When did the JETS Jets Jets Jets chant start?
As far as I can remember and I am 36, the chant started at Shea Stadium between the upper endzone seats and the opposite side of the field. It was a battle of who was louder. At some point it just joined together as one. Fireman Ed, who sits in the lower level end zone seats, has led the chant in Giants Stadium for about the last 8 years or so. The field and TV cameras focus on him and he extends his arms out like a jet plane to quiet the crowd and then goes into a "YMCA" like hand movements spelling out J E T S. The fans try to be as loud as possible. I still get chills everytime and a sense of pride that we as fans are here because we love the team. The Jets are the only team not to win a Superbowl since the merger so of course we are loyal to say the least.
This need more information. Yes the chant started at Shea stadium and one of the originals took the chant to the Meadowlands in section 320 row 10 seat 1. His name is Donnie Sheafer (NYPD retired). Helmet head started in the lower section after this. Donnie tried hard to keep it going, but once the Jets started paying for helmet heads tickets and putting him on the big screen Donnie was done. Remember he got a good portion of the stadium going without the help of the Jets.
The chant was started originally by another fireman named Larry Mack. Most people don't know whas his full routine was. He usually wore a green wig and green sweatpants. He would then stand up on the rail and get the Jets chant started. When the chant was over, he would turn around and moon the crowd. Most of the time, he would have JETS spelled out across his butt. Eventually, security put an end to it, thus letting Fireman Ed take the reigns of the cheer.
Re: Donnie Sheafer (?) - During the 1990s I sat about eight rows above a guy in section 320 who wore Joe Klecko's 73 jersey. We referred to him as Klecko and he did the JETS chant for the upper deck. Was this Donnie Sheafer?? Fireman Ed, who we referred to as Harper, did the lower deck JETS chant. Throughout the game, Harper and Klecko would do battle with the chant: upper deck vs. lower deck. Alas, Harper could be seen on camera and went on to fame. But Klecko deserves great credit as you suggest; he got half the crowd going without any electronic or financial assistance.
I am 54 and the chant did start as a battle between the endzones at Shea, well before there was any Fireman Ed leading the way. The video monitor used to spell out J-E-T-S and then flash 3 times - Jets, Jets, Jets. At that time, the chants would break out anytime, especially during the leans years when the game would get out of control. The chant would start with your section by getting people to clap their hands until you had enough of a momentum in your endzone and then break the endzone would break into the chant. In the Shea games, I really did not notice any one person leading the chant and anyone, including me, could start one going.
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