Someday he’ll be big enough so you can’t hit him
There will always be a few dolts who use their words like knives and swords and weapons that they wield against the biggest, most obvious sports news of the day. With the Mark Sanchez story, it’s hard to find anything even remotely negative about a failed quarterback turning things around and, at least for one night, recapturing some of the forgotten glory and then celebrating in the most fitting way possible in his current city, on his birthday. Humorous? Yes, maybe a little. Anything to pick on him about? Nope, not at all.
Unless you’re Bill Plaschke (whose surname sounds like something you had to memorize in biology class) or the editor of Outsports.com, both of whom felt the need to talk over this football game with their same big loud opinions.
First up, here’s washed up Plaschke of the Bill phylum on Arooooooooound The Horn ranting about the same old bitter things:
“The whole thing seemed staged, and besides, the cheesesteak is the most overrated food in America. Have you had one? It’s horrible. Just little bits of meat and some cheese on it. It’s horrible. Thumbs down for everything. Sanchez was just doing it for marketing purposes.”
The Big Lead reached out to the spiny, warm-blooded Espnerata to see if he would clarify his remarks. His response:
I’m obviously flattered that anyone would care what a legendarily unhip dude from southern California thinks about a Philadelphia sandwich, but, yeah, since you asked, in my opinion cheesesteaks are overrated sub sandwiches that garner most of their popularity from the word, ”Philly” being attached to them…Not a fan of the meat, don’t like the cheese, and have been disappointed too many times after waiting in long lines at Pat’s and Geno’s while in town with Lakers, Dodgers or college hoops…
I bet lots of folks quietly agree with me, but few say anything because of the Philly folks take this sort of criticism so personally…my feelings have nothing to do with Philly, or any sort of regional bias…hey, I’m not a fan of In-and-Out burgers either, another overrated food…I’m no food snob, if I can pick up a carne asade quesadilla from Burrito Express or a batch of honey BBQ drumsticks from Wing Stop, I’m good…just no Philly cheesesteaks, please…I’d rather watch Jonathan Broxton try to pitch to Matt Stairs, and Philly fans will know what I’m talking about.
Ah well shit, he kind of went and redeemed himself with the Broxton line. Carry on, Bill.
Meanwhile, on Outsports.com*, SB Nation’s LGBT sports site, editor Cyd Zeigler wrote that Sanchez totally should’ve known better in this overly self-indulgent nonsense pointing out all of Geno’s flaws as if we can’t already see them on a stupid sign:
Maybe Sanchez didn’t know that Geno’s is a racist, xenophobic business. But you’d think that living in Philadelphia for a few months – and promising to head down there to eat some of the food – one of his handlers or SOMEONE would have told him about the sign. Or he would have seen it. It’s hard to believe he didn’t.
I guess I’m just surprised they’d even serve someone with the last name of Sanchez.
Now, I’m not defending Joey Vento as being a racist, xenophobic asshole. But he’s also a dead racist, xenophobic asshole, and the sign remains, however awkwardly, because of his supposed dying wish to his son and current owner, Geno Vento, who is openly gay. PR rep for Geno’s Kylie Flett speaking to Philly Mag (last August):
As you know, Geno’s is under new management since the passing of Joey Vento. Geno Vento, Joey’s openly gay son is the new owner and operator and I think it is important to inform you, that he does not share all of the polarizing views his Father was famous for.
I can also tell you that we STRONGLY recommended to Geno Vento that the ‘speak english’ sign be removed also. Our recommendation is currently under consideration by the Geno’s Team. Unfortunately, Joey’s dying wish to his son was for the sign to remain, and Geno at this time is choosing to respect his Father’s request.
Just like one wouldn’t expect Mr. Zeigler to have looked that deep into the matter, he shouldn’t have expected Sanchez to be aware of the cultural sensitivities of a tourist trap during his late-night victory lap.
Maybe we can avoid all this meanness in the future if national broadcasters would stop treating the cheesesteak as the only good thing to ever come out of Philly. After all, Taylor Swift is basically from this big ol’ city.
*Cyd read a whole bunch of the nasty hate mail he got about this. Don’t mistake this post for condoning that sort bigotry. I just think his opinion sucks.
H/T to reader Jason