Dear Mark Sanchez:
As a proud UCLA Bruin, I know I'm not to say this, but congrats on an amazing Rose Bowl. Your passes ripped through the Penn State defense like your ethnic cousins continue to do across the United States-Mexico border. Which leads me to the point of this post:
Stay in school for Mexicans.
It's now a cottage industry for pundits to remark about your mexicanidad and the weight that comes with it--the Los Angeles Times did something on the matter earlier this week, and I yapped about the issue back in the fall of 2007. It's cool that you're cool with it, that you're so symbolic ethnicity about identity, tambien--gotta show those gabachos that Mexicans do come in assimilated shades that don't involve Aztec motifs or a lack of English, right?
Your Rose Bowl performance--28 of 35, 413 yards in the air resulting in 4 passing touchdowns, with a running touchdown as the proverbial jalapeño on the nachos--was simply chingón. If your fellow offensive-minded starting Trojans don't leave school early for a shot at NFL benches, USC will return 10 of 11 starters. 10 of 11! Considering USC lost only one game this year, to Oregon State on the road (and don't feel bad about that--I lost to them as well on NCAA Football 09), the Trojans next year can very well slay all competion and win a national title--and you, young amigo, can win a Heisman.
You have to return to do this, Mark--not just to guarantee you a fatter contract playing for the Detroit Lions, but to give Mexicans a little something something called hope.
See, Mexicans ain't exactly liked in the States right now, and our reputation figures to get worse this year, Beverly Hills Chihuahua notwithstanding, as Congress tackles immigration again. We can have all the rallies and good deeds and P.C. MSM coverage on Earth, and it still won't amount to much in improving our image. Your performance yesterday? I'm sure that there were millions of people watching in awe because for the first time in their life, they saw a Mexican as not just any other person, but a superhero--not just an ethnic star ala Edward James Olmos or George Lopez, but a bloody quarterback leading USC, alma mater of too many horrible Orange County natives to note. A brown boy slinging like Sammy Baugh--imagine that! Your individual success is guaranteed, whether you stay in school or not--your millions will come. But take 'SC to a national championship next year, and you'll get millions more thinking about Mexicans--even if only for four quarters--on a human note. Win the Heisman? Why, we might even get to Eye-talian level!
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The great thing about you, Mark, is that you understand your role but don't let it define you--fight on! Just do what you do. Whether you stay at school or go to the NFL, you've already taught thousands of Mexican kids who play football in high school, in schools and divisions always ignored by the media and the college scouts because these so-called experts think those kids are too small, too inexperienced, too Mexican to succeed...that Mexis can and do succeed. In that sense, your legacy is secure. But don't stop there--besides, after yet another Tony Romo/Jeff Garcia/J.P. Losman debacle, we need at least one successful wabby quarterback, ¿que no?
Gustavo Arellano, M.A. '03
P.S.: to my fellow Bruins--go ahead and ostracize me if you must. Already, two of my alma maters consider me persona non grata. But let's put things into perspective--society needs Sanchez right now. We had Jackie Robinson; let 'SC have its Mark; our guy will always be more significant, anyways. And after he accomplishes what's needed, may the Trojans suffer mightily, and Neuheisel become God. See you at YRL!