QWM (Quarterbacking While Mexican): USC Edition
By law, I'm not allowed to say anything nice about the University of Southern California--I'm a UCLA grad (fire Dorrell!), and many of the lords of Orange County (from Theo Lacy to John Wayne to Mike Schroeder) attended Troy. But I always liked current Trojans quarterback Mark Sanchez, not just because he's an OC guy, but mostly because he and his Mission Viejo High Diablos took the local prep spotlight away from the pedophile protectors at Mater Dei and Santa Margarita High for a couple of years. The fact that his last name is Hispanic meant nothing to me: I figured he was a half-breed of some sort, someone far removed from his Latino roots. Besides, quarterbacking while Mexican means nothing to Latinos if you can't guide your team to victory. That's why Jim Plunkett, Tony Romo, and Joe Kapp are always mentioned in a recap of great Latino quarterbacks, while Tom Flores tends to get cited more for his coaching days.
So imagine my absolute glee when KSPN-710 reporter Beto Duran clued me into a brewing controversy involving Sanchez and his mouthpiece. Seems that while leading USC's 38-0 victory last Saturday over Notre Dame (I'm a subway alum, yet another reason I despise 'SC), Sanchez wore a mouthpiece decorated in the colors of the Mexican flag, down to the eagle clutching a snake while perching on a cactus. Apparently, it was a joke between Sanchez and USC's dentist, a Cuban named Dr. Rojas. Apparently, people aren't pleased with Sanchez's chiste. Crazy non-sequitur racist rant after the jump:
Mark Sanchez needs to get rid of the Mexican flag mouthpiece. If he is an American citizen then he needs to get rid of it. People will think that he is a Mexican citizen and it is an insult to this country where he was born and raised. Mexico is not giving Sanchez the opportunity that he is getting right now so why is he showing his love for Mexico with the mouthpiece?
When Duran interviewed Sanchez about the controversy, the quarterback was perplexed. "I didn't know it was that big of a deal--was it bad?" he replied. "I thought it was cool." He went on to say it was "a portrayal of my love for my race" but that "it's not a Mexican power thing, hopefully it inspires somebody," that someone being the many young "Mexicans like me" who play football. He also gave a shout-out to the Trojan fans who show up to games wearing serapes and lucha libre masks. Hear the rest of this extraordinary interview for yourself.
Sanchez, America, is your postmodern Mexican: not someone hung up on racism and history like this wab but a young man for whom ethnicity is an afterthought, not because he denies it but because it's as natural to Sanchez as breathing air. Don't like it, OC 'SC fans? Us Bruins will gladly take Mark--between him and Lorenzo Mata-Real, we can stage our own sports Reconquista.