Michael Sam Is Gay And Got Drafted By The Rams Now What Is Next?

Anybody who has followed my rants over the years knows I am irked by people jumping on the bandwagon. Because the bandwagon expects entitlement to the world they are intruding. They act like they own the place. I said as much when Pinoys who know little about soccer were shocked at unruly Hong Kong fans.

 

My younger brother was a better athlete than I was in high school. Which is not saying much. My brother though was a reserve wide receiver on a team that played in the final for the provincial championship. If memory serves that was the only game my mother attended of his including his basketball games. I seem to recall while the game was going on she wrote letters. When it was all over she kept asking why they lost. I was not expecting her to ascertain they were being mishandled in the line of scrimmage but one of the many facts people who jump on the sports bandwagon seem to forget is for someone to win someone has to lose.

 

The NFL draft has always been a special day for me. Then again I enjoy following both NCAA and NFL football and the draft marks their annual formal confluence. It is endlessly fascinating for many reasons. What schools produce what positions and how smaller schools can produce more than their share of professionals. Draft day was not good for the likes of Tom Brady, Jeff Garcia. Kurt Warner and Jon Kitna but their careers ranged from solid starters for many years to Hall of Fame caliber. The inverse can be said for the likes of Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf and Akili Smith.

Does this person on Facebook sound like she knows what NFL teams are looking for and whether their defensive schemes  will be accommodating of Sam's skill set?
Does this person on Facebook sound like she knows what NFL teams are looking for and whether their defensive schemes will be accommodating of Sam’s skill set?

NFL Football like any other sport in the highest level will always be about survival of the fittest. Like in the real world, college credentials can only get you so far. The fact remains Michael Sam has all this attention because of his decision to make his sexual orientation public. I don’t think  anybody keeps track of this things but I doubt CNN ever cared about a 7th round draft pick ever.     Of course Obama will capitalize on anything since he himself switched sides on the same sex marriage debate when he was up for reelection.    What Michael Sam did  took courage and does not add or substract from his talent or his desire to be an NFL player. Just know that many like him have not made the grade for purely football reasons. You want my opinion? I just hope from this moment on everything that happens for football reasons. He makes the team whether on the D Line or as a linebacker because he was better than the other players they had to let go. I just hope it is that simple.

Unlike the Philippines where it is possible to be an anonymous fifty year old   despite having the right name and the right connections one year and president of the country the next, the NFL is a meritocracy unlike what we are used to here. If you will help the team you will be there. It takes a lot of hard work just to be drafted by an NFL player let alone make the team.Unlike the Philippines where motorcades and dancing the current song is more of a priority to voters than performance and intellect.  I personally believe that a presidential candidate or even a sitting president being gay in the Philippines would be too much of a distraction that institutions may be coerced to put up appearances that things are otherwise.

Excelling in college sports does not always translate to the next level. The NBA was not exactly set on fire by Mateen Cleaves, Steve Alford and Juan Dixon. What is great about sports is you never know what will happen and that is why it has appealed to me when many things in entertainment do not. Project all you want but human beings who we presume talented enough or not talented enough have always amazed us what they end up doing or not doing based on variables like heart and durability .

Yes let's celebrate him being drafted. But let him make the cut or be cut based on football criteria and not the criteria the non football world has.
Yes let’s celebrate him being drafted. But let him make the cut or be cut based on football criteria and not the criteria the non football world has.

Like any work place, your potential employers want to know what you will bring to the table. Sam plays on the defensive line same as Jadeveon Clowney who was picked first overall by the Houston Texans. With all his talent, he was still dissected for potential red flags like not going all out all the time. That is what football people do before they commit their selection and millions of dollars to 22 year olds. You can compare the NFL draft sometimes to the stock market where  there are the blue chips, the speculative stocks  and the emerging markets. The problem with this analogy is unlike the NFL in 2014 there is no such thing as a stock coming out as gay before the opening bell.

Various pre-draft evaluations of Michael Sam include:

  • 5 out of 21 scouts would not draft him but sign him for a tryout. 7 out of the 21 would not even have him in for a tryout. Time 
  • good heart/ doesn’t fit our scheme/ too short /  too slow / not really a good athlete Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel 
  • plays hard and consistent/ did not produce against quality opponents/ not the best defensive player on his team Monday Morning Quarterback 

 

What if Michael Sam is a tweener as opposed to a hybrid?  If you have no idea what I am talking about then welcome to the world of professional football. A world Michael Sam is in now. A world that existed before an openly gay player decided to attempt to participate in it. A world that will only care what what he and ten other guys can do together on Sunday afternoons against the offense in front of them. That is all that it should be about. It is not about being gay or straight. The thing is for  those that only know this story only  from CNN or  Obama and my friend on Facebook, their football knowledge apparently supersedes NFL general managers and scouts. Welcome to the bandwagon.

