We have to admit, we're a bit surprised Fireman Ed hasn't reassumed his perch atop Jets Nation.
The team's de facto mascot for decades, Fireman Ed -- real name Ed Anzalone -- stepped down from his post after a particularly grisly New York Jets loss to the New England Patriots last Thanksgiving. (You might remember this contest as the one in which a turnover was forced by a buttocks.)
Fireman Ed, of course, was best known for leading the famous "J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets" chant at the Meadowlands, something he had done since the 1980s. But with Ed now in an underground bunker of his own making, who takes over?
My first impression is the team should've just appointed a new guy to lead the way, maybe have some green plumes of smoke rise from Florham Park like when the Catholic Church selects a new pope.
Then again, part of the reason Fireman Ed "resigned" was because he was routinely -- and wrongfully -- accused of being on the team payroll. (To understand why this would be cause to actively dislike the man is to understand the pain buried deep within all Jets fans).
So, the team has instead gone with a bullpen-by-committee approach to keep the J-E-T-S chant alive. As someone who abhors being told what to do by public address announcers at sporting events, I'm apprehensive.
That said, it's still better than the alternative. No matter what the product is on the field, the fun of the J-E-T-S chant -- particularly that first one of the afternoon -- can't be taken away.
Given the history of the franchise involved, that's saying something.
UPDATE: Fireman Ed -- who plans to attend home games in 2013 -- told Metro's Kristian Dyer he's on board with the Jets' new plan. Anzalone's preference would be for a young buck to take over (GREEN SMOKE PLUMES ALERT), but above all he wants the chant to continue.
"I understand what the Jets are doing; they're trying to keep it going," he said. "I'm not mad at them."The Around The League Podcast is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.