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Rodriguez: Sanchez still makes many proud, win or lose

By Robert Rodriguez - Jul 24, 2013

Say what you want about Mark Sanchez, and believe me, when I first posted a photo of him previewing this story I got an earful. Yes there is the "butt fumble," a play that New York Jets fans relive each Friday on ESPN’s Not Top 10. There is the girls he is dating and most importantly, how bad he performed last season.

There is little doubt Sanchez will ever able to live the butt fumble down. But are we not a nation of second chances, of supporting the underdog? Or have we come to a point that we are so hardened by PED's and failed expections that the only thing that makes us happy is winning?

Well in the minds of some, that is an easy question to answer. For me I continue to support Mark Sanchez for other reasons then simply getting the W.

At moment he is a member of a select club - the Latino quarterback club. Granted their have been some heavy hitters to don this jacket. Joe Kapp (the toughest Chicano ever), Tom Flores, and Jim Plunkett to name a few. Sanchez and Romo have had their ups and downs, including Romo's fumbled extra point in Seattle. Yet even with their epic mishaps, they still play a postion that every kid starts out wanting to play. “It's a special position to have no matter what background your from, but especially as a Mexican-American,” Sanchez said.

I asked Sanchez what it means to be the face of the postion for a community that loves the sport. "As a Hispanic athlete its pretty rare to do it at this level of football," he said.

How often are Latino NFL fans able to look on the field and say, "Hey, that could have been me," or "That guy reminds me of the kid from down the street?" It was not that long go when men of color were not even viewed by the coaching establishment as being capable of trying out for the position. This is not to say that every Latino NFL fan has to support or even like Sanchez, I am simply suggesting that we should give the dude credit for pushing the bar a bit higher.

Being in the second biggest media market does not seem to faze Sanchez. He is yet again locked into a quarterback battle of sorts with rookie second-round pick Geno Smith. Luckily for Sanchez competing is nothing new.

“I grew up competing my whole life… coming from Coach Carroll's (USC) program that's all you know how to do is compete, there is always some who wants your job, so lets go,” he said.

These are the types of words that the media always seem to pick up when talking to Sanchez. But now fans have grown numb and just want to see Gang Green regain some cred. The ball is once again in Sanchez’s hands.

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