Before you make too many assumptions about the Dallas Cowboys and their fans (yes, I have been one since I was a kid in 1970 in New Jersey and certainly could not root for the Jets, Giants, or Eagles), let me draw your attention to the lead article by Nick Eatman on the Dallas Cowboys homepage
Question: "Can he play?" All that should matterIt's not only a desperate need for defense in Dallas that drives this comment, it's also indicative of how far change has spread in a very few years. As Eatman concludes:
There’s nothing else that matters to me. And there’s nothing else that should matter to any of the 32 teams that are evaluating Michael Sam for this year’s draft.
Can he play?
If that answer is yes then obviously you move on to the next factors about scheme and if he’s’ a fit for the team. But if can indeed play football, then Michael Sam is worth talking about.
...all year long, Sam was one of the best players on one of the best defenses in the country.But that's the view of the team's lead sports-writer, how about the comments from anonymous people on the web?
He answered the question on the collegiate level. Yes, he can play.
And that’s the only question that should matter as he heads to the next level. I wish him luck, but then again, I wish I didn’t have to.
I think it is a sign of where we have been that website includes the word "gay" among those that are not permitted, almost definitely because of its prior use as an epithet. But at the same time, here's the tone of the majority of the comments:
Nick, it matters and here is why. This is not an issue of celebrating someone's differences or gaining notoriety. This is truly an issue of equality. Why should it be okay that a straight player's personal life be accepted to openly discuss amongst his teammates and the media, but not okay for a * player? Tony Romo's personal life when he dated Carrie Underwood, Jessica Simpson and when he eventually got married always made news, but "outed" him as a straight man as well.
I don't care if player is I just want cowboys win I don't care what any player does in personal life as long as isn't against law so their on field play and practice and winEven some of the negative comments were more about media than a warped view of morality
I got no problem with drafting him except one thing; he'll bring media spotlight to the fact that he's *. It will become more important than his performance... I don't care, and I don't want to see and hear about it EVERY day in EVERY interview with EVERY player and member of the staff.
Sorry Eatman I usually agree with you but you and I both know that isn't always the case. See Terrell Owens. We don't need a circus here. Might as well go get TebowThere were one or two bigoted crazies, but that was about it.
Even more stark was the response on the leading fan site, www.bloggingtheboys.com, where they posted the following warning regarding comments:
Editor's Note: Obviously, this story is one that can lead to unfortunate commentary and jokes on the internet. Don't be the person that does that here. Homophobia and explicit or implied sexual comments will be removed, the person making the comments could be removed from the site and ultimately we could shut down the comments. Let's address this issue like adults and in a thoughtful, respectful manner. In short, stay classy BTB.But as for the comments themselves, there wasn't a single one that struck me as bigoted in the first 50, and some of the most typical were
Seems a massive non-story to me ...
If NFL locker rooms have already dealt with it, the only real news here is that the media now gets their hands on it. Ho… Hum…
USAToday ran a story comparing this to Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson. PUH-Lease… that’s an insult to the massive Himalayan-sized hurdle these two confronted.
It’s indeed impressive to be the first to stand in front of the cameras and allow the media to literally create a story. So kudos to M. Sam for that. But does it matter in modern locker rooms? Minimally. Will it matter on the field? No. Will it factor into how he is treated by fans? Sure, there’s bound to be fools… but I imagine this will also be few and far between.
I am 58 years old and have spent more than 23 years in the ArmyThe real inside issue regarding the Cowboys taking Sam is that he may be better suited for a 3-4 defense than a 4-3... but at the same time, the Cowboys are in desperate need of defensive line help, and if he falls into deeper rounds,as one poster put it:
“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was a farce. I don’t CARE what the sexual orientation is of my partner in the foxhole. I only care if he can fight the battle.
I’ll be the first to admit that being a young adult growing up in small town Texas I have used the slurs and the bad speech in my past. But fortunately there is this thing called MATURITY and I don’t think [Cowboy defensive coaches] Kiffen and/or Marinelli will lack it either.
I was looking at his combine measureables: Tweener thing is overblown
his hands are not exactly big, but he has pretty good arm length. A stocky guy with relatively long arms is a dangerous combination for a pass rusher. i.e. Freeney and Dumervil.
He really only needs to add 5-10 pounds to his frame to be an ideal weight to play weak side DE in our defense. Even at his current weight he has held up against the run pretty well in college (not great but good).