a superfan? The Jets are desperate. The fans are in despair. And he’s willing to quit and walk away…right when they need him the most? He could have set an example for fans…to stick together and stand by their team. No matter what. Instead, he gave them yet another reason to be disappointed.

So, (cue the Irish wake music) goodbye…old friend, Fireman Ed. May you rest in peace…

It won’t be long before another superfan swoops in to take your place.

Until that day, I’m sure Jets fans can figure out how to spell J-E-T-S without you.



Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 10: Livin On A Prayer…

Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck and Offensive Tackle Anthony Castonzo

Whooah…we’re half way there…

Give or take a week.  Or two.

Yes, I was inspired by the music coming from Soldier Field during Sunday Night Football.  And, it just happens to be my personal anthem.  Lucas Oil Stadium (or whoever controls the music at our pad)…take note.

We gotta hold on to what we got…

The Atlanta Falcons that it is.  Trying to hold on to their unbeaten record, the only one left in the NFL this season.  The Falcons played the Saints, who Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith is 2-7 against.  The Falcons fall to 8-1.  The 1972 Dolphins pop the champagne.  And then there were none…

It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not…

Or so it would seem between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.  Or…does it?  Tony Romo is living up to his nickname, Mr. November (no he was not in Playgirl), as he rallies his team to beat the Michael Vick-less Eagles (who left with a concussion in the second quarter).  And there doesn’t look to be a looming quarterback controversy with rookie Nick Foles at the helm.

Also helping the Cowboys, the Giants lost to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.  If Eli Manning’s arm was tired, it’s rested now.  He’s had two games in a row with no touchdowns.  You know what does look tired?  The Giants offensive line, which allowed four sacks on Manning.  And the Giants defense, which was holier than Tim Tebow.

We’ve got each other and that’s a lot…
For love…we’ll give it a shot…

That would be the Indianapolis Colts.  United by love for their sick coach, Chuck Pagano, the players shaved their heads for him this week.  Then went down to defeat their division rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The Colts, at 6-3, have a two game lead over the other AFC teams in the hunt for a wildcard playoff spot.  Yes, the Colts are the darlings of the NFL…and were also the darlings of the refs on Thursday night.  Still…the Colts are quickly becoming the team that no one wants to play.  Because, they are just that…a team.  And my team, so I may be a little biased.

We’ve got to hold on ready or not…

And the San Diego Chargers were not.  Ready.  At.  All.  For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  But, they were cleared of any wrong doing in the Stickygate scandal.  So there’s that…

You live for the fight when that’s all that you’ve got…

Only the New York Jets don’t appear to have any fight left in them.  Or if they do, it is on the bench…praying.  The Jets were beat by the Seattle Seahawks 28-7.  Even Seahawks Wide Receiver Golden Tate had a chance to throw…and he did.  For a touchdown to Sidney Rice.

A few side notes…

The NFL may want to look into this concussion thing, *insert sarcasm* as three starting quarterbacks went out with them on Sunday: Jay Cutler (Bears), Alex Smith (49ers), and Michel Vick (Eagles).  Two of which had something to lose…

And for the first time since 2008, we had a tie game in the NFL.  And just like last time…one of the players was not aware of the rules.  *Insert Donovan McNabb joke.*

Do they not cover this at rookie camp?  Brush up on it during training camp?  If I’m an NFL coach (and I don’t aspire to be), the first thing I do when my team goes into overtime is…REMIND THEM OF HOW IT WORKS!  And maybe have a pop quiz on the NFL Rule Book.  Sorry.  Didn’t mean to yell…

So, here we are.  At the turning point of the season.  Some things are becoming more obvious…others, more puzzling.  The one thing we can be sure of…a wild ride from here.

Take my hand…we’ll make it, I swear…


This post brought to you by Bon Jovi.

Another storm coming to the East Coast. This one is Tim…as in Tebow

Jets Quarterback Tim Tebow

As the East Coast takes a beating from Hurricane Sandy, our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.  May they reclaim their lives and livelihoods and return to everyday life just as soon as possible.

To those in and around New York, I add a caution: Be prepared.  Because, there’s another storm coming in its path.  And this one is high pressure and slow moving.  It’s been brewing for months now and we’ve seen it coming for weeks.

You know how tropical storms are named, right?  Alphabetical and alternating gender?  Well, the next one is male…and it starts with a T.  That’s right…it’s Tim.  As in…Tebow.  And it’s not going away quietly.

Here’s where we’re at…The New York Jets go into their bye week at 3-5.  Their best offensive and defensive players are out for the season.  Quarterback Mark Sanchez can’t seem to do anything right.  Head Coach Rex Ryan has never been an outspoken proponent of backup Quarterback Tim Tebow, and has in fact, taken every opportunity to support Sanchez as his starter.  In the meantime, the chants for Tebow are getting louder and more frequent each week, hitting a new crescendo during Sunday’s 30-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins at home.

Seeing as this is an election year, and everyone wants to blame someone…is Jets owner Woody Johnson to blame for all of this?  It was Johnson after all, who wanted to pursue Tim Tebow when the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning and chose to release him.

