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  1. Gunnails

    Gunnails Rookie

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    Slain fan honored by N.Y. JetsThe New York Jets -- and team fans around the country -- are coming to the aid of a Sunrise family whose son was fatally stabbed.
    BY JENNIFER MOONEY PIEDRA AND TRENTON DANIEL
    jmooney@MiamiHerald.com

    FERNANDESTwo days before burying his son, Steve Fernandes received an unexpected FedEx delivery at his Sunrise home.

    Inside the package was a football signed by the entire New York Jets team.

    It was a bittersweet tribute to Anthony Fernandes, 20, a waiter and devoted Jets fan who was stabbed to death early Saturday outside a house party in Sunrise.

    ''It's more about a young man losing his life than anything else,'' Jets spokesman Ron Colangelo said. ``But if this token of thoughtfulness helps out with some of the family, then it's certainly worth it.''

    Jets fans from South Florida to New Jersey also are eager to help Fernandes' family.

    WEB COMMENTS

    Since Sunday, hundreds of people have posted comments on a fans' website, jetsinsider.com, about Fernandes' death. Dozens have offered donations.

    And the Jets linebacker in whose No. 51 jersey Fernandez will be buried today called his father Tuesday to offer condolences.

    Jonathan Vilma, 24, a Miami native, said he spoke with the young man's father for about 10 minutes.

    ''I was honored and flattered that he was wearing my jersey,'' Vilma, a Coral Gables High graduate who played football at the University of Miami, told The Miami Herald on Tuesday. ``It was humbling, as well.''

    GREEN CASKET

    At a viewing Tuesday afternoon, Fernandes' body lay in a casket of emerald green -- Jets colors -- at T.M. Ralph Funeral Home in Sunrise.

    Hundreds of mourners, some clad in Jets jerseys, trickled into the funeral home to remember Fernandes.

    Even his mother, Lou-Anne Chamberlain, wore green and white.

    ''I just wanted to be a Jets fan like he was,'' said Chamberlain, wearing Jets quarterback Chad Pennington's No. 10.

    Family friend Lori Lang, 48, who wore former Jet quarterback Vinny Testaverde's No. 16 jersey, said it was the kind of viewing Fernandes would have wanted.

    ''We thought Anthony would be happy with that,'' said Lang, who knew Fernandes since he was 4. ``He was the most amazing Jets fan.''

    Fernandes went to watch the Jets every time they played in South Florida and was known to vigorously defend his team with co-workers at Landlubbers Raw Bar and Grill in Plantation.

    A graduate of Piper High School in Sunrise, Fernandes grew up in the city but most recently lived in an apartment in Lauderhill, his family said.

    According to police, Fernandes was at a house party at 2827 NW 110th Ave. in Sunrise early Saturday. The party was hosted by Shelby Giannola, 16, a Piper High student whose mother was out of town, police said.

    A fight broke out at 12:30 a.m. and Fernandes tried to intervene, his friends said. He was stabbed in the stomach.

    Fernandes, who hoped to become a firefighter and planned to enroll in the fire academy in August, died shortly afterward.

    KILLER AT LARGE

    Police are still looking for a suspect, said Lt. Robert Voss, a Sunrise police spokesman. On the night of the stabbing, they interviewed partygoers and neighbors, but no arrests have been made.

    Meanwhile, more than 100 comments have been posted about Fernandes on jetsinsider.com.

    Sue Bracci, a mortgage banker from Brooklyn, said she first learned about the fatal stabbing Monday when someone posted a Miami Herald article about it on the site.

    ''We lost a Jet brother to stupidity and at such a young age, too,'' Bracci wrote in her comment.

    Robert Nacarano, president of the Davie-based South Florida Jets Fan Club, sent an e-mail Tuesday to all 350 members of his group, asking for contributions toward Fernandes' funeral.

    His reason:

    ``We're all Jets fans, and we have big hearts.''



    =====================================================

    Any Fellow football fans who would like to contribute, here is the info.
    =============================================

    Please log onto your PayPal account and hit the "send money" button.

    Type in e-mail address ~ mail at jetsinsider.com

    Please be sure to write a quick message with your JI user name & that the money is for "Anthony Fernandes Collection." JI will be collecting money for the next week or so and will send a lump sum check to the family once we have received all the donations.


    If you do not wish to use PayPal you may also send a check directly to the funeral home:

    TM Ralph Funeral Home
    371 NW 136th Avenue
    Sunrise, FL 33325
    Tel. # (954) 587-6888

    Also please include a quick note once again with your name and that the check is for the "Anthony Fernandes Collection."
  2. JediMind

    JediMind Rookie

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    J-E-T-S class class class.

    Nice story.

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