Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/25/12

How bad has this season been for the New York Jets? So bad that it convinced Ed Anzalone, aka “Fireman Ed,” to step away from his post as a fan leader for the team. Anzalone has been a Jets fan since 1975 and has been leading a J-E-T-S chant from Section 134 at Jets home games since 1986. However, the drama, negativity, and losing surrounding the team became too much for him this season. Fireman Ed left before halftime of the Jets’ loss 49-19 loss to the New England Patriots on Thursday. He also deleted his Twitter account that day. In a column for Metro.us, Anzalone said that was the second time in a row he left before the game ended. He also explained why he would be stepping down as “Fireman Ed,” blaming society for the increased confrontations he’s faced this season. Here’s what he wrote: I decided to leave Thursday because the confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common, even though most Jets fans are fantastic. This is an indication of how society has lost and is continuing to lose respect for one another. The stadium has become divided because of the quarterback controversy as well. 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. Although I can “hold my own,” I do not want to lose my temper and make a stupid mistake. I have a responsibility to the families and kids that enjoy the game and Fireman Ed. Anzalone added that he will always love the Jets and continue to attend games, just not as “Fireman Ed.” It strikes me as pretty juvenile to create a superfan character and then drop the act when things don’t go so well one season. Anzalone’s support of Mark Sanchez — he wore a Sanchez jersey at games this season — is probably the root of many “confrontations” he says he’s had. Once you start sharing an opinion on a team, it opens you up to discussion. He should have stayed neutral if he didn’t want feedback on the matter. I suppose we really shouldn’t have expected anything too different from a guy who, according to his Wikipedia page, was a Miami Dolphins fan until he was 10. This guy’s a joke.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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