New York Jets superfan Ed Anzalone, known to most as Fireman Ed, stepped away from his post as leader of the Jets fanbase two seasons ago. Fireman Ed said confrontations with Jets fans had become more numerous as the team struggled and people viewed him as a member of the organization. He’s not, but the team apparently wants him to be.
Earlier this week, Anzalone told Kristian Dyer of Yahoo Sports that the Jets reached out to him in April to gauge his interest in “coming back.”
“Originally, they called me to see if I would come back to what I had done. They took me out to lunch to see if I had any interest in coming back,” Anzalone said. “I said no because it was the same problem, I couldn’t take my kids to the game. I told them I wouldn’t come back.
“I told them they should do something and try to get a young guy. I don’t want to see it go away.”
Fireman Ed still goes to every home game, he just doesn’t lead the “J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!” chant. The team has made some sad attempts to bring the chant back through use of the MetLife Stadium videoboard and piping sound through speakers, but the result has been underwhelming. Ed thinks a young guy can revive the chant.
“The chant hasn’t been the same. I talk to Jets fans every day, they see me on the street,” he said. “They say it isn’t the same. I will always love the Jets but I think my time has come and gone. We need a young guy in there.”
The Jets are so desperate that they have come up with a contest to pick Fireman Ed’s successor. Season ticket holders who want to become the face of the “J-E-T-S” chant can submit an audition tape for review. While Anzalone said he likes the idea, I don’t think it could be any lamer.
Fireman Ed’s chant was organic. It was something that a fan started and thousands of other fans turned into a rally cry. The team taking control of the chant defeats the concept.