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Fireman Ed declines Ochocinco's invitation to Cincy

Fireman Ed Anzalone implores the Jets defense

Fireman Ed Anzalone implores the Jets defense to hold with the game on the line late in the 4th quarter. Credit: David Pokress

If Chad Ochocinco tweets it, apparently he means it.

The well-known Jets fan known as Fireman Ed found that out on Tuesday morning when his cell phone rang and the Bengals wide receiver was on the other end.

Ochocinco was personally calling to offer to fly the Jets' boisterous cheerleader to Cincinnati for Saturday's wild-card game, a proposal Ochocinco first mentioned on Twitter a day earlier.

Fireman Ed, whose real name is Ed Anzalone, told Newsday by phone Wednesday that he was flattered but couldn't take Ochocinco up on the offer, which also included "VIP treatment."

"You can't go on another team's dime," Anzalone said. "What are you, a turncoat? You can't do that. I'd look like a horse's -- if I did that."

"It's wonderful that he even did that. I'm honored that he offered me and it's not a slight on Ocho. It's just that it would be wrong for me to take him up on that.

"Now if a Jets player offered me, that's a different story. That's a whole other ballgame."

Before the Jets beat the Bengals, 37-0, on Sunday to clinch a playoff berth, Ochocinco boasted that if he scored a touchdown he planned to put on a fireman's helmet with a Bengals logo on it and imitate Fireman Ed's act by chanting, "O-C-H-O! Ocho! Ocho! Ocho!"

Anzalone said Ochocinco told him he was planning that ever since the summertime.

"He said to me he admired what I do," he said. "He got a kick out of what I do, how I get the crowd silent. I'm fortunate to be able to do that . . . Listen, what do they say, the greatest form of flattery is someone wanting to imitate you. Hey, you know, I'm honored that he respects me like that."

Anzalone, who plans to watch Saturday's game at home with friends, said he did not know how Ochocinco got his phone number. He also said he wasn't aware of Ochocinco's tweet regarding the offer until someone asked him about it the next morning.

"I don't tweet," Anzalone said. "Well, I haven't yet, anyway."

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