Top college football prospect [Michael Sam] comes out

Sticking with it? I would wager ESPN paid them to do it. As well as smash the cake in each others faces like it was a wedding day.

Honestly, the worst exploitation I have ever seen on draft day. Standard for ESPN. They are running the clip into the ground, and will continue to do so all week (or until the praise ends).

ESPN turned a great moment into a sideshow.

And there’s your proof that some people will complain about absolutely anything.

Yeah, really.

I’m not even sure what the complaint is. Apparently, ESPN turned this into a sideshow, but anyone who watches ESPN knows that they can turn anything into a sideshow, and Stink Fish Pot even seems to acknowledge this when he says that this is “Standard for ESPN.” The coverage of the kiss was, somewhat paradoxically, both “standard,” and yet also the “worst exploitation” ever on draft day.

So i guess the criticism is that ESPN was as cynical and exploitative and self-serving with this particular incident as they are with any other incident that they think will keep their sports-obsessed viewership watching.


In case you hadn’t noticed, running clips into the ground is what ESPN does. It’s the business model.

What is your “point”? Is it that this moment (brought to you by ESPN) is above criticism? And not the moment itself, but the handling of it by ESPN? To me, that is fair game. If your PC sensibilities kick in, that’s on you. I didn’t criticize Sam’s enjoying his moment. If you can’t see or make the distinction, that’s not my problem.

Honestly, Marley… Do you not think ESPN went over the top with this? Just because the guy is gay doesn’t mean that everything surrounding him is off limits to criticism. I thought Trey Wingo was going to wet himself. He kept talking about this being history, and how Jeff Fisher was the perfect coach for this situation, and the Rams were the perfect organization for Sam. Really? So the other 31 NFL teams are all homophobic? And the other 31 coaches couldn’t handle it?

The whole thing was pathetic. But if that is your thing… Which apparently it is, then ESPN is your network for the coming week and the start of training camp.

And what is going to happen if the Rams happen to cut him? Are they and Jeff Fisher homophobes?

And if someone comes out and says that Sam sucks, are you going to just assume that was a homophobic slur?

It is time to grow up.

That is (and was) my criticism. The idea that ESPN is being praised for showing the man kiss is absurd, and the whole thing seemed staged for the cameras. Notice the other people in the room are not even close enough to Sam to congratulate him (well, his boyfriend and one other guy reached out and tapped him on the shoulder). Everyone else was out of the camera’s view, but I did hear a few other people in the room, and did see two women off to the right in a later clip.

The more attention paid to this, the more it looks odd. Just let the kid enjoy being drafted and let him enjoy sharing the moment with those he cares about. Stop making it about your network (ESPN) or your league (NFL).

The whole thing seemed very staged to me, right down to who announced the pick. And before you all go slamming me, it WAS staged. The NFL exec who announced it wanted to “be a part of history.” Please.

It’s such a shame, too, especially amidst the completely spontaneous, unscripted, unrehearsed, and most-definitely-not-staged spectacle presented by the other three days of draft coverage on ESPN.

The way this happened is just how a devoted conspiracy theorist, er, public relations professional, would have had it happen, isn’t it? The NFL avoids any criticism for being unwilling to draft a gay, but he’s only a 7th round pick so the Rams can cut him while legitimately claiming he just wasn’t that good and they have a lot of depth at DE anyway. They didn’t have to waste a pick that normally brings value. And, if he really is good enough to play in the NFL, they get a good player for 7th round money for their troubles. A number of other too-small, too-slow DL’s with less of a resume than Sam were drafted ahead of him, FWIW.

Why the Rams, though? They’re the closest to being a hometown team for him, and they’re used to cheering for him in Missouri already. This has got to be less of a story there than anywhere else.

Fair enough.

I guess when Barry Sanders comes out and announces some sort of endorsement deal, and then make his pick, it is hard to consider anything unrehearsed.

I just wonder how the NFL asked to be notified if a team was going to draft him. Apparently that exec. Hung around just for the Sam draft pick, and no one else.

Maybe I have just had enough of the phony, or over-blown, heart-tugging stories and nonsense that has become the draft. But I seem to be in the minority. Ratings were through the roof. I just don’t enjoy watching 22 year old kids sweating or being embarrassed in the green room, or any of the other crap ESPN calls the “ultimate reality TV show.”

I will not be watching it again, even though I did enjoy watching it and reading everyone’s comments out here. But if I watch it, I am part of the problem. I am done.

Based on what I read, the fact that this kid wasn’t drafted at all until the 7th round says it all. He was the defensive player of the year if the SEC, correct? Isn’t that the best college football conference in the country? He has to be a great athlete and a great college football player. If he was straight, I cannot believe he would have not been taken in the fourth round at the latest… Someone would have taken a flyer on him. Why not? A DPOY is not a fluke. And I think I read somewhere that up until Sam, each person who won that award was drafted, and not in the last round, either.

