The End of the New York Jets/Mark Sanchez Union


I’ve been a Jets fan my entire life. They are the only team that I’ve rooted for without switching allegiances. I liked the Braves when the Yankees were terrible, cheered for Michael Jordan before Marc Cuban traded Robert “Tractor” Traylor for a skinny kid from Germany named Dirk Nowitzki, and liked the Blackhawks before Messier bought the Cup back to Gotham. I’ve been a fan of teams that win, but the Jets have been the lovable losers of my fandom. That is, until Bill Parcells took that short drive down I-95, brought Curtis Martin with him, and changed the game around here. 12-4 and a Super Bowl were expected during those Parcells years until Testaverde tore his ACL. Sadly, the Parcells era ended the day Bill Belichick quit on becoming the HC of the NYJ. I was hurt, sure, but the Yankees started winning in ’96, ’98 brought the Jets on the brink of the Super Bowl, and Jordan pushed off of Byron Russell to give the Bulls a sixth title. My other teams numbed me from Jets disappointment.

Then, we got Herm, had Al Groh, and then stole Mangini from the Patriots all while managing a better regular season record than the boys in Blue that we shared a building with. We won more in the playoffs too, until the Giants got Eli and became the team that mattered for most of the last six seasons. I say most because we had Favre steal one from Belichick up in Foxborough, we had the 10-6 record in Mangini’s first year, we were 8-3 and the Giants were 11-1, and it seemed like that matchup no one outside of the tri-state area wanted to see was going to happen: Jets vs Giants in the Super Bowl. It wasn’t meant to be, but the Yanks would win a title in 09, the Mavs would continue to ball, and the Rangers actually played very well. I was numb again.

Then, the Fat Man Rex Ryan showed up with pomp and circumstance and put the world on notice that the New York Jets were relevant. He helped create Revis Island and had Trader Mike trade up for the kid from USC Mark Sanchez. Sanchez was going to be the kid that made the Jets relevant for years to come. 20 regular season victories coupled with 4 playoff victories in his first two seasons, plus a career 94.3 QBR in the playoffs, was our reward for Testaverde’s ACL, Marino’s fake spike, Brady replacing Bledsoe after Mo Lewis blasted him. We finally had the QB that would take over from Broadway Joe and become Manhattan Mark. The kid had it all, looks, talent, and a penchant for saving his best ball for when it mattered most. Drives against Houston, Cleveland, San Diego, Indianapolis (just to name a few) proved that the kid could win in this league. Sure, he had an elite defense but only two teams in 13 years have won titles with subpar QB play (Baltimore in 00 and Pittsburgh in 05). Mark didn’t play subpar football in the playoffs. The Yankees got old, the Mavs blew up a championship team, the Rangers didn’t make the playoffs, and all I have left is the Jets.

So, this is how it ends; with Mark Sanchez being placed on short term IR because he was the only person in Florham Park who believes he won the QB competition. Sanchez’s shoulder may heal this year, but the last image we will have of the kid that was supposed to lead the Jets is him on the floor holding his ribs. Instead of going out professionally, Mark decides to come out and say that he won the QB competition… with his quote to Rich Eisen, Mark essentially tried to do to Geno what no one ever had the nerve to do to him: call him out and put a name in front of it. This wasn’t Mark being a good teammate to the rookie, like Bart Scott, Kris Jenkins, Calvin Pace and so many others were to him. This was Mark looking out for Mark and sounding very much like Alex Rodriguez has when battling the Yankees front office. Now, Mark goes on IR and I thought it’d be for the year, but in 8 weeks the Jets could be 1-8 or they will most likely be 5-4 because they play defense and because Geno seems to get it. Mark will have to return to a locker room that he tried to divide. This is the end of the Mark Sanchez era, one that began with thunderous applause, but ultimately going out with a whimper.

  • Harold

    I agree with your conclusion. He definitely pushed the Jets hand and should have been cut IMO. However maybe the Jets think they can get something for him in the offseason.

  • Circles26

    I hope you were under 9 when you were switching teams. Not something I would be bragging about.

  • David

    We can get on Mark for a lot of things no doubt, but say what you want to, no QB was winning with that offensive talent last season.

    And say what you will about Rex– 2009 is the only time so far that you can say the Jets had an “elite” defense.

  • Mike P

    I have no knowledge of what the brain trust in Florham Park believes, but there are plenty of Jet fans who believe Mark did win the QB competition. So he’s saying what he believes to be true. I see no problem with that. And the way he’s conduced himself, toting the company line after he we left out to dry by his head coach, shows how much class the kid has.

    I hope Mark gets back on the field this year. He deserves to play. He earned it.

  • KAsh

    Mark should not have said what he said. Injuries count. Yes, he outperformed Geno. But he got injured and could not start the season. He played the situation correctly the entire time until now: he refused to criticize his coach, he focused on healing his shoulder without a fuss, he supported Geno on the sidelines.

    And Geno has not amazed. We have a victory against the dysfunctional Bucs and a loss to the Pats second-string offense. Two TDs through eight quarters, a 1:4 TD-INT ratio, and by his current pace, a 40 turnover season will test the patience of this fan base.

    If Mark had just shut up, there would be people calling for him to start by the time he got healthy.

  • Jay1

    I do not believe that Geno is a definite franchise QB. But I know Mark is not! Geno did more in the last two games to show he deserves a shot. Mark did QB a team to two AFC championship games but he did this with a great running game and the best o-line in football. Geno has neither (though Ivory looks like a keeper…Marty pleas use him more in the 4th quarter)! I like the direction of our young team, save for every reciever and TE. We do need to revamp the offensive and Geno earned the chance to lead it. Mark was good surrounded by Great players, but became complacent and never improved his decision making ability under pressure. Lets see how Geno does

  • JetOrange

    Sanchez won the competition, he has handled this situation with dignity and class..The competition mantra tries to cloud Idzik’s political agenda. It is time to move on from Sanchez, but Idzik’s, Rex, and Woody’s behavior has been deplorable and creepy.

  • John C

    I know I’ll have some calling me a delusional “Pollyanna” who knows nothing about talent, but, if the truth is told, Matt Simms won the QB “competition”. Only problem is, he wasn’t actually in it. I know, “second/third string”, blah, blah, blah. 75% completion pct., 0 turnovers (with more passes than Geno or Sanchez), the numbers speak for themselves. I’m not even saying Simms would definitely do better, but just that it’s ridiculous to argue over who won, between Geno and Sanchez, when in actuality, they both lost.

  • Gary

    Sorry, but when you start an article saying that you’ve switched allegencies for multiple teams throughout your life, you lose all sports credibility in my mind. I consider that to be the #1 sports fan sin, sorry but I will now be looking out for writers on the site and intentionally avoiding articles you write. Completely unacceptable practice in the sports fan world.

  • Martin

    Essentally, he won the QB competition…

  • Angel

    This is why I hate Jets fans!!

    Rex Ryan “hung Mark out to dry” cause he was the obvious starter and shouldn’t have been playing in the 3rd quarter behind a terrible O-line. Isn’t that the Mainstream Media storyline??


    Mark did not win the QB competition. Really?? Explain that one to me please.

    Explain how Mark is the obvious starter and should not be playing in the 3rd quarter of a preseason game, despite not winning the QB competition.

    Mark won the competition. Everyone knows it. Rex and John know it. Mark knows it. YOU KNOW IT.

    So Mark coming out and saying it is the truth. PERIOD. This isn’t a negative statement about Geno, it’s a positive statement about Mark. Don’t get stuck in 2 dimensional thinking. Don’t be like the rest of the Mainstream Media… This site is better than that.