If you believe the reports, Tebow was offered a choice: Jacksonville or New York.  Many people (myself included) thought Jacksonville was a no-brainer for Tebow.  The Jaguars were a young team with some veteran talent, in need of a quarterback and leader.  Tebow grew up near Jacksonville, played for Florida, where he won a national championship for the Gators and the Heisman Trophy for himself (the first sophomore ever to do so).  He already had a fan base and could fill EverBank Field immediately, rescuing the Jaguars from the days of empty seats and blacked out games.  It was perfect.  Maybe, too perfect.

Tebow instead chose the Jets.  A team that had unsuccessfully pursued Manning, then recommitted to their current (albeit shaky) quarterback, Mark Sanchez, by signing him to a three year contract extension.  Maybe Tebow felt like the Jaguars (under new ownership and a new coach) were unstable.  Maybe he wasn’t ready to go back to Florida.  Maybe, as some have suggested, he felt like the bright lights of Broadway could shine a bigger spotlight on his true love, his faith and his foundation.  Whatever the case, Tebow chose the Jets.  And the rest is history (actually, more like reality television) being written week by week.

So what happens next?  Is there a standoff between Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson?  Is the cure for what’s ailing the Jets someone who isn’t yet on the roster?

All I know is this…you don’t get to be a millionaire (or in Johnson’s case a billionaire) by investing in something and dumping it before giving it a chance to show its worth.

I’m not saying Tim Tebow is the savior of the Jets.  But for the love of God and all things holy…let’s find out!  What do the Jets have to lose at this point?

Woody Johnson, 1.  Rex Ryan, 0.

Now brace yourselves…the storm is coming.


Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 8: The one with The Queen, and the bumble bees, and Superman…

Week eight of the NFL season had London calling for the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams.  It was strange to hear our anthem followed by God Save The Queen.  I still can’t decide how I feel about that.  But God save The Queen when she saw how the Patriots head coach was dressed.  Yes, The Hoodie went global.  And it made its debut during a fan rally in Trafalgar Square on Saturday.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick and Owner Robert Kraft

Will Belichick start a European fashion trend?  Will they be rocking hoodies with dress shirts and headbands on Oxford Street?  In Chelsea?  Probably not.  On behalf of America, I apologize to the Brits and Her Majesty.  I also apologize for the game…the Patriots beat the Rams 45-7.  American football is the greatest sport in the world.  But it is much more entertaining when two teams play.

At least they got to see the Gronk show.  Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski had eight catches and two touchdowns.  After the first, he did an awkward march before spiking the ball.  The crowd went nuts for his Changing of the Gronk.  Asked later who he was imitating, Gronkowski replied, “That little nutcracker dude that’s guarding the house.”  Americans…

Speaking of fashion statements…the Steelers took a lot of grief when they took the field on Sunday in this:

Steelers’ Halloween Costumes/Throwback Uniforms

Yes, the throwback uniforms are hideous.  But I think they were misunderstood.  The Steelers were dressed up for Halloween (as Peyton, Eli and Deion).  They just couldn’t get the wings and tutus to fly (literally) with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  That’s why they call it the No Fun League.

Seriously though, no one ever wore those as uniforms…right?

Meanwhile, on NFL Halloween Sunday…Indianapolis Colts Running Back Vick Ballard played Superman, though he wasn’t in costume.  It was without a doubt the play of the day (and most likely the play of the week, maybe the month).  In overtime against the Tennessee Titans, Ballard goes in flying, upside down, over the pylon for the game winning touchdown.

Colts Running Back Vick Ballard Flies One In (In Overtime) Against the Titans

It was the Colts’ first road win of the season (and last season) and their first back-to-back win of the season (and last season).  Bet the Titans get their hands on some Kryptonite (or Stickum) before the teams meet again in Indy on December 9th.

And a real life hero, 11-year-old Dante Cano from Marlboro, New Jersey.  He came up with the idea of using pink penalty flags for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and wrote Roger Goodell with his idea.  On Sunday, Cano was invited to Met Life Stadium to present the pink flags to the officials before the game between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins.

Dante Cano (11) Meets NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

We hope to see the pink flags used during all the October games next season.  And remember, you can now bid on all the NFL in Pink items used this month.  The money goes to the NFL’s A Crucial Catch.

Just proves you don’t need a cape or a jersey to be a hero.

Or a hoodie.


Pretty in pink penalties

NFL in Pink penalty flags to be used in Sunday’s game

Week eight marks the last Sunday in October and the last Sunday of the NFL in Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  But for those of us who love seeing pink on the field, there is one last surprise…

Along with the pink gloves, hats, and cleats worn by players, the NFL officials will also use pink penalty flags during the game between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.  The idea came from an 11-year-old New Jersey boy.

Letter from Dante Cano (11) to Roger Goodell


“Dante had a great idea and I am looking forward to meeting with him on Sunday to put it into action,” said Commissioner Goodell. “Sometimes the simplest ideas can be the best. I applaud Dante for sending in his recommendation.”

And so it is…the first (and hopefully not the last) pink penalty flags will fly during game time at Met Life Stadium in New York.

It may also mark the first time a penalty flag solicits a chorus of…”Super cute!”