Remember this? I do. And I weep because we’ll never see it again. At the ripe age of 27, Mark Sanchez is all but washed up. Add this latest shoulder injury to the mix and you have an NFL quarterback who had great promise, now sitting on the sidelines watching his rookie back-up QB take the reigns, as his career slowly slips away. Where did it all go wrong? How did the guy who was supposed to take us to the Superbowl, wind up getting booed off the field and laughed out of New York? The story lies in his hair… no joke.
In case you ruled the upcoming season a complete loss (like I did) during pre-season play, here’s some stats: The Jets sit in third place at 2-1 in the AFC going into week 4 of the 2013-14 season, behind both the Dolphins and the Pats, who are each sitting pretty at 3-0. Not half bad when you take into consideration that Geno Smith is leading the pack. But what happened to Ryan’s prodigal son, Sanchez?
I blame it all on that September 2011 GQ cover (above).
Let’s take it back to 2009, when the bright-eyed rookie was selected fifth overall in the first round of the draft. Check out the newest member of the New York Jets. Eager and humble, he knew he’d made it. He later signed a contract for $28 million, with $50 million guaranteed.
In 2010, a star emerged both on and off the field. He was even named “Eye Candy of the Week” in an Essence post. He was built, he was tan, he was a big bowl of yum! He had also led the Jets to their first post-season game since 2006. The world, okay the state of New York, was in the palm of his hands. He was being called “The Sanchize” and the powerhouse that was “Ryan and Sanchez” had finally brought life back into the flailing NY team.
By 2011, he was officially every girl’s soon-to-be husband. Just look at that coif! With his boyish good looks and signature smile, he brought (most) women to their knees. And he had taken the Jets to back-to-back AFC title appearances. Although losing both games, to the Colts in 2010 and the Steelers in 2011, Jet fans could taste a 2012 Superbowl appearance. Third time’s the charm, right?
Wrong. The fateful GQ cover hit stores in September 2011 and Mr. Sanchez got a little too big for his britches. But holy hotness! He was being called the next Broadway Joe (circa 1960s). And he was a staple at any and every Broadway show. “He’s seen just about every show out there, many of them multiple times. His truck is cluttered with cast albums,” wrote the GQ editor. The hype was great, but that’s all it was. The team finished 8-8 for the season and the naysayers started coming out of the woodwork.
After a public breakup with star Eva Longoria in September 2012 (what a laugh that relationship was!), the QB was starting to succumb to the pressure. Truth be told, New York may be one of the toughest cities to be a professional sports player in. Plain and simple, we don’t like to lose. And that’s all Sanchez was doing. By December, Ryan had finally benched the lost QB. Another thing he lost? His hair trimmer, apparently. Are you trying to look older? Because it’s not working. Actually, you look homeless.
The spiral downward continued and in April 2013 Geno Smith was drafted. The two duked it out for the starting spot in the lineup and Sanchez, a.k.a Ryan’s golden child, won the title. After pulling out a win in the second pre-season game, Sanchez was injured in game three of the pre-season and Smith stepped in, going on to defeat the Giants. I think the injury was the gods way of telling him to take a good, long, hard look in the mirror. Any mirror! No, but really. Who told him this was okay?
And then there’s this. Suited up but sitting on the sidelines, Sanchez must be wondering, “How did I get here?” One word: Your hair. And the headband isn’t working either. In the words of Regina George, “Stop trying to make ‘Fetch’ happen.” Enough is enough. Even Broadway closed its doors to you. Get it together.
Let’s be honest, Sanchez has officially moved into the “I don’t give an eff” attitude and sweetheart, it shows. Seriously, have you taken a look in the mirror lately? Because I beg you to. In case you missed the latest headlines, you lost your game not the ability to clean yourself up. With Smith holding his own as starting QB and Sanchez being moved to the short-term injured reserve list, the lights are dimming on Sanchez’s career. They won’t even show him sitting on the sidelines anymore. Think these are coincidences? Not a chance. Networks don’t want his mug taking up precious time on their channel. Let’s start by removing that God-awful Fu Manchu you seem to think is a good idea and maybe Woody Johnson will start taking your calls again.
Don’t agree? I leave you with this: