Is Mark Sanchez ‘The One?’
In the original Matrix movie, the villainous Cypher explains how he might not be able to kill Thomas Anderson AKA Neo.
“If Morpheus was right, then there’s no way I can pull this plug. I mean if Neo is the One, then there would have to be some kind of miracle to stop me. Right? I mean how can he be the One if he’s dead?”
In the movie, Cypher could not pull the plug. Cypher could not kill Neo because in the movie’s mythology, Neo was in fact the One. Cypher was shot at the last-minute to prevent the murder, and Neo lived.
Similarly, The New York Jets are having a hard time pulling the plug on the career of Mark Sanchez. What started out as predictable for a franchise is starting to veer into the bizarre. Coming out of the draft, the Jets had six quarterbacks on their roster. In addition to Sanchez, there was the supposed savior Tim Tebow, the drafted back-up Greg McElroy, practice squad member Matt Simms, signed free agent David Garrard, and second round draft pick Geno Smith.
There was actually some support for keeping Tebow on a roster which was starting to swell. However, on a day when Tebow was actually the only quarterback to report for voluntary workouts, Tebow was released from the Jets. At the very least, Tebow can take some solace that Forbes magazine considers him to be the most influential athlete (even though he is not actually on any team.)
The main competition for Sanchez then seemed to whittle down to David Garrard and Geno Smith. Garrard was actually somewhat of a favorite, since he actually had starting experience in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
There Garrard was (just like Cypher) ready to pull the plug on Sanchez. The only way that he could not is if Sanchez was somehow ‘The One.’ Just as suddenly as the chance arose, Garrard announced his retirement because his knees simply won’t allow him to stand upright.
There is not time for the signing of yet another back-up. That would cause yet another public relations hit to the Jets if they were to move their quarterback count up to five. Just as suddenly, Sanchez’s job seems secure again.
Geno Smith’s post-draft antics have not exactly led to confidence in his leadership abilities either. Smith fired his agents presumably because he was not a number one pick in the draft (which no one other than Smith really saw as a possibility).
In addition, there is the seemingly minor detail that Smith actually lost his last five games playing for the West Virginia Mountaineers. The feeling is that if you cannot dominate the Big 12, then what exactly are you going to do against Tom Brady twice a year?
At the very least, Sanchez has some NFL experience to fall back on. There is even a portion of Sanchez’s NFL experience that was successful. Greg McElroy had more college and NFL success than Geno Smith, but there is a slim possibility that Geno Smith will be this year’s Russell Wilson. However, at this point, the smart money for Smith might be to not even challenge Sanchez in the ‘open quarterback competition.’
We have already been through a standard cut and career ending injury to mystically secure Sanchez’s job. With Smith, the situation might come to an arrest in order to block his chances. A standard DUI, simple assault, solicitation of a prostitute, or a gun charge are but a few examples of things that have derailed NFL careers recently. Smith might want to stay away from the New York night life altogether.
Essentially, this is the wrong time to start betting against Mark Sanchez being the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. Even trying might lead to increasingly more bizarre coincidences to keep his job intact. It is hard to believe, but the master of the ‘butt fumble’ might somehow be supernaturally fated for this. The Jets fans can only really hope that he can start to stop NFL defenses along with the presumed ability to not have to dodge bullets. He has certainly taken everything that the Jets have managed to shoot at him.