New York Jets Want ‘Fireman Ed’ To Come Back

 San Diego Chargers v New York Jets

In addition to trying to bring in talent that could help them on the field this season, the New York Jets also made a run at another free agent who used to call MetLife Stadium home.

No, they didn’t try to get back Santonio Holmes, Tim Tebow or LaDainian Tomlinson – they went after “Fireman Ed.”

The former superfan famously vacated his sideline spot at halftime of the infamous “Butt Fumble” game on Thanksgiving 2012 against the New England Patriots. Fireman Ed, aka Ed Anzalone, wore a Mark Sanchez jersey to the 35-3 beatdown and he decided to leave the game after having a confrontation with another Jets fan. He penned a letter saying he was gone for good.

“Although I can ‘hold my own,’ I do not want to lose my temper and make a stupid mistake. I have a responsibility to the families and kids that enjoy the game and Fireman Ed,” he wrote at the time. “I have enjoyed my time in chanting the greatest chant in all of sports.”

Anzalone made it known that he wanted the team to find someone else to take over his role leading the “J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets!” chant, but they haven’t really been able to make that happen. It was even such an issue that the team mailed out instructions to season ticket holders about how to get the chant going before last season. Even though the team told fans that “The J-E-T-S chant is in your hands,” they dropped the ball.

In an effort to prevent that from happening this year, the Jets recently reached out to Anzalone and asked him to come back  According to the former New York City firefighter, even though the organization wined and dined him, he won’t be back leading Gang Green in 2014.  

“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 told Yahoo Sports. “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.”

After Anzalone turned them down, higher-ups in the Jets organization decided to hold a contest to find his replacement. The team has asked individuals with season tickets to turn in a video of 15 seconds or less of themselves doing their best Fireman Ed impersonation.

Fans will vote online to pick eight winners and they will then be responsible for leading one section each at MetLife. “We’ll be ready and we’ll look at every single video,” said Seth Rabinowitz, the Jets’ senior vice president of marketing. “The more the merrier.” 

The American Idolish plan sounds like it could bomb worse than a Geno Smith long-ball, but the former master of ceremonies has given it his approval.

“I’ll be honest with you, I like it. The fans will ultimately decide what is going to happen,” Anzalone said. “I will do the chant along with the fans with the new leader. And I will do it just as loud as everyone else if not louder.”

If the contest yields winners who are incapable of replacing Anzalone (and history indicates that it will), the Jets may have another option after bringing in veteran quarterback Michael Vick this offseason.

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Good luck with that.

Evan Bleier is a freelance writer based out of wherever he can plug in his laptop. You can send him questions, comments and Buffalo wing suggestions @itishowitis or “like” CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Getty