Surely a few players in the NFL have wanted to take a swing at New York Jets' head coach Rex Ryan. Turns out quarterback Mark Sanchez was one of them.
In the September issue of GQ, the Big Apple's newest matinee idol admits he "wanted to fight" Ryan after the coach told the press he considered benching the starter in favor of Mark Brunell last season.
The near-confrontation happened after losses to the Patriots and the Dolphins in early December. Sanchez actually pushed Brunell out of a practice huddle at one point, and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer had to talk him out of escalating with Ryan.
"Eventually the crisis passed," writes GQ's J.R. Moehringer. "Sanchez held his ground, kept his job, and managed not to alienate his friend. But the episode remains something of a sore point with Sanchez. In a locker room where everything is a laughing matter, Sanchez hasn't yet joked with Ryan about that almost-benching. And he doesn't expect to. 'I wanted to fight him,' Sanchez says. 'I was really mad.'"
Sanchez eventually led the Jets to their second-straight AFC Championship game, beating the hated Pats on the way. Now he's a team captain, getting favorably compared to Joe Namath -- another famously-clutch and famously-fetching Jets signal-caller who was (not-as-famously) unspectacular during most of his regular-season career. Namath tells GQ he feels Sanchez is a "championship-caliber quarterback."
He's certainly a championship-caliber bachelor. In the cover story, Sanchez talks about the difficulty of dating in New York City, saying he needs to have the "life skills of a 45 year-old Supreme Court judge" to navigate the single life and confesses his crush on Jennifer Aniston because "She's experienced."