Schechter's Lectures No.15: Potpourri

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Sept. 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Fireman Ed gets the fans going before the game between the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

This week, I have a few topics that I want to discuss, so we are just going to get right to it.

Take your seats, class is in session.

The first topic I want to discuss this week is fans of the same team attacking each other, verbally. It’s unfortunate, it occurs, and it is about the STUPIDEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD. A microcosm of the topic happened this week with my regular team, the New York Jets. The gentleman pictured to the right is a retired fireman named Ed Anzalone, better known to Jets fans as “Fireman Ed”. For more than 20 years, he has led Jets fans at home games in the famous “J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!” chant. That is, until the game on Thanksgiving against the New England Patriots. As many did, he left the game early. Soon after he announced his retirement as “Fireman Ed”, due to constant verbal harassment from Jets fans.

He announced that he was constantly taking abuse from Jets fans, taking out their frustrations about the team on him. The abuse got so ruthless, that he actually feels the safety of himself and his family is IN JEOPARDY. Do you see, folks, how stupid this is? The Jets aren’t playing well, no doubt. I am not trying to say that the frustration is invalid. But, what is IDIOTIC is to take your frustrations out on fellow fans!! Let’s see, the JETS aren’t playing well, so let’s find a JETS fan, that leads a JETS cheer, and has done so for more than 20 YEARS, attending JETS games, and threaten him! Seriously?!?!? Does that make sense to anyone? Shame on the fans that made him feel that way, and I hope they never attend another football game. Fans should not fight with fans of the same team. Period.

Going along with that, there are fans out there that think that because they pay for their tickets, they have the right to act however they like. NEWSFLASH! They don’t. Many have probably seen the video by now, of the fans at MetLife Stadium giving the Jets players quite a heckle job as they left the field for halftime. Don’t get me wrong, they were playing terribly. I felt like my Thanksgiving dinner was coming back as I watched the game. That, however, does not give fans the right to make comments like “You are a disgrace”, “Don’t bother coming out for the second half”, etc. Booing is VERY different from attacking people. Athletes are people, you wouldn’t want to be screamed at as you go to lunch break at your job, called a disgrace…etc. Nobody has the right to treat athletes that way, no matter how much they paid for their seats.

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