Bruce Reeder was an East Rutherford and Long Island staple who frequented social media with his diehard New York Jets fandom.
The New York Jets community mourned the passing of diehard fan Bruce Reeder on Wednesday. The Glendale, NY resident and retired FedEx driver passed of cancer this week.
He was well known in New York/New Jersey circles for his love and support of the Jets. His endeavors were made well known through Facebook groups such as New Era Jets, Gotham City Crew and Jets Army, which reach over 10,000 Gang Green fans combined.
Reeder would constantly pump up his fellow fans with the message “ONE TEAM, OUR TEAM,” verbiage that was prominent in the New Era Jets Facebook group he co-founded with Anthony Triola.
“I’m just devasted,” Triola told Jets X-Factor. “The world is not perfect, and will never be. It’s probably why we wanted to help Jets fans reach a level that travels far beyond shallow fandom. We wanted to create a family. I think Bruce led the way and know he’ll continue doing so.”
Marc Weiss, a.k.a. DJ CHEF, was just one of the many Jets fans Reeder’s life touched over the years.
“We would be at every Jets home game, rain, freezing cold, win or lose,” Weiss, who runs the popular Jets Army group, told Jets X-Factor. “For away games, we’d get together at Brixx & Barley in Long Beach. … We became good friends. He invited me to his cabana in Breezy Point in the summer we would grill and talk Jets w our families. I’m devastated.”
— JETS ARMY (@jetsarmytv) June 23, 2021
Countless others echoed Weiss’ sentiments. One of these individuals includes Alex Klein, an admin of another Jets Facebook group Reeder often visited.
“We would meet at 5:30, 6 a.m. on the line to get into every Jets home game. It was a ritual,” Klein, a Jets fan and fellow tailgater, added. “He was a super person with a heart of gold. He’d give you the shirt off his back.”
On game day, Reeder was well known for arriving at MetLife Stadium early in order to begin the grilling from the get-go. He took great pride in his steaks, keeping the waiting public updated on their marination on the Facebook groups. Reeder would often wear Jets garb in support of one of the best to ever lace them up for the Jets, defensive lineman Joe Klecko.
Even when the Jets weren’t in action, Reeder kept fans’ spirits up all week and through the offseason with reminders of past metropolitan gridiron efforts.
“He had these little sayings, he had a day for everything, you know—Jets family pic of the night, posting a cool pic,” Weiss, who’d complement Reader’s love of Klceko by wearing Mark Gastineau-aspired gear, added. “He’d post pics from the old Meadowlands. He’d make all different posts that were thought-provoking and got Jet fans talking. Everybody really loved him for that.”
Mel Barcos and Johanna Swiderski run the popular No Fly Zone Facebook group, and, as you’d expect, they encountered Reeder frequently.
“Your friends from Brixx and Barley and No Fly Zone will truly miss your presence,” Barcos said. “Rest easy and this season is for you.”
Reeder’s impact was likewise felt far beyond the green walls of Facebook and the parking lots of New Jersey. Finnigan Somers, a Queens native who now lives in Maine, never met Reeder face-to-face but said that he was a huge inspiration in his own battle with cancer.
“Though he looked up to me as a warrior, I always told him he’s my inspiration,” Somers told Jet X. “We talked weekly, if not daily, about our struggles and hopes. He was more than my brother, he was more of a father figure who let me know that ‘you know your stuff’ about the Jets and never had a bad thing to say.
“If I could emulate any man, it would be him based on his work ethic, love for his family, and the Jets, and his outgoing personality.”
Wesley Walker was another who met Reeder through social media and came to cherish the virtual time they spent together. The Jets legend would constantly correspond with Reeder through text messages during his diagnosis.
“I’m just blessed that I’ve been able to meet him, you know, even through conversations,” Walker told Jet X. “There are a lot of people out there celebrating his life. That is a great thing that he’s made an impression on people, and that’s something that you cannot buy now. We’ll cherish that. He’s also affected a lot of people in a positive way, and that’s what life is all about.”
Well-wishers are encouraged to leave condolence messages on the Jets Army Facebook page.
“Bruce was an optimist who inspired everyone he met with the honesty he exhibited,” web entrepreneur and Jets fan Chris Carberg said. “His battle was documented in our community of fans and we truly loved him.”
Reeder is survived by his wife Louise, his sister, and his nephews, all of whom are Jets fans.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags