While the New York Jets 2012 season still has five more games to go, two of those at MetLife Stadium versus the Cardinals and Chargers, there will be something missing during those games. Ed Anzalone has been chanting J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, JETS! as "Fireman Ed" for many years now, but he has decided to just be fan for the foreseeable future.
Fireman Ed Anzalone has been a fixture at New York Jets games going back to Shea Stadium in 1975. He has been the unofficial team mascot when he took over leading the now famous chant at Jets games just before the start of games and after scoring plays. In a guest column for online Metro news that can be found here, he stated the following:
"On Thanksgiving night, I left the Jets game before halftime. This was the second time in a row I left before there were four zeroes on the clock. We have had much worse teams than this and I never left before. I pride myself in that, because I am not a quitter. I decided to leave Thursday because the confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common, even though most Jets fans are fantastic."
I have to say as a fan of the Jets now for 30-plus years, even though I have never attended again, but will eventually do so, I feel as if a large part of the enjoyment of watching the Jets games is now gone. Hearing the chant, which may likely be picked up by the fans regardless, has always helped me focus on the games and been a touch that makes the Jets stand apart from other teams. I think we all realize this season is another in a long line of failures for the Jets despite that with five games remaining they have a shot, albeit a dim one, of making the playoffs. Based upon the Jekyll-and-Hyde manner in which they have played they are playing out the string and looking towards a makeover in 2013.
Fireman Ed did conclude his statement by saying the following:
"I will always love the Jets because they are in my heart, and I will attend games as usual, just not as Fireman Ed. God bless and, as always, let’s go Jets!"
I, for one, hope he changes his mind, and decides to don his fireman's helmet and even return to his Bruce Harper number 42 jersey and lead the chant again. For sure if he doesn't it won't stop me from doing my own chant but the spirit behind it has been lost, and may never return.
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