I don’t believe that “tweener” crap for a minute. You can’t tell me he couldn’t play on special teams right now, and throw his body around.

The Rams make a lot of sense because of the proximity… I will be curious as to how he does in the pre-season. And I personally don’t think every teammate is going to give him a big hug when they meet him, either. He is going to have a hard time, no matter what anyone says.

The NFL is a league with its share of women beaters and racists. Are we to believe these guys are all ok with a gay guy sharing their shower? C’mon.

Was it also crap when scouts called the hundreds of prospects “tweeners” before Michael Sam ever came out? Or is it just Sam who magically doesn’t fit that concern?

From his college stats, it appears Sam hasn’t played special teams for two years. And most NFL teams don’t like to draft guys just to be bodies on special teams.

Sam is 6’2," 261. At the combine, he ran a 4’9" 40 and had a 26" vertical.

I will give you $100 for every NFL DE you can find on a roster currently (not just regualar season roster, any roster right now, when they are expanded) who is of comparable size who posted inferior combine numbers.

In return, you agree to give me $100 for every player in the combine in the last three years who posted better numbers and wasn’t drafted.

He seems like a fine young man, and by normal-human standards, he is a phenomenal athlete. By NFL standards he is slow for his size.

Sam ran a 4.72 at his pro day, and had a 30 in vertical jump. To compare, Terrell Suggs ran a 4.85 at his pro day, but with a 33 vertical.

Sez here that only 1 SEC DPOY since 2004 has slipped even into the *second *round.

Sez the same writer

Dumervil also had 30 Bench Press reps to Sam’s 17(Suggs had 19). His combine numbers really were bad. A slow guy who is strong enough they can work with. A weak guy who is agile/athletic they can work with. But Sam was at the bottom of the strength test, and the athletic tests.

I have several points to quibble about here. First of all, Sam was out to his teammates at Mizzou as of last August. There is a lot to the story that is well-detailed here. Not only did all of his teammates keep it quiet from the media, many of them attended gay clubs with him and a gay pride event in St. Louis. His boyfriend, the same one of the cake-smashing on ESPN, was a swimmer for Mizzou, and Sam’s teammates knew him as well. Yes, this is the same Mizzou football team that recently kicked off their best player for abusing women. None of them seemed to have a problem with him, and if they did, it certainly wasn’t reflected in their play this year, which was Mizzou’s most successful season in quite some time. I doubt his new teammates will all be okay with sharing a shower with him, but I also bet that it won’t be much of an issue at all.

Look at how much attention there was over Jason Collins coming out last year. It was newsworthy when he was signed to a contract and then newsworthy again when he became the first openly gay pro athlete in one of the US’s major sports. How much talk has there been since then? Collins is still on the Nets in the playoffs, and nobody has anything to say about him being a distraction or whatever. I would say Johnny Manziel is going to be much more of a media sensation than Michael Sam will be. There’ll be some stories about Sam during training camp and perhaps his first snaps as a pro. Unless someone says something stupid publicly, that’ll probably be it.

As for the tweener thing, read this review of his play by a guy who is, if anything, biased in Sam’s favor. Sam can’t play OLB in a 3-4, so there’s a bunch of teams he won’t fit on, which means they’d never draft him in any round. He’s not strong enough to play DE in 4-3 scheme in the pros as of now. The strength thing can be fixed. If he goes out and works hard to gain strength without losing his speed around the edge, he’ll be a useful NFL player. He won the DPOY in the SEC by consistently beating tackles around the edge. That’s his one move. If he can’t do it against NFL-caliber linemen, then he doesn’t have anything else. That’s the definition of a tweener. The Rams are a good fit for him. He can spell the starting ends in pass-rush situations and spend a lot of time working on his strength. He might not have a long and productive career, but he’s clearly talented enough to have a foundation that can be build upon.

There is just so much wrong with this.

It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not. His scouting reports did not change after he came out. He did not come out that long ago. He was always projected to go mid rounds at the very best. Of course that was before the combine. There is no way to spin his showing at the combine. He is lucky to have been drafted at all. It’s still possible he could exceed expectations but it would certainly go against conventional wisdom. And that has nothing to do with his orientation.

If college awards meant anything to the pros the Heisman winner would be the first pick every year.

I understand what you all are saying regarding the “tweener” tag.

Ok, so maybe by definition he is a tweener. He’s not worth a flyer in the 5th round, say?

Of course he wasn’t, because no one was going to draft him before the 7th round, if at all.

Elvis1Lives shows that only 1 SEC DPOY has slipped to the second round before Sam. I agree with Loach’s point about the Heisman and college awards not exactly meaning a guarantee stamp, but a defensive POY award is a bit different. It isn’t based on a national advertising campaign. Ot is based on his on the field effort and results.

