NEW YORK (WFAN) — Fireman Ed says he still lives and dies with the New York Jets, even though he’s not leading the chant at MetLife Stadium anymore.
Ed Anzalone joined WFAN’s Sid Rosenberg on Saturday to chat about his decision to step down as the team’s unofficial mascot. Anzalone said it was a confrontation in the bathroom during on Thanksgiving Day 2012 — the night of the infamous “Buttfumble” — that made him hang up his helmet.
“It’s not the Jets fans. Believe me,” he said. “Listen, you’ve got a lot of people that go to these games, they’re not a fan of anybody. They’re just there because — you know, they’ve got their beers in them, and they’re gonna be tough guys.”
The Jets haven’t had much success with the chant in the season-plus that Fireman Ed has been on the sidelines. This year they’re launching an online contest to find eight new “J-E-T-S” leaders — one for each home game. The news reignited the debate about Fireman Ed, and whether he should return to his old post.
It also opened up a window for the anti-Fireman Ed crowd, who have been quick to point out that Anzalone grew up a fan of the Miami Dolphins.
“I’m a Jets fan and I’m proud of it,” Anzalone said. “And you know what? When I die, (during) the autopsy, my blood’s coming out green. I’ll always love them. It’ll never die, OK? It won’t come out aqua blue or whatever. It’ll come out Jet green, baby.”
Anzalone spent half the interview talking Jets, and the other half ripping two detractors who happen to be WFAN employees: co-host Joe Benigno and former Jets beat reporter Peter Schwartz. (UPDATE: Schwartz has responded, and it’s a must-read.)
“What was always the line? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” he said. “Well, that’s what I do, brother. I know everything that’s said out there. I know what’s going on. And that’s fine by me.”
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