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.