Ed Anzalone quitting as ‘Fireman Ed,’ will remain Jets fan

How bad has this season been for the New York Jets? So bad that it convinced Ed Anzalone, aka “Fireman Ed,” to step away from his post as a fan leader for the team.

Anzalone has been a Jets fan since 1975 and has been leading a J-E-T-S chant from Section 134 at Jets home games since 1986. However, the drama, negativity, and losing surrounding the team became too much for him this season.

Fireman Ed left before halftime of the Jets’ loss 49-19 loss to the New England Patriots on Thursday. He also deleted his Twitter account that day.

In a column for Metro.us, Anzalone said that was the second time in a row he left before the game ended. He also explained why he would be stepping down as “Fireman Ed,” blaming society for the increased confrontations he’s faced this season.

Here’s what he wrote:

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.

Although I can “hold my own,” I do not want to lose my temper and make a stupid mistake. I have a responsibility to the families and kids that enjoy the game and Fireman Ed.

Anzalone added that he will always love the Jets and continue to attend games, just not as “Fireman Ed.”

It strikes me as pretty juvenile to create a superfan character and then drop the act when things don’t go so well one season. That’s how strong his faith is with the team? That’s how important he feels he is? I could understand if he wanted to step down because he’s getting old and doesn’t have the energy to yell during games anymore. That’s the type of decision that would be made during the offseason. But stepping down mid-season reeks to me of him being a poor sport.

Anzalone also made a clear mistake by supporting Mark Sanchez in the quarterback controversy with Tim Tebow. Once you start sharing an opinion on a team, it opens you up to debate. He should have stayed neutral if he didn’t want feedback on the matter, and he doesn’t know what’s best for the team if he thinks Sanchez should be their starter.

I suppose we really shouldn’t have expected anything too different from a guy who, according to his Wikipedia page, was a Miami Dolphins fan until he was 10. This guy is a joke.

Around The Web

  • http://www.facebook.com/briantennal Brian Tennal

    You know what they say about people who have to cite a wiki as a source.  Seems you really had to struggle to find a way to throw dirt on him.  Bad form and very unprofessional of you Mr. Brown.  One of the very first times I have to frown upon your work.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QLLHVF5VOEQZGT2A7TYFFD3ZDI Mike

    I would have to definately agree that your article is very unprofessional, don’t you have anything better to do than talk down about a guy who has supported a sports team for as long as he has? I think the answer to that is no, you don’t have anything better to do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.devooght Justin DeVooght

    Did you say that “Fireman Ed” is a joke? Instead of trashing a fan how about turning it to the terrible organization that breaks countless hearts every week.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1503662944 Jim Klapperich

    Correct, but isn’t this whole web site a joke?

  • BobsPath

    ” … and then drop the act when things don’t go so well one season. That’s how strong his faith is with the team? ”

    How could you possibly paint >25 years of fan leadership as juvenile and faithless? Larry Brown, I think you are confused.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GZUL7KHLNPTYVGJY53Z323Q2OE Alexander

    Meanwhile, New York’s Varsity Squad (The World Champion New York Giants) continue to roll having defeated the Packers 38-10. Why does anyone care about Fireman Ed’s pathetic devotion to the JV squad when there is a championship-winning team in NY?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GZUL7KHLNPTYVGJY53Z323Q2OE Alexander

    Switch to the Giants. Trust me, it is way more happy being a Giants fan. As you Jet fans suffer, we bask in the glory of Super Bowl wins.

    Jet fans endure, Giant fans celebrate championships.

  • mikeg53

    Who the hell is Larry Brown?

  • NYRFan_RF

    Yeah why did you have to throw mud at him too. He’s obviously tryin to avoid a fist fight at the game and you call him a “joke”. Who the hell are you. Sit behind your computer and write your stories but keep your worthless opinion to yourself. Your a joke. Before I read this I’ve never heard of you. Fireman Ed has been there through thick and thin, if he don’t wanna go to a Jets game with an alter-ego anymore that’s his Busness. All this coming from some worm who doesn’t even know the game of football. Stick with relative theory and leave the sports to the pros huh!! Doochbag!!

  • D S

    This Larry Brown guy is either not very smart or exceptionally lazy.  After reading Fireman Ed’s letter, it was real clear to me why Ed Anzalone made the decision he did:

    1.  Health and safety.  It’s obvious that the anti-Jet’s…or even pro-Jet’s heckling this guy receives is becoming increasingly hostile.  As people in our society become more brazen and aggressive, what once was just a heckler or loudmouth distration now can become a very dangerous situation.  How many times have we heard about fans getting assaulted outside (or inside) a sports area after a game?  Well, Ed has chosen not to open himself up for some idiotic “fan”. 

