Sanchez Beats LeBron to The Punch Taking Over New York

Ross Maghielse@@MaghielseCorrespondent IApril 30, 2009

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the USC Trojans celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass during the 95th Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi against the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2009 in Pasadena, California. The Trojans defeated the Nittany Lions 38-24. (Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)

There has been a not-so-silent countdown going on in New York City with an expiration date coming in the summer of 2010.That is when many in the Big Apple think, hope, pray, LeBron James will sign with the New York Knicks and take the city by storm.

The key to the city is sitting in a box on Mayor Bloomberg’s desk with LeBron’s name engraved on it—assuming he has gotten it back from Brett Favre by now.

However, the Mayor will have to take that key to Lowe’s and get a copy made, because Mark Sanchez is coming to town. Sorry LeBron, your NYC thunder has just been stolen.

Granted, playing football in Hollywood and strolling down Rodeo Drive is a vastly different culture than the hard hats and lunch buckets the J-E-T-S fans bring to the Meadowlands on Sundays, but Mark Sanchez going to the New York Jets was by far the best pick in the 2009 Draft.

Sanchez has the confidence and media savvy Eli Manning lacks. He’s got the arm strength Chad Pennington lost three surgeries ago. He’s not going to walk into a locker room of talented veterans and instantly assume he’s better than everyone else, like Favre did last year. Most importantly, he’s playing for a team that “gets it”.

The Jets organization knows how to build a winning football team.

When Sanchez steps on the field this fall, and he will be the starting quarterback, he’s going to be playing behind an offensive line of D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Alan Faneca, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, and Damien Woody.

Good luck trying to put this kid on the ground.

He’s got a big time receiver in Jerricho Cotchery and a solid running game behind him with Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. Combine that with a fun-loving players coach like Rex Ryan, and what is sure to be one of the best defenses in the NFL, I don’t see how this kid can fail.

Sanchez has got Joe Namath written all over him. Except he’d probably get a kiss from Suzy Kolber if he wanted it.

Now, despite all this optimism, Sanchez does need to be weary of his greatest opponent: the New York media. Reporters in New York are like college girls. You have one bad performance and they’ll talk crap about you to all their friends.

If Sanchez struggles out of the gates, every reporter in the city, including kids from high school newspapers will be demanding answers as to why his quarterback rating is below 80.

The fans are not much easier. New York cab drivers will be chasing him down and swerving onto sidewalks trying to speed bump him like something out of Grand Theft Auto IV if he throws more than one interception in a game.

Mark Sanchez, don’t say you haven’t been warned. But hey, the kid is from Hollywood. And he’s been playing “professional” football at USC for the last three years. How much more of a circus can New York really be?


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