In addition to guaranteeing a win in the next Super Bowl, whenever and wherever it may be played, Jets coach Rex Ryan offered some support Friday night for quarterback Mark Sanchez, whose alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl has become a fairly large story in the largest media market in the country.
“Not everybody can play quarterback in this town,” Ryan told the New York Post. “It takes a special person, and Mark can do it. He’s proved that he can do it. He’s focused and determined. Some guys would wilt under the pressure of New York, of being in the city. But Mark looks forward to it.
“You’ve got to have broad shoulders, he has broad shoulders,” Ryan added. “I always talk about skin like an armadillo — though I know it’s armor — but that’s the illustration we make to our guys. He’s a great player, a great person, and he can handle this.”
Of course, the better way to “handle this” would have been to “avoid this,” by running in the other direction once Sanchez learned the girl was 17. Though no evidence or allegations of wrongdoing have emerged, Sanchez should have known that nothing good would come from dating a girl who’s still in high school.
Though the story has nothing to do with football, the New York media doesn’t care. As the team acquires an ever-increasing profile in the Big Apple, the fact that the starting quarterback went on a date with someone who eats apple sauce in the cafeteria at lunch time inevitably will be news there.