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Fireman Ed Tells A Tale Of Two Stadiums

With football in a standstill right now, people can only talk about the upcoming draft.  Next season seems like something Santa should be bringing as everyone has it on their wish list.  But you will find those who are hopeful.  The ones who are already counting the days until the Jets have their first ever home game in the new stadium against the rival Giants.  A game many always look forward to.  Some fans look forward to it more than others.  One in particular is Fireman Ed Anzalone.

I sat down with with Ed in June of last year to get his thoughts in many areas.  Ranging from the Jets chant to the Jets, to the new stadium and the PSLs.  This time, I wanted to get his thoughts on what he thought about the season, the stadium, and if there will be a 2011 season.  Ed, like always, shares some thoughts for the camera and has other thoughts off camera.

The Fireman Ed/Christopher Black Fiasco Credit:CBS News

In the old stadium, Ed sat along the 20 yard line and had a great view of the field.  Everyone knew where he was and it was easy for him to get up and lead the Jet faithful in the chants.  Now, he has his seats in the end zone behind the goal posts where people have to look and see if he can be located.  Not the best place to be to lead the crowd.  But with the cameras and video screen, it helps the situation.

Ed knew the people he sat around in the old stadium.  These were people who had their seats for over 20 years.  Now, he is surrounded by different people every game.  When Green Bay came to face the Jets, there were two rows of Packer fans surrounding him.  Ed says it is a revolving door of fans who sit in the seats in the end zone.  At least by him.  Certain ticket holders look at the seats as an investment and will make their money back charging for tickets on a per game basis.

Ed notices how many are not really there to see the game.  Ed says that they diehards are the ones who sit in the end zone to about the 20 yard line in the lower section.  From about the 20-25 yard line to the other 20-25 yard line are the fans who are not truly there to see the game.  They care more about the VIP clubs, Coaches Club, bars, lounges, and other places to watch the game.  Ed says those seats are empty during the game, but the TV camera will not pick that up.  The seats are gray for a reason.  It makes the seat look filled on TV, even when it is not.

Ed on WFAN's Boomer & Carton Credit:WFAN

Ed has paid for four PSL’s in the lower part of the end zone.  He went for the cheapest PSL’s he could afford.  People question him actually purchasing them or if the Jets gave them to him.  Ed knows that if he takes anything like that from the team, he will have to owe them something.  He does not want to take anything form them or owe them anything.  He pays like everyone else, and does not like it.  He is stuck sitting around a revolving door of fans.  Ed knows the real fans, the ones who stick it out in the worst weather sit closer to the top.  Sounds like the hierarchy in the Roman Coliseum.

Speaking of true fans, Ed has even spoken with several Giants fans.  Many fans do not like the new stadium at all for several reasons.  For one, this stadium does not have their name on it.  There are no red and blue seats.  They have to share it equally with the Jets kills some Giants fans.  Plus, some feel cheated by John Mara.  They know his father would have never have approved anything his son has done.  They feel fans have been treated better over their 90 year history and they have been slapped in the face.

Ed is optimistic the 2011 season will happen.  if it doesn’t he does hold the team owners responsible.  They have so much power and finances that they do not have to worry.  This situation shows just how greedy they really are and not willing to give in to the players.  He does feel the fans are caught in the middle and are always caught in situations with no thought.  Ed believes if there is no 2011 season, then shame on the owners for doing so.  Sometimes, there has to be give and take.  Not just take.

Leading The First Chant In New Stadium Credit:JetsTwit.com

There comes a time when some know their time is up.  When a torch needs to be passed.  Ed knows that time is coming soon for him.  He is over 50 and knows he can not do the Jets chants much longer.  He said if someone came along and thinks they can do it or takes a shot and doing what he does, then he would step aside gracefully.  Ed believes in a few years, there will be some other Jets diehard fan doing what he does, and younger.  And Ed is ok with that.  he is content to just attend and watch the games.

Ed is not shy when it comes to giving his opinions.  I just do not feel like giving them all away right now.  Then what would be left for the documentary?  I may decide to give people more in a little bit.  It all depends on the lockout being lifted.  There are appeals and so much more that can happen.  So instead of writing about the Jets, I will have more on Fireman Ed.

Football is entering a new era.  The NFL will not be the same after this lockout.  The teams, players, and even the fans know that the sport of football has been replaced with the business of football.  Fans are not fans any longer, they are consumers.  Looked at for the dollar they spend.  Long gone are the days where you knew people names in the stadium.  Where you could get up close and personal.  Now that is done on Facebook and Twitter.  Ed saw the change coming years ago.  He may be known as Fireman Ed to everyone, but to the Jets, he is both a consumer and a brand they can push to make them more money.

