Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez created quite a stir during the first quarter of Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Steelers, when he was caught by television cameras wiping what appeared to be a ... well ... a booger on backup quarterback Mark Brunell's parka.
Sanchez opened up about the incident in an interview today with Michael Kay on ESPN 1050 in New York, and admitted that payback will be coming his way.
"I mean he is the best," Sanchez said of Brunell, courtesy of Sportsradiointerviews.com. "He is the best in the world and he knows I was just joking. It is just too bad, and the worst part is, I mean, I know he is going to get me back. Nobody else is going to be around to see it. It will be worse I am sure.”
Sanchez explained that it wasn't a real booger he wiped on Brunell.
“Oh no! It was like a fake," he said. "It was like a cold weather, like almost-runny-nose-not-even-a-real-booger. If it would have been there it would have been a legit booger. I don’t think I could have done that to him… It was like it is cold outside and my nose is like not fully running or anything but just like a little mess around more than anything. It was more of a fake-booger-wipe if anything. If it would have been a legit booger they probably would not have showed it on TV. So that was the funny part and he just, just the way he brushed it off. ‘Oh yeah only 55 million people saw it.’ He was like, ‘You are good.’ I am so sorry."
So, why did Sanchez do it in the first place?
“I have been getting so many text messages and phone calls about this," he said. "[Brunell] is like my big brother and we have such a great relationship and I just feel so bad that it was on TV and I got to know that. I am on the sidelines but that is the way we are. We just have fun and joke around and keep things light because that is the way I play my best. I did not want it to be a disrespectful thing, obviously, and he knew that. I called him the very next day, ‘I am so sorry. I feel so bad’ and he said, ‘Oh don’t worry about it. Only 55 million people saw you fake-wipe a booger on me.’”
Sanchez addressed a few more conventional questions during the interview, including one on his level of disappointment in the wake of Sunday's loss.
"You start out 0-0 and it is disappointing because you put so much work in and so much effort and just like that it is goe," he said. "In 60 minutes, we really only played 30 of it, and it is too bad. It is really too bad because we had a great group. Who knows what is going to happen next year, but it is a disappointing feeling, kind of an empty feeling, but it is a part of the game. Nobody promised that it would be easy and you can’t win every game. So we will rebound and do just fine next year and it will be another challenge and now it is time for just a little relaxing. Just take a little time off.”
On whether he started to think the game was over in the second quarter after the strip-sack-fumble return:
“No not at all. I thought every minute of that game we were going to win. There was no doubt we were going to win the game and it just crushed me at the end because there was nothing we could do from an offensive standpoint and hats off to Pittsburgh for doing so well and staying on the field keeping our offense off the field. They converted some great plays, and the weirdest thing, just like the Detroit game where the quarterback rolled out and was going to throw it, except Roethlisberger completed it. If that ball is incomplete they are just getting crushed for the play selection and stopping the clock and not taking the sack and all of that. Just like Detroit that would have given us the ball back, and who knows we could have gone down the field and scored and won the game. Just like in Detroit. It was almost the same. Almost the same field position, almost the exact same play which was weird watching the game. It was just eerie how similar those games were. Just too bad we did not pull it out. At halftime I just knew we needed to get in at halftime, reset our focus and we would be just fine. It was just too bad.”