    2.  Liability issues for both himself and the Jets organizaiton.  All it takes is one incident.  Because Fireman Ed has been such a fixture in the crowd, people often think that he’s part of the organization – in either a paid or non-paid capacity.  If something unfortunate happens to either Ed…or a fan who’s harassing Ed, then you’ll see some stupid, expensive lawsuit against the Jets organization. 

    Larry Brown missed the whole entire bus on this lame article of his.   

  • radyjones

    Larry Brown is a joke.  I am a Miami Dolphins fan but I respect Fireman Ed because he was loyal to his team and respected his team.   He stayed with his team and did this a good part of his life.   To say he is a “joke” is just bad writing and trying to get “clicks” from a fan base that will reject such a statement.   He is just trying to get “clicks”  and it is messing with our heads.   It is just a game that a writer plays or this writer plays.  Even I fell for it as I am replying to such.   Ok Larry Brown, well done on pissing some fans off. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VVOC7RKEIFOE66M2LDBK6JNW44 cyndil

    Giants fan living in Naples, Italy. Saw the game on Monday morning. Giants are poised to make their move once again. Oh, I’m sorry……I did not know that the Jets were still an organization. Always loved fireman Ed though……gonna miss him……he illustrates what it is to be a REAL fan. Go G-Men Go !!!!

  • http://twitter.com/bigdaddyfilth bigdaddyfilth

    larry brown needs FIRED!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UU3P2X4NNAQ7PP4MHPXN3NEJP4 Wayfarer

    Trash writing. The explanation for him stepping down is obvious to everyone except the author. Superfans are there to support the team not to win any kudos from the likes of you or anyone else. So if he wants to drop the act then let him be. Never heard of this writer but this is definitely the last piece of filth I will ever bother to read.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2PL5J3MRQG5PGESTCGQNPBBMDE ron

    The Jets and the Cowboys are the butt-jokes of the NFL.  All the media attention and neither team worthy of one sentence.   Both organizations should be disbanded and enshrined in the football Hall of Shame.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQ2AB7B3E2H6YZI2WLJZGWZ5IY Go To The Light

    I am not sure why this writer decided to bashing Fireman Ed for making a decision he has a right to make.  He paid for his season tickets and it is his decision to be a diehard fan and a cheerleader.  In addition, Mr. Brown, maybe you should put on a Sanchez jersey and take his place in the bathroom, parking lot and in the stands. Then you may understand why he is giving up his position before the season is over. Is it possible like a lot of us who understand that the QB position is a highly skilled position? It appears the Jets have two inefficient QB’s on their staff. Nevertheless, blaming Fireman Ed for recognizing Tebow
    can’t play QB in the NFL is ludicrous. In addition, teams often fire coaches before the season is over. Maybe, it is time the Jets get rid of the coaching staff and the front office for picking up Tebow. At least Fireman Ed recognizes he is no longer needed as a cheerleader and he is stepping down. Some of those in front office and the coaches should follow his leadership.

  • TheDoctor67

    People have become like animals at these games.  You should try sitting in the seats and listen to all the filth and cursing that pour out of the mouths of the “fans”.  You can’t even bring your kids to a game these days.  Society is crumbling into degredation as we remove God from his throne. 

  • SherylSimpson

    going from his statement that i just read, he’s not quitting because the team is struggling.  he’s quitting because people are a-holes.  they think a football opinion entitles them to accost another fan.  Ed is right.  he is the victim of a bitter, entitled, respect-less society and i think it is honorable to step away rather than be forced into an action he would regret, mot likely defending himself.  i usually agree with you, but not this time.

  • MetsOldtimer

    My God, with everyone spitting at the Jets this year, Larry Brown has to go spitting at one of their fans? This is a terrible season for Jets fans, myself included. I can understand why Ed walked out, and why he decided to quit. We’ve been waiting for another championship for 44 years. That’s a long time. In between we had the loss to KC at Shea in December of ’69’, the Charles Rome recovery of a Bruce Harper fumble on the opening kick off of their first playoff game in 12 years, the AJ Dewey game, the overtime loss to Cleveland, and three other trips to the AFC championship game with nothing to show for it. After a while it gets to you, particularly with the other NY team having won 4 super bowls in that stretech of time. Jets fans, and Ed in particular, deserve a winner. They supported this team for more than 40 years without one, in good times and in bad, and it’s high time they were rewarded. Alas, it sure won’t be this year…..

