It will be surreal, but those who desperately crave for Mark Sanchez to serve as the eventual answer at quarterback for the New York Jets, will proclaim that the victory over the Miami Dolphins (September 23) is still a win despite an uneven Gang Green performance. They'll indicate Sanchez had a rough time early, but rallied the team when they needed him most. They'll point to the tying touchdown bullet to Jeremy Kerley. They gesticulate wildly about the long pass to Santonio Holmes to set up the winning field goal in overtime.
It is the only ammunition many Jet fans have, after all - a blind optimism that things will eventually fall into place, that the past doesn't and can't inform the present or the future. It's better than pure despair, if you care that much about it.
But reality almost always trumps fantasy. It is why they craft films in which happy endings are celebrated, regardless of plausibility. People want urgently to believe. And when the occasional miracle does emerge, wriggling its head from the oily deposits of life through which we all muddle on a daily basis, these same people scream, "See, it can happen!"
The Jets are stuck with Mark Sanchez, it's as simple as that. They imported Tim Tebow, perhaps to motivate Sanchez. It hasn't worked, mostly because Tebow has been such a non-factor in the offense, and appears more and more like the limited player most believe he is. Sanchez indicated yesterday after the game he was thankful his teammates picked him up on a day he wasn't his best. Again? What about last week, Mark, when you managed 10 completions, less than many high school quarterbacks complete, against the Steelers - the same team that was riddled yesterday by the bottom-feeder Oakland Raiders? And what about all those other games last year when you were tossing multiple interceptions to defensive linemen?
Occasionally, you'll catch a glimpse of Rex Ryan assuming a disgusted look after a Sanchez blooper. He has to know the quarterback is a train wreck and his career as Jets' coach is disintegrating piece by piece every week. But unless another quarterback with a pedigree suddenly drops into Jet camp unannounced, reality trumps fantasy once again. Get used to it.
Glenn Vallach has been a football fan for most of his lifetime, but never played organized pigskin unless you consider the thousands of youth hours running slant routes on city streets. Don Maynard was his idol, an adulation he took seriously, complete with a number 13 stitched to his sweatshirt. He remains a New York Jet fan through so much disappointment and embarrassment over the years. Coach Rex Ryan has rekindled a dormant fire, but sometimes he feels as if he doesn't understand the likely end result of all his efforts. It has been 42 years, after all.
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Jets page
- · Yahoo! Sports Miami Dolphins page
- · Yahoo! Sports Mark Sanchez page
- · Yahoo! Sports Santonio Holmes page
- · Yahoo! Sports Tim Tebow page
- · Steven Wine, The Associated Press, Folk's 2nd try in OT helps Jets top Dolphins 23-20
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