With NFL players locked out of team facilities, those preparing for the next season (should it come) have had to find alternatives.
For New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, that has meant coming home to Mission Viejo--and bringing along some of his teammates.
Aliso Viejo Patch reports:
With players unable to access their coaches and facilities during the current lock out, Sanchez took matters into his own hands and not only organized the workouts, but also paid for the players' travel, their housing at beach-front villas in South Orange County and off-the-field entertainment during the five-day camp.
Sanchez and his father, Nick, and brothers, Nick Jr. and Brandon, have taken responsibility for nearly every aspect of the camp, from finding practice balls to building playbooks from scratch to providing food for lunch.
"If this helps us win one playoff game, one home game, than it paid off," Sanchez said.
Future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson is among the players participating in the camp, but no word on whether the Jets' seventh-round choice in the recently completed NFL draft is there. With that pick, New York took Colorado receiver and Sanchez's boyhood chum Scotty McKnight.
In fact, Sanchez was with McKnight when the Jets called. They grew up in the same neighborhood, played Pop Warner football together and were ball boys for Santa Margarita High School, although Sanchez wound up going to Mission Viejo High and McKnight attended Tesoro High in Las Flores.
The New York Post reported Monday that McKnight was expelled during his senior year at Tesoro in 2005 for penning threatening words directed at his English teacher in a journal. One entry McKnight co-wrote with Tesoro teammate Sam Smith mentioned gluing the teacher naked to a wall, cutting off her feet and killing her family while she watched.
"I am planning on coming in your room late one night while you're still working," read one partial entry. "I will smother you in gasoline and light your head on fire ... "
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Teacher Alyssa Di Somma told her superiors she felt threatened, and McKnight was suspended during an investigation into the writings. He missed the last eight games of his senior football season.
Speaking with the Post, McKnight said, "It was an error in judgment that led to a huge consequence. I was 17 years old and had a class assignment to do some creative writing and the teacher told us for the first five minutes of class to write whatever you want, be creative and that no one was ever going to read it.
"Me and a buddy wrote some crazy stuff, Tarantino-like movie type stuff and were trying to one-up each other, figuring no one was ever going to read it. It was a lack of judgment for sure, but we were 17 years old and not thinking--clearly."
It wound up costing him: Boise State shied away from him, and he wound up not on scholarship but being a walk-on at Colorado, where he became a record-setting receiver. "You really see how one small error in judgment can affect your whole life," McKnight reportedly told the Post.