- Rich Cimini, ESPN New York Jets reporter
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The Jets' most famous fan, Ed Anzalone -- aka Fireman Ed -- is willing to let bygones be bygones. He's ready to embrace Jason Taylor -- the same Jason Taylor who trashed Jets fans for years as a member of the rival Dolphins.
Anzalone's reasoning is simple: He's one of us now.
"I don't like the way he talked about Jets fans, but you have to move on," Anzalone told ESPNNewYork.com Wednesday, shortly after Taylor signed his two-year contract. "The bottom line is, Jason Taylor is a competitive maniac. If he plays with the same anger and passion with the Jets as he did with the Dolphins, it could be a marriage made in heaven."
Just a couple of weeks ago, when the Jets started courting the NFL's active leader in sacks, Fireman Ed famously called Taylor a "meathead" in an interview with the Daily News -- but a "good meathead" if he made plays to help the Jets' defense.
The Jets' acquisition of Taylor isn't sitting well with many die-hard fans who can't forget his well-publicized insults over the years. Anzalone understands that sentiment. In fact, he engaged in a verbal confrontation with Taylor a few years ago after a Dolphins victory at the Meadowlands. But Fireman Ed wants to see his beloved team win a Super Bowl and he believes Taylor can be a piece in the championship puzzle.
"I'm going to root like hell for him," Fireman Ed said. "If he does well, that means the team I love most probably is doing well, too. Love him or hate him, the guy wants to win a championship. Plus, remember this: We've only seen images of him in his Dolphins uniform. Once he gets in that green jersey, in that atmosphere, the fans will go wild."
On Tuesday, Taylor referenced Fireman Ed in an interview with South Florida reporters, noting how Anzalone called him a "meathead." But now Fireman Ed has extended an olive branch. When asked if he could be friends with Taylor, perhaps even film a commercial together if the marriage is a success, Anzalone laughed.
"We're both bald," he said, "so maybe we could do a razor-blade commercial."
Rich Cimini is special to ESPNNewYork.com.
The Jets' most famous fan, Ed Anzalone -- aka Fireman Ed -- is willing to let bygones be bygones with Taylor.