Mark Sanchez

Model Sportsman: Mark Sanchez Strips Down for GQ

Model Sportsman: Mark Sanchez Strips Down for GQ
New York Jets’ Mark Sanchez

Since day one when quarterback Mark Sanchez led the USC Trojans to a decisive victory over Penn State in the Rose Bowl, 2009 has been a good year for the 22-year-old from Orange County, for whom everything’s coming up…well, you know…roses!

After his controversial decision to turn pro a year early, despite a solid but hardly unqualified record in his single season at the helm of the storied USC program, Sanchez surprised most prognosticators when he was picked fifth in the NFL draft by the New York Jets. Now the new New Yorker has already made a splash in the fashion scene, appearing in a swimwear photo gallery for, thereby cementing his place among the pantheon of New York pigskin heartbreakers.

Sanchez jokes in the brief article accompanying the six-photo collection, “I wouldn’t necessarily be caught in those shorts,” but not only does the curly haired Mexican-American look deliciously good in every shot, he also had the perk of working with the upward-bound supermodel Hilary Rhoda, who served both as fellow model and mentor to the young star.

“Yeah, she’s, uh…Well, obviously she’s gorgeous,” he told the magazine. “She made me feel really…comfortable.” (To which GQ made a public offer to connect the two if Sanchez so desired, citing the supermodel-quarterback precedent of new rival quarterback Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bundchen.)

Sanchez is just the latest in a long if somewhat uneven list of football stars using their more aesthetic talents off the field and on camera, with varying degrees of success (or, in one case, knowledge). Here’s a look back at some of our favorite transfers from the field to the photo.

Mark Sanchez

David Beckham for Emporio Armani

Now now, in basically every country besides the USA David Beckham is known as a “footballer,” but even if he played ping pong for a living his famous work modeling underwear for Emporio Armani is always appropriate to reminisce upon.

His first campaign for the department store fashion giant sparked both massive increases in drool-related keyboard malfunctions worldwide as well as heated debate on the rather less than subtle mass that was visible under the white bikini briefs the superstar wore while lying seductively on a bed looking sultry.

Then last june a five-story high banner of Beckham in another pair of tighty whities caused a circus of overstimulated admirers and hormonally driven…well, homo sapiens when it was unveiled at Macys in San Francisco. Beckham, who is set to end his turbulent affiliation with the Los Angeles Galaxy this summer, appeared in an eerily erotic television spot for the Motorola RAZR2 as well as another ad campaign for Emporio Armani underwear earlier this year.

David Beckham

Vince Young for

Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young’s visage has not once but twice shown up in shots that garnered intrigue at best and ridicule at worst over the past year.

First was a candid photo of a shirtless, tattooed Young dancing while surrounded by other shirtless black men in what was rumored to be a gay club, which rapidly spread throughout the blogosphere but was never confirmed. Then in August there was an ad campaign launched on behalf of Vince Young Foods, which includes smoked sausage, brisket and ribs, which showed up in stores here and there but was primarily available online.

The photo of a smug looking Young in a sharp light blue suit grasping a football next to giant letters spelling “Smoked Sausage” was almost too good to be true and provided a free pass for countless jokes about Young’s penchant for the sausage. Young has been the backup quarterback for the Titans for the past two seasons after failing to impress the coach and showing little drive or improvement as yet.

Vince Young

Brady Quinn for…Sort Of

The blog Towleroad was among the first to discover and publicize one of the more idiotic failures in web advertising last June, which also happened to be one of the most amusing stories of the summer in the small world of gay sports blogging.

The ad, which appeared on popular social networking site Facebook, featured a somewhat well known public domain photo of famously ripped Notre Dame-turned Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn talking on a cell phone while shirtless and looking like a walking pectoral staring petulantly at the camera.

It was over a month before Quinn’s lawyers found out and sent cease and desist letters to the website, claiming that Quinn had no knowledge of the advertisement (despite the fact that by that time it seemed like everyone else in the world knew).

Like Vince Young, Quinn too had trouble proving himself as a starter, holding out for higher pay from the Browns, who selected him at No. 22 in the first round of the NFL draft, with a settlement coming ten days into training camp, and was sidelined after only two rather dismal starts in November of 2008 with a season-ending broken finger.

In the meantime, Quinn has kept busy: allegedly getting punched in the face at a bar, stumping for the McCain-Palin ticket in Indiana just as it was becoming clear the campaign was doomed, and basically being a very good looking waste of a human being. Which is why we love him.

Tom Quinn

And with that, we’ll leave you with one more reason to love New York:

Mark Sanchez

To see all the Mark Sanchez pics and read the full GQ interview, click here.


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