Jets' Sanchez OK for hot-dogging
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez drew some attention for eating a hot dog on the sidelines during a recent game.
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No matter what happens between here and the awarding of the Lombardi Trophy in the moonlight of some distant South Florida February, nothing will match for compelling NFL video the 15 stunning seconds of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez eating a hot dog on the sideline the week before last.
From a highlights standpoint, I'm telling you, the season is over.
Having been eyewitness to Sanchez's methodical dismembering of Penn State's respected defense in the Rose Bowl, I remembered thinking that Southern California's marvelous Latino slinger had the chops to do just about anything in the NFL, but I never thought he could scarf a standard bun-wrapped tube of contraband pig fat with the professional football game in progress.
Players who have been indicted, convicted and made into legends for hot-dogging never even dreamed of doing what Sanchez did during the game at Oakland, where with 6:15 left on the game clock and the Raiders behind, 38-0, the rookie quarterback somehow procured a hot dog, squeezed a packet of mustard onto it, lowered the bill of his baseball cap and chomped.
That's right, the three-step chomp. With the three-step drop, we hear all the time, the ball comes out quickly. With the three-step chomp, the dog goes in even quicker.
But in keeping with Sanchez's up-and-down inaugural season, he quickly ruined the hot-dog caper by apologizing for it.
"I'd eat a hot dog," Steelers tackle Willie Colon said yesterday. "I don't know what the big deal is. They were whoopin' Oakland. He was out of the game. I mean, they won the game; it wasn't like they lost and he was eatin'."
During a comically random sampling of opinion in a Steelers locker room where a looming "Monday Night Football" appointment with the Denver Broncos somehow appeared to the preoccupation, no one jumped Sanchez for chowing, given the clock and the game situation.
Our sample question: If you could eat during the game, what would you eat?
"I wouldn't eat a hot dog," said defensive end Nick Eason. "I'd eat a power bar, one of these."
Eason then pulled a Myoplex bar from the shelf in his locker. Fifteen grams of protein, 22 vitamins and minerals.
C'mon Nick, where's the pig fat?
"I don't think it was that bad he was eating a hot dog," Eason said, "but putting the mustard on it, I don't know."
"I'm not a mustard guy," said punter Dan Sepulveda. "But I'd eat a hot dog. When they're wrapped in that foil so long that the bun gets wet, they're so good. Definitely put me down for a hot dog. Ketchup only."
Veteran quarterback Charlie Batch might never have had the hot dog in his game plan, but said he's actually surprised you don't see the Sanchez move more often.
"A lot of times you're hungry out there, people don't realize," Batch said. "We eat four hours before the game, so say you're in a 1 o'clock game. Halftime is 2:30, that's five and a half hours without eating. You see a lot of guys getting something at halftime.
"I think him being a rookie, he probably didn't understand how hungry you can get. As for the hot dog, yeah, I'd have a hot dog."
Sanchez's apology was built mostly on that premise.
"I wasn't feeling very good and didn't eat much before the game, so I was feeling a little queasy," he said. "Toward the end of the game, I probably should have eaten one of those bars or something, but someone offered [a hot dog], so I grabbed it and tried to be discreet about it, but obviously not discreet enough. So I shouldn't have done that, and it won't happen again."
The nutritional and security implications of just who would slip the quarterback a hot dog notwithstanding, this sounds perfectly plausible, but I'm wondering if it isn't something a lot more elemental.
Who, after all, save for the nutritionists, the super models and, perhaps, Kelly Ripa, can say no to a hot dog? I can eat a seven-course meal and, if, on the way out of the restaurant, someone has put out a tray of hot dogs, I'm taking one.
If not two.
To me there's no flag on that play. On the contrary, it should be the start of a great Jets tradition. Rather than line up in the standard victory formation as the clock expires, rather than just take a knee, Sanchez should jog to the sideline, slather a dog, and chomp to victory.
First Published November 5, 2009 12:00 am