Growing up a Jets fan in the late 80’s and having season tickets, there was one thing I could count on attending games regardless of a Jets win or loss. Fireman Ed would be pumping up the crowd. Always seeing him sitting on his brothers shoulders and acting as an Orchestra Conductor starting our J-E-T-S chant was something you could always look forward to.
I was a little sad and angry a few years ago when I heard Ed wouldn’t be doing his fireman act any longer because his safety was threatened while using the bathroom during a game. I was a little stunned to see how this was treated by Jets fans and some media members. Ed was called names like a “shill” and a “clown” and was accused for “having his hand out” for appearances. He also took some criticism from Jets fans when he came out in support of the Jets West Side Stadium project a few years past.
On a personal level, I have two very fond Fireman Ed memories. The first was the Monday Night Miracle game (yes I stayed for the entire game). When our team was getting blown out, long before we started to mount the greatest comeback in Monday Night Football history, I witnessed Ed running into EVERY section of the stadium on all three levels trying to pump up the crowd and get people not to leave. Is he the reason the Jets won that night? No.. but he gave us fans that stayed something to chuckle and smile about when our team was getting blown out. My other Ed memory came when I brought my then 6 year old son to his first game. We got to the stadium early and I snuck down to the section that Ed sat in. We walked down to the crowd of people that surrounded Fireman Ed and waited to take a picture with him. He not only took a picture with my son but he took put the fireman hat on my sons head. Needless to say, it completely made our day.
In recent months there has been a campaign started to bring Ed back. I for one, would welcome his return. It doesn’t matter to me if he gets paid for appearances or if the Jets give him season tickets for free, which has been reported. If that’s true… good for him. Why does it matter to anyone if he gets some sort of compensation for his role?
If Ed decides to once again become “Fireman Ed” he would have my full support.