Yahoo - A New York City firefighter who became a surrogate dad to the children of his best friend and fellow firefighter who died on Sept. 11 was today recognized for his selflessness by the star players of his most beloved sports team, the New York Jets. “From one dad to another, I want to wish you an early Happy Father’s Day,” former New York Jets superstar Joe Namath said to Lt. Larry Mack in a taped message that aired during a live surprise event today on ” Good Morning America.” Mack was surprised at his firehouse this morning with an ultimate tailgate party that featured New York Jets’ cheerleaders, former Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet, his own two children and the six children of his late friend, Lt. Vinnie Halloran. “I’m just blown away,” Mack said on “GMA,” which threw the tailgate party to kickoff its “Big Daddy of All Surprises” week to honor outstanding fathers. After Halloran died, Lt. Mack stepped in to help his friend’s family, who lived near his own in Putnam County, New York. He took the Halloran children camping with his own family, spent time with them on weekends and shared with them the love he and their father shared for the Jets, whose home games they attended together often. “I love those kids like my own,” Mack said. At today’s tailgate party, Chrebet saluted Mack for his exemplary fatherhood and told him the team was throwing him the ultimate fan experience. The Jets will host Mack, his family and the Hallorans in a private luxury suite for the New York Jets game against the Chicago Bears Monday, Sept. 22. Jets’ Center Nick Mangold will also personally give the group a private tour of the team’s practice facility in Florham Park, New Jersey.
This is the same guy that started the J E T S JETS JETS JETS chant back at shea stadium. You can google “larry mack jets chant” if you do not believe me.
I am so proud and honored to call this hero my father.
- Bryan Mack
What an absolute legend. First of all, yes, Larry Mack invented the J E T S chant. Back in the 1980s when the Jets played in Shea Stadium Larry Mack sat in the upper deck wearing a colored wig and JETS painted across his ass and he’d do the chant with Fireman Ed. I know the Jets don’t exactly have the most illustrious franchise history but its still pretty awesome to be a part of sports folklore like that. Diehard fans like Larry Mack that make sports what it is.
But all that obviously pales in comparison to what he’s done as a New York City fireman, and more importantly what hes done as a father to his own children, and Vinnie Halloran’s family. Raising a family and being a good father, I would have to imagine, is one of the most difficult things a man faces in life. Larry Mack not only did it for his wife and 2 kids, but also 6 Halloran children and his best buddy’s widow. Just scooped up 7 new free agents as a part of his team. The sort of selflessness that it takes to do that for a friend is absolutely remarkable. I guess its no surprise that the guy who runs into burning buildings for a living is the most selfless guy on the block as well. Larry Mack is everything a man should aspire to be, and I mean that sincerely.
That tailgate looked pretty sweet and I’m sure Broadway Joe wishing you a Happy Father’s Day and Wayne Chrebet and Nick Mangold hooking you up with a suite the day of the Bears game is an awesome gift. But there’s no way any of that stuff can really capture how awesome of a dude Larry Mack is. Bryan, I’m honored to just know I root for the same team as this guy. You most certainly should be honored he’s your pops.
Would love a M A C K MACK MACK MACK chant at the Jets game on September 22nd.