Fans Not Allowed to Take Pictures of Giants Stadium

I was hoping to come on here finally and have some good news only. But, that is not going to happen tonight. Everything started over a week ago. I have gotten friendly with a certain group of workers over at Giants Stadium. Not going to say who as these guys have done me some wonderful favors. Not going to get them in trouble or lose work. They said to come back last week during a nice day. So I went back the day of the demolition, Wednesday May 19th. Little did I know what that day and the next two days had in store for me. Not to mention the rest of the Jets and Giants fans who take pictures.

I gt to the stadium in the early afternoon on Wednesday. I meet up with one of the workers who had some safety gear and a vest around. I put it on and was brought onto a section of the work area. From the view I had, I had a perfect shot into many areas one can not see from the parking lot. Even in the tunnel that goes under the stadium there is still a huge Jets helmet on the wall. Seats over-piled and hanging on for life. They are cutting them with chainsaws so they can not be sold or taken by anyone. Was able to snap some shots of Section 226, my old section. That was pretty much what I wanted. A final shot of what my seat looked like, even if it was not there.

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I thought my day had ended. Around 4 PM I get a call from one of the workers. He tells me they are bringing down the Press Box at 8 PM. I get a second call from another worker around 7 PM. I head over with an associate around 7:15. I park close and was approached by some security. I was asked if I had credentials. I said I was freelance and I was asked to move by the Timex building. I looked at them like they were nuts. No way I was moving that far back. They said they had to keep bystanders at a safe distance. Those with credentials like Channel 4, 7, FOX, News 12 all had close positions. NBC was running late. They drove over a median and sped though the parking lot to get into position. Credentials are the free pass.

I ended up just driving to the back of the lot by the old Gate D. Other bystanders were by us. Many others were able to park close. They either did not get approached or were friends and family of crew. Even at this little function there was a separation of fans. I understand insurance issues since I was in insurance. The safety distance should have been in effect for all the people who did not have credentials, even if they were friends of people who worked there. Not sure about the story on that one. I managed to get some good video footage which you have seen already on this site. I waited for everyone to leave then approached the fallen box to get pictures. Asked once again for credentials and asked to leave. I made it a plan to go back early the next day.

I get there early Friday morning, around 9:30. I get some nice shots of what is left of the fallen press box. I finish off in the area by the old Gate B, next to the new stadium. I am approached by a construction foreman in a ATV. He tells me I can not do that. By that he means take pictures of the old stadium. Apparently, they do not want people coming and taking pictures of the old stadium coming down. Said the organizations feel there are too many pictures on the internet. Mentioned that if I was caught taking pictures or someone saw me I would be asked to leave immediately. I found this puzzling, then I left. Too many pictures on the internet? Once again, here comes control over what fans can and can not do.

They may have thought there would not be much of it out there. But now that there are pictures everywhere they want to halt fans from taking anymore pictures. Do they want to put a collection of it together for a DVD or book so they can make a buck off the fans once again? If there is too much on the internet, it makes that impossible. It is just a thought, but a good one. I decide to press my luck and I went back on Friday morning. I manage to snap a few quick shots. I tell two other fans who were there taking pictures as well what happened to me yesterday. They go their way and I headed for my car. The same foremen on the ATV sees me once again. I thought I would be in and out and not see him. He drives past me and then drives back around as I am in my car. Guess he did not see the other fans, just me because he warned me already. I headed off after seeing this.

They can not be there 24 hours a day. Was over there today and not much has changed since Thursday. The fans have a right to see it come down and take their pictures. If they do plan to put out a book or DVD and try to make fans pay for something they could have taken with their own cameras for free, shame on them. When will it be enough and just once give back to the fans and not charge them. Is the word “free” not allowed in big business? Or just like another four letter work that begins with F and should be kept silent?

It was not my intention to keep coming back and speak like this about a team I have loved since I was born. But the current management just keeps digging themselves deeper. I do not have to paint the New York Jets in a bad light regarding my documentary. They make their own press. I am just going to report truth and not cover anything up. I do not have to lie about anything. People read the press and are angry with them already. They really need some good damage control. I want them to win a Super Bowl. Just make sure you thank the fans first, even the ones who did not buy a PSL.

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Week In Review

Good morning one and all.  Glad some of you decided to come back and check things out.  Thank you.  The past week has been a crazy one on so many fronts.  I heard back from the New York Jets, saw Dorney Park for the first time in well over 15 years, and Gina and I went to the mecca of hunting and fishing that is Cabela’s.  Plus not to mention my own thoughts and outlook on things that are going on.  Just glad Brett favre has given up on coming back.  If Brett really needs that much attention, I am sure some TV station could use a former QB as a football analyst..

OK, let us begin with Bruce Speight and the New York Jets. I am home from work last Friday and Gina and I are cooking on the grill.  I get a call about 6:30 from Bruce saying that have no issue with me filming at the Meadowlands at no cost.  That is right, they have ZERO issues with me filming at Giants Stadoum and not having to pay fees to the NJSEA.  I know the NJSEA is out to make a profit, they are a profit business.  But I am NOT out to hurt the NY Jets like they think.  I am a storyteller looking to tel the stories of NT Jets fans.

I am also going to report on the truths that have been in the press the past year about the NY Jets.  I am not going to turn any information around or take peoples information and put it into a light that will make the Jets look bad though the power of editing like many do.  People can find a lot of the information I have on their own, the truth has been out there a while on everything.  From waiting until the NY Giants announce their PSL rates all the way up until the Jets calling season ticket holders 2-3 times to try and sell their PSL’s.  All I do is sit back and the powers that be write my material for me.  I am just the one filming it all and reporting it.  I am not CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN, MSNBC, etc.  I do not have to air only 45 seconds of a 45 minute minute interview.  I can report it all.

OK, I will be coming back to the NY Jets and the rest soon.  On Sunday, Gina and I went to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom for 2 days.  Was a nice ride out.  But first we went to Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA.    The largest mail-order, retail and Internet outdoor outfitter in the world.  I will have some footage up this weekend.  Gina and I decided to go after seeing the place on the Travel Channel.  When you see this place from Rte 78, you have no clue what it can be.  The place is HUGE.  Huge may not be the right word for a store that is 250,000 sq ft in size.  From live bait & an aquarium to beef jerky & a militia arsenal they have it all for anything outdoors.  In the middle of the store they have a mountain that has a different face on every side.  One side had ice and polar bears, one had deer and bears, and there were 2-3 other sides.  A bunch of different animals stuffed all over the place in many different scenes.  The food there was great too.  Yes it is a roadside stop oof sorts and you can eat there as well.  We enjoyed a lunch of homemade fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green beans, salad, and biscuits. Go to  www.cabelas.com for more information.  Leave comments if you like what you se.

On Monday we ent to Dorney Park and walked around Wildwater Kingdom.  A big bonus was having a Dunkin Donuts right across the street from our HoJo.  When I say across the street, I MEAN across the street.  We could open our curtain and see the front door staring us in the face.  How can we not enjoy their coffee and latte’s on a daily and nightly basis.  Now, I remember Dorney as a place that had some great roller coasters.  They were supposed to have some great wooden ones, but didn’t.  They had the Talon, Hydra, Possessed, & Steel Force.  I am not talking about the Thunderhawk because it was not in the same category of roller coasters as the others.  Hydra and Talon are their “big ones” designed to give you that big league roller coaster rush.  I did not get that feeling.  I thought they were good, but not great.  Possessed was like a boomerang and only thought the initial take off was the best part.  Steel Force was the best one, built with steel but the feel of an old wooden coaster.  The best of the lot.  Talon and Hydra may have loops, twists, and you hang beneath the track but Steel Force had the dips and speed for a true coaster enthusiast .

I went on very few rides like Enterprise and a a sky shooter ride but that was it.  We walked around the park most of the time.  Just felt Dorney Park is more for kids and teens than it is for adults.  Over the years I think it has moved from adult tastes.  Cedar Point is hurting and they need to find a way to get adults interested again.  The highlight was lunch at their Game Time Sports bar restaurant.  Was enjoying lunch in air conditioning and enjoying SportsCenter too.  How can you beat that?  Could of had a beer but not for the price of a 6 pack.  Did not do Waldater Kingdom as their were hundreds of day camp kids there and they made lines hard for some rides.  We got on every coaster we wanted to before noon.  Dorney Park opened at 10 AM and we were right down the street from the poark, big bonus.  I would go back to Dorney with kids so it is a more enjoyable experience.  If I want to go to a park for adult riders, I will go to Hersheypark or Great Adventure for the close parks.

I will give Dorney Park their due though as they have a very clean park.  It was kept very neat and clean.  It was a pleasure being in a park that toook care of itself.  Some good shops to walk in too.  They have Snoopy Country for the little ones which was fun to walk around.  DO not get me wrong, I am not saying Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom is a bad amusement park, just not for adult park enthusiasts.  So now Gina and I are home and getting ready for a few days along the beach on Long Beach Island.  Not going to have internet so a bunch of updates to come this weekend.  Can follow my updates on Twitter as that will be my only chance to get info out to all.

Well, time to get a move on.  Gina is waiting for me to get my ass in gear and finish what we need to do. Will have more on the above topics this weekend.  Time to start part two of this vacation.  Hope it does not rain down the shore as much as it has been the past week.  That will put a true damper on the rest of the week.  But I am remainging positive.  Later al.