After the collarbone injury to Nick Foles in Week 9 ended his regular season, the Philadelphia Eagles made the move to start former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. In a little over a game-and-a-half Sanchez has played fairly well, completing 59.3 percent of his passes for 534 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions and most importantly, two wins.
I'm happy for Mark Sanchez, I really am. I remember the afternoon—that's right, the NFL Draft used to be on during the day—the Jets made the surprise move to trade up for Sanchez, and I was among the many who was excited and hopeful for the future of this franchise.
Sanchez was the quarterback on two teams that made runs to the AFC Championship Games, and while you'd never say that he led them to that, he certainly elevated his play in the postseason. In the years following we all know the story; interceptions, fumbles—one specific one on the minds of the masses to this day—losses, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy, less talent around him, and a preseason injury that became his final curtain call in New York. In the end, the Sanchez era didn't work out, and the Jets were once again in search for their franchise quarterback—a search that has yet to be completed.
One thing everyone agreed on after Sanchez's season-ending injury in the 2013 preseason was that the Jets had to move on. When New York released him, there wasn't a soul who disagreed with the decision. If it was ever going to work out for Sanchez, it would have to be somewhere else.
We've now reached a point where after not even two complete games, we've seemed to enter some strange realm where the Jets are the fools in this scenario for letting Sanchez go in the first place.
Maybe the Jets can try to re-sign Mark Sanchez when he becomes a free agent this winter....— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 11, 2014
Entities all over, ESPN for example, are all of a sudden praising Sanchez. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it ESPN who mercilessly mocked Sanchez for the now infamous "buttfumble?" Not only did they actually take the time, money and effort to created their own SportsScience segment on the play, but they ran the play on their Not Top Plays of the Week for 41 consecutive weeks, far longer than any other play they've ever done.
Cowboys and former Jets G Brandon Moore, part of infamous butt-fumble last season, reached agreeement. No butts about it.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 7, 2013
You couldn't escape it. It was everywhere. Personally, I'm surprised it didn't wind up with it's own 30 for 30 documentary.
The fans outside of Radio City just chanted "Butt Fumble! Butt Fumble!" as a Jets fan walked by. Yup, it's #NFLDraft Night.— ESPN (@espn) April 25, 2013
We're in a strange sort of revisionist history at this point.
You cannot stop Mark Sanchez. #CARvsPHI— NFL (@nfl) November 11, 2014
Franchise QBs that can't get their coaches to commit to them as starters for the rest of the season aren't franchise QBs.— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) October 10, 2012
Eagles WR Jordan Matthews on Mark Sanchez: "He's a franchise quarterback."— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) November 5, 2014
What if Mark Sanchez led the Eagles to the Super Bowl this season? #nyj— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) November 9, 2014
"To say that someone is better than Mark Sanchez, is really not saying a lot anyway." - @merrilhoge— ESPN First Take (@ESPN_FirstTake) August 1, 2013
"I think Mark Sanchez actually may help this offense because he's a little quicker with his feet & getting rid of the football." Merril Hoge— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 3, 2014
Unbelievable. Kerry Rhodes INTs Sanchez on very first play -- an awful throw. Boos already. #Jets— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) December 2, 2012
Sanchez intercepted in red zone. This is really bad. Tebow time? #Jets— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) October 28, 2012
Folk had been perfect until that FGA. Halftime: 20-0. Tebow Time? #Jets— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) October 28, 2012
This game has a "Butt Fumble" feel to it. #nyj— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) October 26, 2014
Have to feel good for Mark Sanchez. Endured an unbelievable amount of scrutiny/garbage in NY. #secondchance— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) November 11, 2014
Hey @MMehtaNYDN, is it Tebow-Time yet? I'm losing my patience down here!— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) August 19, 2012
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) December 19, 2012
If Mark Sanchez magically leads the Eagles to a Super Bowl championship, will I be jealous? Of course. That's human nature. That's being a fanatic. But that doesn't mean I won't be rooting for him every step of the way.
In principle, Rich Cimini is right—Mark Sanchez does deserve a second chance. But the reason his comeback story has the chance to be so triumphant in the first place is because of the way he was treated by these people now praising him for the purpose of page clicks and jabbing Jets fans in the process.
Those same people will continue make their tongue-in-cheek comments about Sanchez and the Jets, and nothing can really change that, but they know what they wrote. They may pretend to forget the past, but they don't. They remember the turnovers. They remember the unoriginal jokes. They remember the buttfumble (and won't let you forget it.) They remember calling for Tebow. They remember it all.
So I hope Mark Sanchez keeps winning. And I hope he shoves it in their faces.