As a Browns fan, I have to put up with an awful lot of people mocking me for incredibly stupid things my team has done. "Hey, remember the Dwayne Rudd incident?" "Remember when the Browns drafted Tim Couch?" "Remember the entirety of the Phil Savage/Dwight Clark era?" "Remember when the Browns set the NFL record for most consecutive quarters without scoring a touchdown?" (27, if you're curious.) You know, stuff like that. You pretty much get used to it, by which I mean muster a weak laugh and then go sit fully clothed in the shower while sobbing and drinking straight from a bottle of Uncle Grandpa's Tennessee Whiskey.
However, living in New York, I often run into a particularly odd bit of mockery when people find out I'm a Browns fan, specifically, "Oh man, I bet you're kicking yourself for trading down when you could have had Sanchez."* Now, I will admit that I didn't love that trade, but I'm hardly losing sleep over missing out on Sanchez and generally say something to that effect. But Jets fans tend to ascribe this to a deep sense of denial and go on gloating about all the Super Bowls they're going to be winning with the guy.
The hyperbolic love for Sanchez doesn't even seem to be limited to New York partisans. In an ESPN column, Bill Simmons was ranking the active QB's and he put Sanchez in the top 10, trailing only Manning, Brady, Brees, Rivers, Rodgers and ROFLsberger. I just have to ask exactly which Mark Sanchez all these people were watching. Because the one I saw led the league in interceptions for most of the season and generally did his best to win the Dan Orlovsky Memorial "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST GET RID OF THE BALL!" Award on every down. And even if you didn't have a chance to watch him play this year, the fact that he ranked 38th (DYAR) and 35th (DVOA) in Football Outsiders' QB metrics ought to tell you something. For reference, some quarterbacks that came in ahead of him: Jason Campbell, Bruce Gradkowski, Trent Edwards, Daunte Culpepper and (wait for it) Brady Quinn.
I simply cannot understand how the memories of a few shockingly undropped long bombs to Braylon Edwards prevent so many people from remembering that the Jets only made it into the conference championship thanks to a league-leading defense and rushing game, a few dozen rested Colts starters, and the Nate Kaeding face. I'm not saying Sanchez is the next JaMarcus Russell, but maybe the tiniest fragment of logic could enter into our judgment before we start proclaiming him the second coming of Namath? Maybe?
Ok, you're right, that's unreasonable. But can we at least put the stress on the correct syllable of his last name from now on?
* Cliff notes version for those of you who for some strange reason don't have the last few years of NFL drafts committed to memory: The Browns traded down from the #5 slot with the Jets, additionally picking up the Jets' second rounder and some random players. The Jets immediately picked Sanchez, the Browns would go on to trade down about 17 more times and eventually drafted Alex Mack.