It has been two long seasons of mediocrity and off-key chants for the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Ever since Fireman Ed Anzalone retired from leading the chant during games, the Jets have been missing that home field advantage since he led the cause from all fans that attended.
Needless to say for those that are fans of the Jets, the last few years have been an up-hill battle. Besides trying to prove to others the Jets are contenders rather than jokes, the battle of leading the notorious J-E-T-S chant throughout the regular season games, during kick-off, in between touchdowns and after field goals has been the biggest battle of them all. It’s just not the same without Fireman Ed in the stands.
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Fellow Jet fans have gotten together and created an online petition to bring him back, it’s mission is to have Anzalone return as the leader of the Jets chant during games this upcoming season. While at first, the petition seemed to have been working, Anzalone feels it’s time to pass the torch to someone else.
There are currently over 3,600+ supporters of the bring back Fireman Ed petition. The petition was founded by Jason Koeppel in hopes of rallying Jets Nation to give Fireman Ed an idea of just how much he’s missed at home games.
Anzalone has made it very clear he is still retired from leading the chant, but has not completely closed the door on the possibility of returning. The Jets as an organization remain open to keeping the traditional chant alive in any way they possibly can. They’ve tried choosing random fans throughout games to lead the chant and also have acquired a marching band in hopes of not only keeping the chant alive, but the passion and excitement within the fans as well.
Nov 9, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Members of the New York Jets Aviators play during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Steelers 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
However, nothing can match the excitement and adrenaline each person felt when Anzalone appeared on the big-screen between plays and led that famed J-E-T-S chant. Unlike the marching band or the random fans, Anzalone lit a fire under each every seat. Whenever his face appeared on the screen during games not a single soul were in their seats. You found yourself standing and cheering, you were filled with excitement and feelings you couldn’t really explain.
I believe Anzalone needs to return to the Jets. No one could get a whole stadium filled with Jets fans worked up like he could. The games aren’t the same and neither is the chant. As much as I would like to think Anzalone will return back to the Jets, it’s still highly unlikely he’ll come back as the leader of the chant full-time.
Anzalone has expressed interest in trying to help out someone younger than himself to lead the chant as his successor. It’s very clear based on his interest in helping out others lead the chant that Anzalone is interested in returning to Gotham, but almost as a back up. Such as what Ryan Fitzpatrick is to Geno Smith (at the moment).
Needless to say, 2015 may be another season without Fireman Ed. As for his replacement, they’ve yet to have been discovered.