We're a little more than two weeks away from the start of the NFL season, a day that can't come soon enough for Jets fans eager to get the ball rolling on the Mark Sanchez era. They aren't the only ones excited about Sanchez's debut against the Texans. Awful Announcing got a hold of the NFL's announcing schedule for Week One and CBS has made the Jets their game of the week.
The network's top team, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, will call the action from Houston, a decision that surely had more to do with Sanchez than with any other player on the two teams. Sure, the Texans are a trendy pick to make the playoffs and two big media markets always get consideration, but Sanchez under center is what makes this game special. That's what trumped a matchup between the Dolphins and Falcons, two 2008 playoff squads, and Peyton Manning hosting the Jaguars and lifted the game to the first tier.
It should be interesting to hear what Simms, who knows both the agony and the ectasy of playing quarterback in New York, has to say about Sanchez. Not so much in terms of how he plays, as that will be readily apparent, but in terms of what he'll have to do to satisfy the expectations of a fanbase and teammates who won't be keen on the idea of losing while learning on the job.
It will be easy to chart how well he's satisfying those expectations by watching who is calling the games after the first weekend. If Nantz and Simms are regularly the voices of the Jets, it's a very good sign, but if Solomon Wilcots is breaking down the defense come Week Six against the Bills you'll know that things aren't working out as planned.
Of course, you could just watch the games and figure it out for yourself but the point is that the novelty of Sanchez is going to wear off quickly and so will whatever kid gloves are used in his treatment.