Florham Park, NJ, United States (4E Sports) – After fueling the fire of home crowd for decades, New York Jets superfan Ed Anzalone, better known as “Fireman Ed”, has decided to retire the character that made him famous in the sporting world.
A Jets fan since 1975, the 53-year-old Fireman Ed popularized the cheer that’s known around the NFL: “J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!”
” I have enjoyed meeting all the wonderful Jets fans around the world and look forward to the day we all can raise the Lombardi Trophy as one and celebrate a world championship down the Canyon of Heroes,” Anzalone said.
Anzalone explained that decision to retire the fireman getup had nothing to do with the Jets’ 4-7 season.
In a guest column for Metro New York, Fireman Ed said that confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common, forcing him to retire.
Anzalone said that his loyalty to embattled starting quarterback Mark Sanchez was the cause of the confrontations.
“The stadium has become divided because of the quarterback controversy,” Anzalone said in his column. “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,” he added.
Fireman Ed, however, clarified that he will continue to root for the Jets and attend games, just not in his usual outfit.
Fireman Ed created a controversy when he left MetLife Stadium at halftime of the Jets’ 49-19 loss to rival New England Patriots and deleted his Twitter account.
Anzalone also revealed that he left early during the previous home game, a 30-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Fireman Ed used to wear No. 42 (Bruce Harper’s old jersey), but he switched to Sanchez’s number in a show of support as the quarterback’s father is a retired firefighter just like him.