So this is what it's come down to.
Fans of the New York Jets no doubt thought that they had finally, mercifully hit rock bottom during Thanksgiving night's humiliation at the hands of the hated New England Patriots, but it turns out there's even more humiliation.
Like your own unofficial mascot hanging up his hat in disgust.
That's exactly what's happening. As Kristian Dyer of Metro New York reports, "Fireman" Ed Anzalone, who has been a fixture at Jets games for over 25 years, is finished with his role as a cheerleader for the team, although it's not for the reason you might think.
It's not the losing. It's the fans.
“Listen, I went through the Rich Kotite era — we were 4-28 in that era. Any Jets fan knows this isn’t the worst of times; it isn’t close,” Anzalone told Metro. “It’s been about the nastiness. I just think society in general — you’re out in your car there’s no respect at all. I don’t want to put up with that from people taking it out on me anymore.”
This may not seem like that big a deal, but when one of your team's most vocal supporters stops being so vocal because other fans want to strangle him because the team's horrible, that would seem to be something that the organization might take notice of.
However, this is an organization that has a general manager who added an incredibly divisive player to the locker room as a marketing tool, assuming that you give Mike Tannenbaum credit for being smart enough to see Tim Tebow's marketing appeal and don't think he just added him, you know, because.
It's also an organization with a head coach that has so completely, totally and utterly lost his locker room that the team can be embarrassed in every facet of the game at home in a must-win scenario against a division rival in prime-time on national television.
On second thought, they probably haven't noticed.
It's Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan, owner Woody Johnson and the players that fans should be mad at. They're the ones who put sizzle above steak, hoopla above football and the team and its fans that are paying for it.
Don't be mad at Fireman Ed. He's a fan just like you, and his attitude when asked about informing Jets personnel that he was "stepping down" tells you all you need to know about the state of Gang Green.
“No, I haven’t notified them of anything. I’m not on their payroll,” Anzalone said. “I don’t owe the Jets anything.”
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!