Tuesday, April 28, 2009

¡Viva Sanchez!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m a die hard New York Jets fan. Have been for nearly two decades now. So you could imagine me sheer elation at the Jets selecting USC quarterback Mark Sanchez in this past weekend’s NFL draft. He has the potential to be the Jets’ first franchise QB since Joe Namath (someone who I never saw play). So, he’s the first big time QB the Jets have had in my lifetime (if you excuse the 1 year rental of grandpa Brett Favre).

My wife and I were celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary on Saturday and before we went to dinner we stopped off at the Roosevelt Field Wal-Mart on Long Island (I know, very romantic). At about 4:30ish my wife was filling her shopping cart and I turned on my Treo to watch the draft on Sprint TV (the NFL Network broadcasted it live on the phone). At that time the St. Louis Rams were picking second and there were rumors they would select Sanchez. They didn’t. Then the Chiefs picked, then the Seahawks who were also rumored to pick Sanchez. They didn’t. Now came the Browns, whose head coach is the Jets former head coach Eric Mangini. By now my wife was getting on line. I was drifting away from her and moving down the aisle. I heard the announcer say, “There’s been a trade.” I saw the Jet logo and started jumping up-and-down with my left fist in the air. I know I looked like a fool, but I didn’t care. I was going nuts in Wal-Mart. I saw the streaming video of Mark Sanchez at his draft party in Southern California. He was going crazy as well and put on the Jets cap. I was now more calm, just pumping my fist and yelling, “Yeah! Yeah!” I then got a call from my wife asking me where the hell I was because she was about to pay. She paid for the stuff from Wal-Mart and I paid for dinner, which was delicious.

Besides the fact that Sanchez fills the Jets most pressing need and brings hope to the team and tortured fan base, I’m excited that he has the potential to be the first major Latino superstar in the NFL. Yes, there’s Tony Gonzalez and Tony Romo, but nothing like Sanchez in the biggest media market in the world. As a Latino I’m filled with tremendous pride that he is playing for my hometown team. I just hope he can finally void the deal Joe Namath made with the Devil.

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