News of Fireman Ed "leaving" has left a fan base divided. As a long time Jets fan it's only about one thing for me.
“The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it”
There's no special story behind the J-E-T-S chant. No magical reason for why it exists. The fact is, it does and has for years.
It started back in Shea Stadium as a battle between upper level fans in opposite end zones, each with their own leader of the chant. It didn't take long for it to become a staple of Jets home games, and to me, Fireman Ed just happened to be the guy that kept the tradition alive.
For those of us who grew up at Giants Stadium, spending countless Sundays there with our fathers, this isn't about an annoying guy who shouldn't have a Twitter account and grew up a Dolphin fan. It's about holding on to one of the last traditions that survived when the walls of Giants Stadium got torn down.
For me, many of my 20+ year traditions growing up a Jets fan ended in 2009.
From tailgates, and familiar faces in Section 140, to running down the pedestrian ramps after a win and being surrounded by long time die hard fans who became family, these traditions all came to an end.
Now in a new stadium, with new faces and a new atmosphere, the one thing that felt familiar week after week was hearing that chant.
Hearing a guy do it at a bar or in a parking lot can make you hate it, but experiencing a crowd of 80,000 fans do it in unison can quickly change your mind.
The Jets don't have much that is uniquely theirs and no matter how annoying it may be, it's part of what has become their identity.
I don't consider Fireman Ed as the face of the fan base, or some fan that I should look up to. I see him as a man who deserves some respect from the fans for keeping a tradition alive, especially during times when the team needed it most.
To see some fans happy that members of our own fan base have ended such a tradition is a sign of a sadder state of affairs then even I thought existed.
To those fans the only thing to say is: you just don't get it.
It's not about the man. The chant can and will hopefully continue without him.
It's about hearing those 7 syllables and remembering feeling the stadium shake underneath you back in September of 2009 during a win vs the Patriots...... and smiling, hoping and waiting to feel that energy again.
at 12:38 AM