  • MetsOldtimer

    The Giants also had some ‘hogs,” remember the Herman Edwards TD?…..and in the years when they did win, they were the benificiary of some questionable calls. Like, the one out in SF last year. You obviously became a Giants fan after they won. That’s makes you a fair weather johnnie.

  • http://twitter.com/LouStitzer Lou Stitzer

    I am not a Jet fan, although I have been to a few games. I wholly agree with Fireman Ed. He is truly a Superfan and good for the organization but enough is enough. I know how Jet fans can get especially if they are losing. I have kids too, and I agree with Ed that he has too much to lose. I always enjoyed his J-E-T-S chants. Its a shame that people will not be able to enjoy them anymore becuase of some jerky fans.

    Brown is a Clown, I never heard of you and now I know why. Criticizing Ed becuase he’s only been a fan since he was 10? Ed is not leaving becuase the Jets are doing poorly this season. Read his letter again. You Brown are a joke.

  • unkyjack

    Larry Brown must be from New York.

  • RicC

    As for Larry Brown, what happen to the freedom in America. Ed has a right to choose what kind of fan he wants to be. You on the other hand choose to be a harsh critic on his rights. You probably voted for a guy that steals  presidential elections and about to turn the free world upside down. The Jets are having a bad year, like many other teams. Its not Sanchez or Tebow, its the team that loses the game. To lose takes a team effort, to win it takes a team effort. If you want to critize someone do it to the refs for all their blown calls.

  • BringBackDaveTelgheder

    Wow this reads like it was written by a three year old.  I want my two minutes back.

    The Jets season has been a disaster, no one has any confidence in the coaching staff or the ownership to right the ship.  I don’t blame him for stepping down for now.

  • JunoJag

    If the guy is being harrassed and threatened who could blame him.  On top of that he said he would continue to go to games and support the team, so it’s not like they had one bad year and now he’s a Pat’s fan.  I’m a season ticket holder for anothter NFL team and have seen pleanty of incidents that I wouldnt want to be in the middle of.  If he has to change his persona to avoid conflict then he is making the right choice

  • JunoJag

    I agree it’s no longer just good old heckling it’s become down right abuse and increasingly more phyisical in nature. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B33AQIUTW5QUSQ264MTORFNCFE Francis Ferrell

    Sounds like Mister Anzalone is just doing the right thing for himself and his family. He’ll still attend JETS games, but solely as an icognito fan; which is alright by me. This dude is lucky he never had a heart attack during his rants! Anyway, too many fans get too loaded on the booze and become violent with eachother, especially when their team STINKS!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IZSOXBATHFMH6GYUX5LQWWRH2Y T

    It sounded like Fireman Ed was retiring because the fans around him were becoming more and more unruly and he wanted to avoid a confrontation. How does that make him a quitter? He never said anything about the Jets crappy record being his reason for resigning. Either the author of this article can’t read or has an axe to grind against Fireman Ed

  • HappyToHelp1

    The only reason I am commenting isa that the article is done in such poor taste. And…. T is right “It sounded like Fireman Ed was retiring because the fans around him were becoming more and more unruly and he wanted to avoid a confrontation.”

    Ridiculous conclusion to this “quitter” article, Get a life Brown not an opinion about “Fireman Ed”

  • http://twitter.com/RonaldEStewart Ronald E. Stewart

    Who do you think you are? Mr. Ed Azalone has devoted his time, money and enthusiasm as a diehard Jets Fan for decades. He has shown sportsmanship, respect and a true Honor for the game and the team he so dearly Loves. Fireman Ed, I salute you Sir, you are truly a Man amung Men. He also shows his apptitude to recognize that he has become a rule model of sorts and in doing so so He has taken that responsibility seriously and maintaining a level of consideration for the children whom watch these games and deserve a man like Mr. Azalone as a superfan. Don’t you think that reporting on the inept and horrid job being performed by the executive officers of the Jets organization? Starting from there head coach on down , ” S**T trickles down hill”, and in the case of the New York Jets, it just happens to erupt from all sources, maybe you should apply there since you wouldnt know an asset if it smacked you in the S**Thole you call a mouth.

  • http://twitter.com/RonaldEStewart Ronald E. Stewart

    Although we all have a right to our opinions, we should use dessernment and an informed knowledge of the things we opion on. You apperantely failed in that responsibility. To give your opinion is one thing, but to attack a man for making an informed decision in an effort to protect his person and family goes beyond an opinion, it is rude, misreported, arragant and in very bad taste. He as a “Superfan” has become a fixture of the Jets team and He recognized that due to the dissappointment and frustrations of  other Jets fans becoming hostile that the possibility of misplaced anger could arise a situation that could scar and otherwise damage not only He , but the team he so loves. I feel that you owe him an apology  in writing and in Person. If you have the slightest bit of Honor and self respect you will retract your frivilous and damaging statements and produce an article worthy of reading, you truly should be ashamed Mr. Brown.

