During the offseason it's easy for football fans to start harping on any available topic, beating it to death simply because there's not much out there to talk about. We've seen this go into overdrive recently with any and all Favre talk because it's easy for everyone to have an opinion. Opinions create attitude which, in turn, makes for interesting interactions.
As a Jets fan, it is easy to get caught up in a situation like the Favre retirement and trade rumors because we were in the thick of it all last year (and we've had a hand in it this year). What we've learned from that is this - attention is good even if it's bad! It's a variation of the old saying "No publicity is bad publicity". Why? Because everyone craves attention no matter how much it bothers them. Here in Jets Fandom, getting attention was a little like winning the lottery: you know it happens, it just happens to other people.
Even in the media-crazy NY Metro area, the Jets were nonexistent. The daily news media would go on and on in their coverage of the Giants, Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Islanders, Devils and hell, the NY Post even covered horse racing! Yet the Jets barely received a nod. They not only play in the same market as the NY Giants, but they share the exact same stadium! You would think it would be difficult to not be mentioned and yet...nary a peep except for the occasional "same old Jets" comment.
So when Woody made the move of a lifetime and traded for Brett-freakin-Favre, all of a sudden the Jets existed! They were relevant! That singular acquisition turned around an entire franchise in a hot NY minute! Out of nowhere the Jets were media darlings! They were being mentioned at every opportunity, and not just in the NY Metro area, but all over the sports-loving world. This media attention continued even in losing! In this context, the horrific fade down the stretch and failure to take the team to the playoffs last year didn't matter because the media was still believing in the Jets. They were being mentioned in talks regarding the best of the division! It's like they were on equal footing with their media brother rather than being the bastard stepchild, locked away in the attic and spoken about in hushed tones or (more likely) with a smirk.
And this brings us to where the Jets are today: to Mark Sanchez and the second coming of a franchise savior. The Jets had no choice but to go after him in the draft, not just because they needed a QB, but because they needed a face for the franchise. They needed someone who could bring hope and glory to the fans and keep the attention from fading.
Of course he's unproven and this could turn out to be another bust, but this kid has shown surprising poise and charisma in the media spotlight and that alone is worth giving him the chance. Think about it this way, we're talking about a team that highlighted Wayne Chrebet jerseys! We all know he was a helluva' player but c'mon, he wasn't a franchise marquee player by any stretch. But what other jersey was there to buy? Who was the face of the franchise?
You can only get by for so long with that faded throwback Namath jersey, waiting desperately for a superstar to join your team. So is it any wonder that Favre jerseys were the best seller at Jets stadium the minute they went on sale? No. Of course not. But once he left the team, it left fans with that same old gaping hole. This is the destiny for Mark Sanchez to fulfill.
Whether he is ready to be a savior or not...the fans and the franchise need him to be.
Xander is Editor-In-Chief at AFCBeast.com
The Great Rub - AFCBeast.com Staff Writer - contributed to this article.