Caption: Mark Sanchez, former New York Jets’ quarterback, throws a pass in 2009 against the Philadelphia Eagles, whose erstwhile QB, Michael Vick, is now with the Jets. Ah, the ironies. Photograph by Ed Yourdon
Just when I thought I’d get a day off from sports, there’s more bombshell news:
Mark Sanchez is out as the New York Jets’ quarterback, and Michael Vick, late of the Philadelphia Eagles, is in.
Boy, you could’ve knocked me over with a, well, Jets’ wristband. Did not see that coming. I mean, after the revelation of Coach “Sexy Rexy” Ryan’s tattoo of his wife dressed in a Sanchez jersey – how it makes one yearn for Colin Kaepernick’s battle of angels all over his sculpted back – as I was saying, after the revelation of Ryan’s Sanchez tattoo, I thought those two were joined at the hip. But nothing is forever, least of all in football. And Sanchez never seemed to recover from the ill-fated Tim Tebow experiment.
I remember covering Sanchez’s appearance at Neiman Marcus, The Westchester for the May 2012 issue of WAG magazine, not long after the Jets signed Tebow as his backup, and I thought, Boy, this guy is in way over his head. He looks like the proverbial deer caught in headlights. And while Tebow was rarely used, Sanchez had a terrible season, capped on Thanksgiving night that year by butt-gate, in which Sanchez ran into the backside of offensive linesman Brandon Moore in a pathetic loss to the archrival New England Patriots.
Look, neither Sanchez nor Tebow was well-used in the situation. But you have to play the hand you’re dealt. Sanchez didn’t rise to the occasion the way I believe Tebow would’ve had he been given the chance.
In my upcoming novel “In This Place You Hold Me” – the second book in my series “The Games Men Play” – New York Templars’ backup quarterback Quinton Day Novak finds himself in a sticky wicket of a situation not unlike Sanchez and Tebow. But he makes the most of his moment. That’s the great thing about art, or at least fiction: You can make the world what it ought to be, rather than what it is.
Now the Jets have acquired Michael Vick, who brings to New York a whole cartload of baggage – the pit bull thing, the jail thing, the redemption thing, the running quarterback thing. The game of musical quarterbacks was the subject of some discussion during my appearance for WAG and the new “Water Music” – the first novel in “The Games Men Play” – at the Hudson Valley Gateway Experience March 22. (More about this in an upcoming blog post.) One reader told me the Jets’ acquisition of Vick isn’t about him but about Geno Smith, the young Jets’ quarterback who looked so good last season. It’s about putting pressure on Smith by giving him some competition.
The question is will he sink like Sanchez, or – my guess – show management that he can take the heat, like my guy.
The only other question is: Will Rex have to get a new tattoo?