Sanchez - Tebow controversy forces NY Jets mascot 'Fireman' Ed into retirement

Sanchez And Jets

The New York Jets Quarterback controversy between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, has forced fan mascot 'Fireman Ed' into retirement.

The instantly recognisable Gang Green diehard is set to give up his role as the team's primary cheerleader.

He gave his reasons in a column for the New York Metro News. Ed cited the growing rift among Jets fans over the starting quarterback, as the main reason for his retirement.

Apparently, the man who leads the distinctive "J-E-T-S" chants has been subjected to abuse for wearing a Sanchez jersey.

The 2009 fifth overall pick is perhaps the least popular player in New York. His failure to live up to his draft status has seen an otherwise talented team tumble out of contention.

Adding Tebow this offseason has served only to stoke the unrest among fans. Because as unpopular as Sanchez is, few players in the history of the NFL, provoke as much reaction as Tebow.

The situation hasn't been helped by how little the Jets have used Tebow. He seemed like an ideal Wildcat weapon for new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.

Yet that hasn't happened and Tebow has been reduced to limited special teams duty. That raises the question of why did the Jets trade for him in the first place?

Of course they could avoid answering those questions if Sanchez was playing better. But the more he has struggled, the louder the calls for Tebow have become.

That's created battle lines among Jets' fans and led to a fractious atmosphere in the stands. It's an atmosphere that has become too much for Ed Anzalone, a 26-year-veteran Jets fan.

Now the real-life fireman, who has owned a season ticket since 1976, will no longer play the role of de facto mascot.

Just add Ed to Rex Ryan and the growing list of casualties from the Sanchez-Tebow controversy.

image: © fermentarium