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Jets fans, it’s time to have a talk, a heart-to-heart so to speak. It occurred to me the other day that there has not been a New York Jet in recent memory that sparks such (in my opinion) undue animosity than beleaguered soon-to-be former Starting Quarterback, Mark Sanchez. I can understand why you would want to see him quartered and hung for the mind-boggling decisions he often makes on the field but there have been litany of terrible Jets QB’s in the past that have not received anything that resembles the treatment Sanchez has experienced during his tenure as the Jets signal-caller.
Think about it, the guy has the most playoff wins in team history and has the second-most road playoff wins in NFL history and yet, after only his first losing season in Green and White, most fans and pundits alike are ready to ride him out on a rail spike. Although I am historically a Sanchez apologist, his play over the last two seasons and the seeming regression and degradation in terms of growth has made him virtually indefensible. That said, I just don’t understand why he seems to be so universally hated both within the market and around the league.
Think about all the less-than-wholesome characters around the league and even on the team that receive much less flack. Sanchez has never been accused of murder like Ray Lewis, has never run a dog-fighting ring out of his house like Michael Vick, has never had a DUI like countless other NFL players, and has never bad-mouthed anyone in the media or via social media and yet he inspires an A-Rod-eqsque rage. In fact, I think Alex Rodriguez is the perfect parallel to Sanchez as both of them provoke immense amounts of criticism and animosity despite seemingly saying and doing all of the right things.
However, even the A-Rod comparison isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison as Sanchez has never once cheated the game nor is he the same caliber of player that Rodriguez is in his sport. Nevertheless, the two of them are among the most hated figures in the New York sports arena. Unfortunately for A-Rod his image and reputation are seemingly irreparable but there is still a sliver of hope for Sanchez as he has somehow maintained a hold on the Starting Quarterback job despite the fact that he has played more like a back-up for the past two seasons. There are some images that will never fade in the minds of Jets fans, with the “Butt-Fumble” being the most prominent among them but with an inside track on being the Week One starter, he has a chance to endear himself to fans once again.
If he can hold off Geno Smith long enough to retain the starting job, I can think of no better way to erase the seemingly indelible images of 2012 than by planting his flag on Revis Island in Week One and doing the same in Foxboro the following Thursday. Admittedly the odds of that happening don’t appear likely but in 2013. redemption thy name is Sanchez. Or not.