If you happened to catch HBO’s Hard Knocks, the reality show that follows an NFL team through the rigors of training camp, you would’ve seen that the NY Jets are a pretty cool team, perfect for the silver screen. Besides their head coach and star of the show, Rex Ryan, there’s the laid back general manager Mike Tannenbaum (who comes to work in flip-flops), the old-school, no nonsense special teams guy, and a whole locker room full of jesters.
Every episode, this zany group had something going on, like when that rookie DB was mouthing off and got tied to the goal post and hazed. But one guy was even sillier than all of them. This joker even started a war with the entire defense (which ended in his car being filled with packing peanuts), by using a novelty classic, the old stink bomb in the office gag.
He’s Mark Sanchez, the tall, handsome All-American quarterback, who went from being the most popular kid in high school to the coolest guy on a sunny California campus, where he played for the coolest coach on a dominating USC team that basically won by itself. He was always just a fun-loving guy, always smiling and having a good time, and of course, a definite prankster, the kind that would even get annoying if not for who he was. It wasn’t long before Sanchez was even too good for the USC elite, as fraternities at the next level were bidding for the “golden boy” to grace their locker room, and he became the fifth player chosen in the NFL draft last season, by the NY Jets, following in the footsteps of the coolest QB ever, Joe Namath.
The transition to the big league is one that proves tough for many college stars, but not for Sanchez. He walked right into a $60 million deal and was basically handed the team as soon as he signed the contract. The organization, as well as anyone who has ever known Sanchez, knew he would be great. He’s a winner, and there’s no reason to believe that this level won’t be more of the same for him. Plus, the conditions were ideal. The Jets are built as a defensive team that can run the ball and keep running. All he had to do was not screw up and stay cool, something he was born to do. As he has said in several interviews, he’s just “having fun.”