I haven’t seen much of his tape, so I can’t argue with those of you that have.

However, IMO, he was drafted so late because of the risk of bringing a guy like this in. I know everyone is saying the right things now, but it could be a different situation with the Rams during training camp.

I hope not. I really hope he gets a chance. But I am a realist. If he is a bigger distraction (and it is deemed to be a negative distraction) he will be gone.

Manziel isn’t a fair comparison. johnny Football is a sideshow, but he is a first round pick who is expected to do great things, not inly by the Cleveland Browns and their fans, but by Manziel himself. As a first round pick, he will get a real chance. As a 7th round pick, any hiccup by Sam will be enough to cut him. And maybe he will deserve it. But. I think many folks will say he was cut because of his sexuality.

The Rams are in a very difficult position here. They should be in a win-win… But if Sam divides the locker room, it could be a lose-lose.

A Dolphin apparently came out with a few negative tweets about the kissing on TV. Do we all think he is an outlier, or is this being discussed between players one on one, and not on twitter?
One final thing… Sam claims that his being gay was not exactly a secret to NFL coaches either. Some of his teammates knew, but supposedly a lot of NFL people knew as well. I don’t know if this is true or not, but it was one of the reasons given for him coming out.

Ok.m i am done with Sam. I need to get back to shaking my head at the Steelers drafting Only one CB (in the 5th round) and not signing one CB as a FA.:smack:

I meant exactly what I said: you are complaining about nothing. I don’t think there was a whole lot of room for interpretation there.

Unfortunately the link I posted in post 212 does not go to the article I linked to anymore. In the article they anonymously polled NFL scouts. They were free to state if their problems with Sam were about distractions. It wasn’t. It was about his size, strength and speed. There was also concern that the numbers he put up to make POY often came during garbage time and mostly against lesser competition. A few said they would recommend picking him when he went, possibly a little earlier. He would only possibly fit teams that run a 4-3.

Bottom line, his game requires him to be able to run around the O-line. When he didn’t get around he wasn’t strong enough to push through most of the time. In the NFL the O-line is full of monsters that are also fast off the ball. His speed numbers showed he is unlikely to consistently run around the outside to get to the quarterback. His strength numbers are not consistent with being able to play a different style. Pre-draft scouting is never a sure thing. He could prove everyone wrong. I hope he does. (Actually no I don’t he’s not on my team :D) But at this point it seems unlikely. Those that don’t fit into the exact NFL mold and are successful usually have something else going for them. If they are undersized for their position they are either very fast or freakishly strong for their size. Sam has not shown to be physically exceptional. Except compared to normal non-pro athlete types. However he does have a lot of the intangibles that they look for. He is intense and plays every down hard. He is focused on and off the field. Good character and never a discipline problem. Everything Jadeveon Clowney is not. But Clowney is a genetic freak that has the potential to be the best defensive player in football.

To you it’s nothing. That’s probably true, because that is consistent with your stance of everything must be PC. But it wasn’t “nothing”. If it was, there wouldn’t have been any network film crews at his house. Any other 7th round picks have film crews at their homes, making sure they capture the moment? And how is showing Sam and his boyfriend smashing cake into each other’s faces newsworthy, or something that we all need to see? I can’t imagine ESPN showing anything like that for any other player but Sam, and to ignore WHY ESPN chose to show that footage over and over, IMO lets ESPN off the hook for making the moment a voyeuristic spectacle, and not just what it was… A great moment for Sam.

The problem with political correctness and living your life by it is that it hides underlying prejudices and biases. You spend so much time making sure that everyone knows that you are on the “right” side of everything, that you deny things that are obvious for fear of being thought of as politically incorrect. And your opinions become washed away, because everyone knows how you would view any situation.

To not have an opinion on how ESPN handled this thing is hard to believe, because it WAS meant to cause a reaction. I would think you would be able to see that regardless of your sexual orientation.

I don’t follow these things all that closely, but when straight athletes are drafted how common is it for the media to publicize pictures of them kissing their girlfriends? The standard pictures to my knowledge are of them holding up the jersey of the team that drafted them. But as above, I don’t follow this all that much.

There have been Heisman Trothy winners who were not drafted at all (at least one, anyway, that I remember).

I tend to agree with this. After the first couple of morons get slapped down, others will learn to shut up.

The concern I would have, were I a GM, is that every decision involving the guy will be scrutinized for evidence of homophobia. Was he really given a “legitimate chance” to prove himself, and hey how about that other guy whose performance was arguably worse who didn’t get cut, and so on. For a guy who is apparently a marginal prospect to begin with, it’s another weight on the decision scale.

Paradoxically, one thing that argues against that is that he’s already thought to be a hard worker. So there might not be as much room for improvement as you might think.