Fireman Ed SHOULD be back leading the “J-E-T-S” chant during the next New York Jets home game. He represents the best of us. The man had the honor of leading the greatest chant in professional sports for almost 30 years before walking away from it all two years ago. He didn’t stop whipping Jets fans into a frenzy because it was what he wanted to do. He stepped away because it was what he HAD to do.
For those that do not know why he walked away – or go out of their way to bash this legendary Jets fan – allow me to dispel some of the common myths.
“Fireman Ed is a Dolphins fan”:
Ed’s father was not a football fan so he was not born in to a Jets household like many of us were. He was a casual Dolphins fan as a child until he attended his first Jets game at Shea Stadium with his brother. From that point forward, he has bled green and white. To hold something against a person for a decision he made as a child is absurd. As somebody pointed out on twitter today, that is like making fun of him because at one point he believed in Santa Claus. Ed has had Jets season tickets since 1975 – 40 years and counting. Speaking of his tickets…
“Fireman Ed was on the Jets payroll”:
This is absolutely false. Fireman Ed has never once taken a penny from the New York Jets. He does not get free tickets. He led the chant for all of those years for one reason – because he loves the Jets and he loves the fans.
Some fans called Ed a Jets shill because he switched from his #42 Harper jersey to the #6 Sanchez jersey during the 2012 campaign. That is ridiculous. Ed was trying to support the quarterback at a time where many Jets fans were trying to run him out of town. Regardless of how anybody feels about Mark Sanchez, no fan should be attacked for supporting a player on the roster. Fast forward to the night of the “Buttfumble”…
“Fireman Ed quit on the Jets.”:
Fireman Ed did not quit on the Jets. He is still a Jets season ticket holder and has been to every game since that Thanksgiving debacle. At halftime of that game, he went to the bathroom and was assaulted outside of a stall by a fellow Jets “fan” because he was wearing a Sanchez jersey. Let that sink in for a second. Society has gotten to the point where a legendary Jets fan got sucker punched IN HIS OWN STADIUM while using the bathroom because he was wearing the jersey of the starting quarterback.
Fearing for the safety of his family (who were attending the game with him) he quickly went back to his seats and told them that it was time to leave. With national television cameras on him, the perception was not reality. Ed was not quitting on the team. That theory is laughable considering that he was at every game during the Rich Kotite era leading the chant at a time that there was not much of anything to cheer about.
“There is nothing special about Fireman Ed! Any fan can lead a chant.”:
I have been fortunate enough to become friends with Fireman Ed over the last 6 months. I didn’t know him before I started the BringBackEd.com campaign. During the campaign, I found out what was so special about him. We received thousands of emails, Facebook messages and tweets from Jets fans all over the world with the stories about how much they miss him.
One particular email stands out in my mind. It was from a man that sent me two pictures. Both photos had 3 people in it. The first was a photo of him (as a 7 year old kid) posing outside of Giants Stadium with his father and Fireman Ed. The second photo was the same guy (now 30) posing outside of MetLife Stadium with his 7 year old son and Fireman Ed.
The amount of support that the petition got was awe inspiring. Every single person who signed it is responsible for bringing Ed back yesterday, even if it was only for one day. The Jets front office unsuccessfully tried to bring Ed back last year. The reason that our petition had better results is because it was the fans asking this time. Why was yesterday so special?
Edwin Anzalone gets the RESPECT he deserves:
Ed still loves leading the chant and getting MetLife Stadium fired up. Nobody can do it like him – that much is clear. Let this be an open message to the Jets fans who waste their time hating Ed.
You aren’t hurting Ed, you are killing a tradition that was supposed to be something that unified our stadium. You are killing the greatest chant in professional sports and you are doing your part to ruin the game day atmosphere.
Take a look in the mirror and be ashamed of yourselves. I hope it burns you up that Brandon Marshall handed him that football. I hope it made you sick that Darrelle Revis gave him respect in the post game press conference. I hope you read Damon Harrison’s tweets after the game and it sunk in how terrible you have been acting towards a fellow member of your Jets family. Those guys are on OUR side. Manish Mehta is on yours.
Your faction of Jets fans no longer gets to speak for us. If you fools want to feel like you have won because Ed won’t be leading the chant – good for you. The truth is that the people who support Ed won. We won because at the end of the day, Ed’s final chant will not be the same day that some idiot sucker punched him in a MetLife Stadium bathroom.
Fireman Ed SHOULD be back leading the chant during the Jets next home game. Unfortunately, he will not. Will he ever come back for a few more chants?
As Ed likes to say, “Never say never.”
Editors Note: If you would like to send Ed a personal message, please comment below. He will read and respond to them all.