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10 Comments on “Michael Sam Is Gay And Got Drafted By The Rams Now What Is Next?”

  1. Mr. Sam. I don’t care if you are gay….Welcome to the NFL. Be sure to bring your big boy pants with you.

    1. Thanks Bill, you get my point . Chin strap on and Mano a Mano in training camp, guys will make the team and guys will get cut. Just like in Fiddler on the Roof. Sunrise Sunset. You and I know that . There will be cries of discrimination if he gets cuts just like there were cries he wasn’t drafted. Drafted players disappoint and un drafted players over achieve. Football will take over and that is my hope. I just resent how outside forces try to impose their standards to the NFL.

  2. As a foreigner here, I’ve noticed a strange conception *some* Filipinos have about gay men that jibes with that Facebook comment. I wouldn’t say it’s homophobia, just ignorance that may be fed by the media or something (I don’t watch TV here).

    My girlfriend who *claims* to have gay friends and not to have any bad attitude about homosexuality (I made sure to have the “I don’t tolerate bigots” conversation very early on) does still slip up sometimes when describing the behaviour of gay men compared to what she calls ‘real men.’

    When I’ve pulled her up on that terminology, she basically explained that being gay in the Philippines equates to being effeminate, and she was surprised to hear that it’s possible for a gay man to look and act like a ‘real man,’ as she puts it.

    Maybe your Facebook ‘friend’ also gets her ideas about the world from bad shitcoms?

    1. The same goes for lesbians (termed “tomboy”), Filipinos think about girls who have short hair and wear men’s clothing when they hear the word “tomboy.” It’s not surprising that they haven’t heard the term “lipstick lesbian” before.

      Regardless, even if the “third sex” has become widespread for years, it is still a pity that they are still discriminated up to now – add in the fact that the Church does not tolerate homosexuality.

  3. From Aaron Lee Dickerson in Facebook

    the only thing i dont understand is why every one has to say im gay, in front of the entire world, attention is what they get, so its a sad subject in many ways!

    I disagree with your conclusion Aaron.I do like the fact you brought it up because I get to address something I did not say there. What Sam did was get ahead of it. You shut down the “whispers” . What did Tyrion Lannister say ? “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you. ”

    Let me make it clear , Seinfeld also said about homosexuality “Not that there is anything wrong with that.” People like Sam have to treat it like a flaw because society (specially Iran and Russia) made the closet very real.

    I wrote an essay years ago about why is there even a closet to come out of? Society made that closet that people “hid” in . Yes it is their business but our world is what it is. However you view the closet , I guess Sam felt restricted in it going into a very public, macho workplace. I really doubt it was easy for him. I wish him well and like I said in the piece that this be all about football from this point forward.

  4. “Of course Obama will capitalize on anything since he himself switched sides on the same sex marriage debate when he was up for reelection.”

    Interesting you mention President Obama. I recall early in his first term he was caught in a rather embarassing lie on national television at a White Sox game. He claimed to have become a Chicago White Sox fan when he moved there in the 1980s, during an interview in the broadcast booth. This was after he threw the first pitch. Asked by the announcer to name one of his favorite White Sox players, Obama hemmed and hawed; he struggled to put to words together. Eventually he recovered enough to dodge the question. Obama talked about growing up in Hawaii, about also liking the Cubs, about being a one-time fan of the Oakland As –- but he could not name one single White Sox player, supposedly his favorite team. During the same interview he kept referring to Comiskey Park, where the White Sox used to play their games, as ‘Kaminsky Park’. Anyone who’s actually watched a game there would be able to tell you the name of the ballpark, especially a devoted fan — which President Obama claims to be.

    I don’t really care that Obama apparently doesn’t know the name of the park where the White Sox play, but I do wish that he wouldn’t pretend to be a big baseball fan when it’s clear he isn’t. Just like any political hack (or proverbial ‘TRAPO’) he does these things to gain political points. And, as is often the case when politicians pretend to know more than they do, he ends up with his foot in his mouth.

    With Michael Sam, Americans — and President Obama — actually have TWO issues to weigh in on. The fact that he is a homosexual AND that he is African American. Obama has abused these topics time and again, both during his election campaign and as president. It’ll be interesting to see what his opinion will be this time and what his criticism will be of the NFL.

    Wonder if Obama actually knows who plays on the Chicago Bears. Or is it the Steelers?

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