Mark Sanchez was nearly the victim of another party video during his rookie season, if not for the quick thinking of former Jets quarterback Erik Ainge.
Earlier this week, a video surfaced of Sanchez partying with two females, including snippets of him dancing with an exposed rear end. According to Ainge, in a Metro exclusive, a similar incident almost happened four years ago when, following a big Jets home win in 2009, Ainge was a part of a postgame party at Sanchez's condo. After several drinks, things began to get silly and Sanchez, whose girlfriend was at the party, decided to go streaking in his own condo. As the clothes came off, Ainge remembers the cell phone of a female partygoer popping up to capture the dash of the Jets' rookie quarterback for posterity.
Ainge rushed over, smashed the cell phone and destroyed the evidence. Sanchez paid for the damages, but what could have been more damaging would have been for the video to come out. In light of this week's "Butt Video" that surfaced on TerezOwens.com, it sheds some light on a player who apparently has struggled with making proper judgments.
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"There were numerous times when things would happen, when things would go down, articles of clothing would be removed," Ainge told Metro. "Mark is goofy. He played truth or dare. He was kind of awkward around girls, so he needed other people around him to help him out. I was good at that — there were other guys who were good with that. So we'd help him out and talk him through his awkwardness. It happened to him with the 17-year old who said she wasn't 17. Now the butt video and there's been several other issues just like that, but he's always had wingmen."
But perhaps he has out of wingmen.
What is discouraging about this story is that Sanchez apparently hasn't learned his lesson from this incident, as evidenced by the video that surfaced this week. Ainge wonders openly if Sanchez has anyone on the Jets team willing to look out for the best interests of the "Sanchise" and will safeguard him in those situations. If there had been a willing teammate nearby to look out for him, perhaps this must recent video embarrassment would have been smashed as well.
Before he was drafted by the Jets in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL draft, Ainge was the starting quarterback at Tennessee where college parties and overall campus life put him in situations, such as the one in 2009 with Sanchez. But he credits teammates around him that were looking out for his best interests and protecting him from cell phones popping up to record any indiscretions.
Ainge, who now hosts the "Erik Ainge Show" on Tennessee Sports Radio, also thinks that Sanchez has been a victim of his own kindness. He says that Sanchez is "trusting" and wishes that, in situations, such as the one this week that made him the butt of many jokes, that his former teammate would be just a bit "meaner" in his handling of others.
"He's been a target in college and now he's a target in the NFL," Ainge said. "Now it's become a thing to try and catch Mark doing something stupid. He's never breaking the law. Look at Aaron Hernandez, Mark Sanchez is child's play in the NFL, as far as off-the-field stuff. I'd know as good as anybody — what Mark does off the field is child's play. He's dumb about it. He's stupid while being stupid. You have to be smart while being stupid, and he's dumb while being dumb. Look at the butt video. He needs someone he trusts there when Mark wants to go streaking through his own condo."