Fireman Ed blows his top, leaves NY Jets with another PR issue
Mark Sanchez stinks at quarterback, Darelle Revis and Santonio Holmes are lost for the season due to injuries, Rex Ryan can’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag and Tim Tebow has been rendered useless after leading the Denver Broncos to the playoffs just a year ago.
These issues seem pretty bad on the surface, but the latest, and possibly biggest, issue, PR or otherwise, for the organization is the loss of the J-E-T-S biggest fan, the aforementioned Fireman Ed (who's really not a fireman).
For those who aren’t familiar with Fireman Ed, he is the Jets fan who sits in the front row at every Jets home game and is known for his decked out fireman hat and leading the “J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS!” chant. Ed Anzalone has been a season-ticket holder since 1976, but recently decided to hang up his helmet and give up his role as Fireman Ed. Not because the team got blown out on Thanksgiving by the Patriots, 49-19, on national TV. Not because the team is 4-7 and essentially out of the playoff race, but because Jets fans are, as we in New England have always known, not nice people.
Anzalone said in an interview with Kristian Dyer of the New York Metro:
“Listen, I went through the Rich Kotite era — we were 4-28 in that era. Any Jets fan knows this isn’t the worst of times; it isn’t close. It’s been about the nastiness. I just think society in general — you’re out in your car there’s no respect at all. I don’t want to put up with that from people taking it out on me anymore.”
So, the other Jets fans have finally done it. They have scared off their most loyal fan with their derogatory remarks and negative attitudes. My question is….why? So, your team stinks this year. Big deal. Every NFL team has a down year. As a Patriots fan, I can remember the days when they weren’t even considered a viable NFL team. That was some time ago now, but you get the point.
Do Jets fan, or members of the Jets front office, understand what this does to their organization from a PR standpoint? Players and coaches have been feeding energy off of Fireman Ed for years now, and he has stood by the team through thick and thin. Now he is taking a back seat and will not be leading the charge, all because other Jets fans started bantering him about wearing a Sanchez No. 6 jersey to this year’s games.
Let’s be honest, Fireman Ed was not the problem. In fact, he was attempting to be part of the solution. Getting fans fired up for a game that in all likelihood didn’t mean a lot given the team’s record. Now the Jets have to face the hard facts that:
- They are not going to make the playoffs
- The archrival Patriots are running away with the division
- The New York Giants (who happen to share the same stadium) are leading the NFC East division and are the defending Super Bowl Champions. And now;
- They have lost one of the most recognizable fans in the NFL; Fireman Ed.