NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — First they wanted the Jets’ general manager fired. Then they wanted the Knicks’ owner to sell the team.
Now? Now they want an old friend to return to East Rutherford.READ MORE: Nestlé Recalls DiGiorno Frozen Pizzas That Were Mislabeled, May Contain Allergen
The creators of FireJohnIdzik.com and Knicks4Sale.com have launched BringBackEd.com.
Ed refers to Ed Anzalone, better known to Jets fans as “Fireman Ed.”
The website is asking Gang Green supporters to sign a petition in an effort to bring the superfan out of retirement and lead his famous “J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets” chant at MetLife Stadium.
On the page where you can virtually sign the petition, a statement reads, “The game day atmosphere has not been the same since you left. Neil Glat’s ridiculous ideas for marching bands and fan contests to replace you have fallen on deaf ears. True Jets fans know the energy that you bring to the stadium and we hope to have you come back in 2015 to restore the tradition of the greatest cheer in professional sports.”
Jason Koeppel — who is behind the new site — and his team are looking for 1,000 signatures. As of Friday morning they had nearly 650.
“The game-day atmosphere has deteriorated over the past couple of seasons,” Koeppel said, according to Metro New York. “Some of that will fix itself with an improved roster and more wins. However, we feel that the forced replacements have been killing the greatest organized cheer in professional sports.
“Jets fans do not want marching bands. We don’t want the team to organize fan contests to put a random person in charge of starting it every week. We heard that Ed turned down the Jets when they approached him about a possible return last year. We are hoping that since it’s the fans asking him to come back this time — not the team — he will reconsider.”READ MORE: Thousands Of Public School Teachers Await Court's Vaccine Mandate Decision
Three years ago, Anzalone decided to stop doing his stadium-wide chant after he received threats and was harassed by frustrated fans. He still attends games, but keeps a very low profile.
WFAN and CBS Sports Radio’s Peter Schwartz, who had a very public feud with Fireman Ed, has come out in support of the petition and website.
As for WFAN midday host Joe Benigno? He might be a tougher sell.
“FireJohnIdzik.com was a very polarizing campaign,” Koeppel said, according to the newspaper. “Some Jets fans loved what we were doing and others thought it was over the line. Now that the campaign is over and the team is headed in the right direction, we wanted to do something with a more positive message.”