Leading up to the draft Mark Sanchez did and said everything he was supposed to. He had proved himself on the field. He was charming, intelligent and confident-everything a team could hope for as the face of its franchise.
The New York Jets bought into Sanchez and paid the price to get him. It was a gutsy move, but I believe it was a good move.
New York had its next Derek Jeter. An untouchable superstar with too much style and profile for even New York's media sharks.
Not so fast.
While I still believe Sanchez is the best quarterback in the draft, he certainly isn't doing himself any favors.
The June issue of GQ will feature Sanchez and supermodel Hilary Rhoda draped around each another in a series of sexy risque photos. While Sanchez has every right enjoy the exposure and financial opportunities of being a star quarterback, has he already given New York fans a thread to tug at?
New York is different than Los Angeles. In fact, the whole northeast is nothing like the culture Mark Sanchez comes from.
New York doesn't care what you look like with your shirt off. Giants fans would be happy never to see Eli Manning's chest.
New York wants Super Bowls.
Jets fans will embrace Sanchez, but their patience will run thin if he does not produce quickly. The fact that Sanchez is running around California cashing in on his fame before his first NFL pass will not sit well with some Jets fans.
Mark Sanchez may be as tough as a $2 steak, but these photos sure don't scare anyone in the AFC East.
Get this franchise back on its feet and then put your bronze body anywhere people can see it. Don't believe for one second that AFC lineman haven't already thought of what they want to say to him when they get their hands on him. You can bet it won't be anything like the soft sensual touch of a bikini-clad model on the beaches of Malibu.
The media put the spotlight on Mark Sanchez and now Mark has put it on himself.
Young quarterbacks don't need any added pressure as they learn the professional game.
Mark Sanchez will hopefully silence his critics by living up to the hype. In fact, from what I know about him I bet he does. He seems to have the confidence and charisma to handle himself on and off the field. He's a leader playing a position that demands the respect of his teammates. I think he'll get it, but not by prancing in the California sand with a supermodel.
The future is bright for Jets fans. Next month it's all over the pages of GQ. Here's to one day getting him on the cover of Sports Illustrated as well!
And to clarify, the swimsuit issue doesn't count.