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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Dear Mark Sanchez, A Letter To The Rookie QB

Sigh. So close, right? As much as I hate to see you lose to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship bout, falling a game short of punching a ticket to what would have been the biggest game of your life, I think this loss will benefit you in the long run.

I know that you probably do not want to hear this right now, with the taste of the 30-17 defeat still fresh on your tongue, but hear me out.

What you did during this postseason was nothing short of remarkable, especially considering that you’re a newbie at all of this. You made believers out of naysayers like myself, and as a rookie, you did your best  to try and erase memories of the “Same Old Jets.”

Playing on the road, battling single digit windchills and a tough Cincinnati team, you put on a flawless performance.

The 24-14 upset set up a date with the San Diego Chargers, and you proved, once again, that you were up for the challenge.

Not only did you help your team snap the Chargers’ 11 game winning streak, you were clutch and held your own against a more experienced, pro-bowl caliber quarterback in Philip Rivers.

Behind your poise and leadership, the Jets did it again, edging the Chargers 17-14 and advancing to the AFC Championship game.

There, you met your match.

You met a player you probably looked up to as a college standout at USC. You met this year’s MVP, Peyton Manning.

Don’t get me wrong, you played a very good game for the most part. The 80-yard pass perfectly placed in Braylon Edwards’ hands had me jumping up and down in my dorm room.

But after building a nice 17-6 lead, your team failed to close out the half properly and allowed the Colts to trim the gap to just four.

With a quaterback as experienced as Manning, that lead quickly evaporated and soon enough, you found yourself on the wrong end of the score.

As often said in sports, there are no moral victories. None of what I just told  you is going to make you feel any better about missing a chance to play for the trophy that only a select few get to hold.

But you have to crawl before you can walk. You  have to fall, bruise a knee, and bleed a little before you learn to ride a bike. These are growing pains.

Kobe had those two airballs in game five of the 1997 playoffs series between the Lakers and the Utah Jazz. Look at him now, arguably the best player in the NBA.

A young Shaquille O’Neal took an inexperienced Orlando Magic team all the way to the 1994-1995 NBA Finals, only to be swept in four games by the more experienced duo of Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. He now has four championship rings to fit on his humongous fingers.

I’m sorry that all of my examples are basketball players…I never played football.

Nevertheless, there is a point here and I hope you get it.

It was a privilege to watch you grow during this adrenaline rush of a post-season.

You’ve shown what you are capable of. Now it is time to combine that huge potential with whatever you felt when looking up at the scoreboard at the end of Sunday’s game and realizing that you were not going to play for a Superbowl ring.

Combine these two and use the result as motivation.

Come back tougher, hungrier. Then you’ll get to do even more commercials and more  GQ photoshoots. Got it? Good.

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