Mark Sanchez was part of one of the most infamous plays in NFL history; the Thanksgiving night “Butt Fumble” that cemented the New York Jets decline from AFC contender to basement dweller.
Now, the jersey that the Jets quarterback wore in the ill-fated play is part of history.
A diehard Jets fan picked up the Mark Sanchez “Butt Fumble” jersey for $820, an effort the buyer said was an attempt keep the relic from falling into the wrong hands.
On the play, Sanchez slipped while trying to make an improvised run and collided with the backside of offensive lineman Brandon Moore. Sanchez fumbled, which the New England Patriots returned for a touchdown.
The buyer, Jake Hendrickson of California, said he saw the jersey on an NFL auction side and set up an alarm so he could be the highest bidder.
“The second I realized what it was I knew I had to have it. Almost for macabre reasons; the amount of ridicule I have received from friends regarding that play and me being a diehard Jets fan out in California especially,” Hendrickson told Yahoo! Sports. “There’s no way I could let it get in the hands of an anti-fan or something of that manner to be shoved in our face.”
Hendrickson said he was ready to pay much more and proved that to the other bidders.
“Every time someone would outbid me by $5 or $10 I was raising by a hundred bucks just to show I meant business,” he said.
The jersey is a sad reminder to Jets fans of what could have been. Mark Sanchez led the team to the AFC Championship Game in his first two years in the league, but was unable to find the same level of success over the course of his career.
Last year, he lost his starting job to rookie Geno Smith, and in the off-season, left the Jets for the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I’m always going to want to start,” Sanchez said in a press conference. “It doesn’t matter where you are, you want to play. There’s nothing wrong with having that drive. I’ll keep that fire going and try to help this team the best I can.”
Hendrickson said he plans to display the Mark Sanchez “Butt Fumble” jersey on his wall “until we win a Super Bowl or I can get together enough money to put it on a rocket ship and shoot it to outer space because I don’t think it belongs on this planet anymore.”