  • Liberal_Al

    Not the least sad to see that creepy looking Fireman Ed whimp out of his act…The man looked like a total asshole. Not someone i would want to have as the # 1 Jets fan. supporter Just hope he doesn’t let the door hit him in the ass on his way out.

  • SmashYourMom

    Giants fan here. Fireman Ed stood for the things a true fan in any organization should be proud of. Every home game since 86? Thats a lot of losses and heartbreak. God forbid the roles reverse in the big apple, but I know who would still wear his Umenyiora jersey through it all. Me.

  • SmashYourMom

    OMG I remember in 2000 when we lost the bowl. I wasn’t a FOOTBALL fan(I was into other things as a middle schooler) but I always liked the Giants, Yankees, Rangers, and Knicks since I was from there (moved to VA in 99). 35-7?And my ONLY coat was a Giants coat. Plus I wasn’t popular. It was hell in the form of Bandwagon ravens fans, aged 12-15, public school.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QKWJLHEIIDD5FKVJ4RGWP4QL5Q TP

    Oh my…I know that I’m about the 100th person to respond in skepticism to Larry Brown’s comments.  Just wanted to add I’m not even a Jets fan…or a fan of any team in New York but I had to leave a comment all the same.  I read the article because I wanted to see why Fireman Ed (an icon among any pool of fans) decided not to be ‘Fireman Ed” anymore.  I like his explanation and took it at face value.  I’m sure he has to endure lots of scrutiny not only considering his team is having a bad season but also because he is “well-known” and receives a lot of attention.  Larry Brown added insult by calling Mr. Anzalone a coward for quitting during a losing season.  What a shame ’cause I really didn’t get that from Ed’s explanation at all.  He never said he was quitting as a Jet’s fan.  As a matter of fact he mentioned he was going to remain a fan.  He simply was tired of all the confrontations ’cause they were getting worse and worse…BUT Larry Brown decided to label him a turncoat because of it.  Horrible, horrible, horrible.  It’s a shame that your 10 years of sports experience didn’t tell you to write a different story Larry instead of this tabloid piece of crap that you pretty much fabricated to get your point across.  Good luck Ed…especially when trying to avoid unnecessary inquiries like this.

  • Peter Rabbit

    Can you fire yourself from your own site? I’ll write for you. Hell, I’ll even be your ghostwriter.

    You called this guy a joke, yet you wrote a full article on him. Not the Jets terrible team, terrible season, terrible coach, or the especially terrible fans that, much like you, have evidently taken an emotional position in a quarterback controversy that is a business decision. At least someone that goes by the name Fireman Ed should be seen as light-hearted, you’re a joke thinking either quarterback up there is worthy of being an NFL franchise QB.

  • greg eck

    larry brown, the so called “writer” of this article is a joke !! also, he is a coward with no guts or testicles !! larry brown should be dragged out to mid field of jets stadium, and be beaten to death by fireman ed and others !! larry brown is a joke, and also a vagina, and if anyone can find this guy and seriously injure or even kill him, that would be wonderful !!! F#ck larry brown :)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IULXOH6CPC3F4T3AYDBZLEPBAY ted perry

    It’s always been bad with idiotic Jet fans. It’s not just nowadays. My brother & I had beer bottles thrown at us back in 1993 when Shula was going to break Halas’ record for most wins by head coach. But just like most of Sanchez’s passes, they missed us, but hit a young girl. Fortunately it was only a minor cut.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1557918589 Bob Wadas

    I bet the people that have to sit by this idiot who never shuts up for the entire game are happy to watch a game in peace.. If my sesaon tickets were next to this guy I wouldnt go !

  • http://www.facebook.com/imyer.huckleberry.3 ImYer Huckleberry

    He could return as Fireman Dead …just like the Jets :) 

  • Tom Williams

    Maybe Fireman Ed should have kept going and getting in fights, then you could have thrown him under the bus for that? He didn’t say he would stop attending, just stop as Fireman Ed. Most teams would be proud to have a devoted fan like that and it wasn’t even the losing that made him leave, it was other fans! Not a Jets fan, never have been, never will be, but hats off to you Ed. I hope one day things at the stadium improve so that you can show the world what a true fan is!