It was over long before Greg McElroy put on his helmet, wasn't it? Mark Sanchez lost his team last week, when he ran headfirst into a lineman's ass. It's tough to be a respected locker room figure—a leader of men, really—when your career highlight reel is negated by a Farrelly brothers pratfall.
Greg McElroy wasn't necessarily "good," if "good" can be broadly defined as "impressive; producing satisfactory results; aesthetically pleasing." But the baseline for good at the Meadowlands is buried somewhere below Jimmy Hoffa, and McElroy, in a quarter-plus of work, might as well be put up on the Jets' Ring of Honor today. He led a successful drive, he threw for a touchdown, he didn't get picked off, and he didn't buttfumble. He is the greatest Jets quarterback in recent memory.
So what now? There's no possible way Sanchez starts next week, not with Jets' fans still basking in their one moment of joy. (Which, for the record, is scoring seven points against a team that's lost seven straight games.) New York has Jacksonville, Tennessee, San Diego and Buffalo remaining, and there's every chance they run the table and get into the playoffs at 9-7. Until McElroy loses, you have to figure this is his team. The angry mob is being typically reasonable about 2013, wondering what draft picks it would cost to get Alex Smith, and discussing the scenarios in which they could get rid of Sanchez and his awful contract. Spoiler alert: it involves eating more than $4 million, and praying another team is willing to pick up the remainder.
We don't know what possessed this fan to customize his No. 6 jersey with "Buttfumble." We don't know if he converted an old standard Sanchez uni, or bought a new one just for the occasion—both would be equally telling as to where Jets fans are right now. But though it's good for a quick laugh, the events of the past two games make it possible that "Buttfumble" may have more lasting historic value than "Sanchez." Buttfumble on, Jets.