So far in 2012, the New York Jets have had a season that they'd probably rather forget. Now one of their biggest fans is stepping down as their most recognizable and visible rooter. Kind of.
In a guest column at the Metro, Ed Anzalone -- better known as "Fireman" Ed -- wrote that he is retiring his superfan persona and will no longer be leading the crowd in his trademark "J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS" chant -- the same chant that has delighted schoolchildren for decades and caused the Pope himself to weep tears of joy.*
Ed had good things to say about the team and the fans in general, but claimed he is stepping down due to increased confrontations -- which might be blamed on society at large. Figures. I knew it was society all along. Here's the explanation straight from Ed:
I decided to leave Thursday because the confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common, even though most Jets fans are fantastic.
This is an indication of how society has lost and is continuing to lose respect for one another. The stadium has become divided because of the quarterback controversy as well. The fact that I chose to wear a Mark Sanchez jersey this year and that fans think I am on the payroll - which is an outright lie - have made these confrontations more frequent. Whether it's in the stands, the bathroom or the parking lot, these confrontations are happening on a consistent basis.
Ed closes out the column by saying that he will continue to attend games; just not as Fireman Ed. It's a dark day for New York sports, everyone. In Ed's honor, let's all observe a moment of yelling until all the veins in your head and neck pop out.
* These things did not actually happen as a result of the chant. The Pope cried because Rex wouldn't start Tebow.