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Fans flock senior defensive end Michael Sam as he carries his souvenir (a rock from the rock 'M' at Memorial Stadium) after the win vs Texas A&M.
About time:
The NFL stood on the brink of a historical decision Saturday and it took until nearly the end of the draft for Michael Sam to become the first openly gay player drafted into the league.

Sam, the SEC co-defensive player of the year at Missouri, was taken late in the seventh and final round by the St. Louis Rams with the 249th pick out of 256 over the three days of the draft. St. Louis is a great landing spot for him. The Rams have a stellar defense under Gregg Williams and he spent his college career just over two hours away.

This would be a great time for some of the gay players already in the NFL to come out ...

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat May 10, 2014 at 04:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports and Remembering LGBT History.

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Comment Preferences

    •  ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Los Diablo, grover

      His combine performance destroyed his chances at a higher pick.  It was absolutely terrible and hurt him significantly....while he was an awesome College player (I'm a Mizzou Alum and saw most his games), his size and speed hurt him for the draft... Honestly if he was beefier or faster, he'd have been a 1-3 round pick.  After the combine and senior bowl he was projecting 5-7 or UFA, so he went where expected.

      I'm happy to see him  drafted, but it wouldnt have been the End of the world if he didn't.  He was on several teams lists to bring in as a UFA.  His path is harder than a first rounder, but if he gets stronger and works hard, I think he has a good career ahead as a special teamer or even as a rotational guy... Guy who tend to stick fir a while cause they can play but don't cost a ton amd fill out rosters.

  •  And of course twitter exploded with bigotry (21+ / 0-)

    I only glanced at a few tweets and decided to pet my newly adopted cat instead.  

    I agree...I hope some of the gay players already in the NFL come out and give this guy support.

    •  This is no longer news. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leonard145b, weezilgirl

      When something important happens, a lot of people post their immediate reaction to it.  Whatever percentage of those people are both idiots and lacking a filter, write something idiotic.  Unless a public figure does so, it's really best to ignore that noise.

      "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

      by Spider Stumbled on Sat May 10, 2014 at 04:58:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  of course (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leonard145b, greengemini, Lujane

      The idea that a homosexual can have the same rights and opportunities as any other person is simply unacceptable. First the straight white people had to do deal with their unfit children competing with the more fit gay people in the military, now some straight kid is going to lose a football scholarship because a more stylish gay kid looks better on the filed. The amount of conspiracy theories and job stealing is just incalculable.

      Seriously, BTW, Sam is from Galveston, Tx, went to a rural high school, and from all reports executed himself honorably on the field, in spite of a difficult family situation. I think as a state and nation we can be proud that another barrier has been broken, even though the structure of the job to which he has bought is suspect. I do hang my head a little that he was not brought back to Texas in the Cowboys or Texans.

  •  About Time is right! (16+ / 0-)

    I didn't expect the Rams to be the team, but this tells me that this is about to become the same non-issue in pro FOOTBALL as the Brooklyn Nets helped Jason Collins make it in pro basketball

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat May 10, 2014 at 04:33:46 PM PDT

    •  Not that surprising. Because of his Combine stats, (0+ / 0-)

      his projection moved to the 6th or 7th round. He needed someone that uses multiple D formations (Williams), needed depth for that off the edges in nickel packages, and both the DC and HC there like a determined, hard working player rather than just Combine stats.

      It is a great fit for him and he will stick there.

    •  Rams make sense to me. (0+ / 0-)

      Sam played for Missouri. Rams are in St Louis. Their scouts probably saw him more than most others did.

      And despite the (stupid) perceived controversy that other GMs and coaches actually said they were worried about, Sam is basically a local boy NFL standards. That has to mitigate some of the (again stupid) fears the front office might have had.

      I think the pick makes sense from a PR point of view. And if he performs, their defense can use the boost.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Sun May 11, 2014 at 12:59:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely fantastic (28+ / 0-)

    If you weren't moved by that scene of him holding his boyfriend and crying you can go pound sand. A beautiful moment.

    I wish Sam the best and a fruitful career. When he puts Romo on his back a couple of times I'll do my best to remember that it's a sack for progress :)

    "I hear you talk, but I don't hear you speak" - Sum 41

    by BigRedBlackGuy on Sat May 10, 2014 at 04:36:04 PM PDT

  •  Grab the popcorn (9+ / 0-)

    Will be fun to watch the bigots on this one.  How long before we hear that the Rams are "really" a California team and well….California…..

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Sat May 10, 2014 at 04:37:19 PM PDT

    •  I forgot about that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      duhban, LSophia, Sister Havana

      The other day Richard Sherman said that the NFL wouldn't have the guts to do what the NBA did to Adam Silver.  But the Rush Limbaugh situation is analogous.

      And you're right-it was the players that blocked that and it was the players that forced the NBA's hand too.  

      "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

      by Spider Stumbled on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:00:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ... (0+ / 0-)

        No...he said they wouldn't have the guts to do what they did to Donald Sterling.... Adam Silver is the NBA commish who made the decision in the first place.  Details are important :-)

        And while he is banned, I'll be curious to see if he is forced to sell in light of the probable lawsuits and cancer revelation.  
        Sterling is trash though.  As bad as I found his comments, this story to me is as bad, if not worse.

        http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/...

  •  and the extra dose of Schadenfreude (22+ / 0-)

    when we recall that the Saint Louis Rams was the team that Rush Limbaugh wanted to buy, but was dropped from the "buyer's club" when the NFL Players Union objected to his overt racism.

    "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins - Political Compass sez: -8.25, -7.90

    by ARS on Sat May 10, 2014 at 04:37:37 PM PDT

  •  Incidentally (8+ / 0-)

    Front-page news at ESPN.com as of 4:48 PM PDT.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat May 10, 2014 at 04:49:10 PM PDT

  •  There's great video on ESPN of him kissing his (16+ / 0-)

    boyfriend and crying with joy.

    Milestones, people.  Milestones.

  •  I'd like to see Michael Sam become (13+ / 0-)

    a great player for the Rams.  

    At the moment, his being drafted by St. Louis may resonate for a lot of high school athletes in Missouri.  They would likely know how much Sam risked by his announcement in February, yet they see an NFL drafting him this evening.  

    A lot of good could come from this pick by the Rams.  Both for their defense and for those high school athletes taking careful personal measure of events.

    Very good news out of the Show Me State.

    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

    by Remediator on Sat May 10, 2014 at 04:52:15 PM PDT

  •  Let's not forget... (6+ / 0-)

    he's a mid-range prospect, and a LOT of mid-range prospects DON'T make the NFL.

    •  NFL Draft Trackers rates Sam at around 50% (6+ / 0-)

      to make the league.

      http://www.nfl.com/...

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:03:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Effort & desire (9+ / 0-)

        He is likely to be a GREAT special team player.  You can make a reputation and a career out of that.

        "The next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please, pay attention." Molly Ivins

        by janmtairy on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:16:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's hope the Rams treat Sams like a human (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Remediator, janmtairy, greengemini

          being and he has a long and successful career in the NFL. He obviously loves football and I think there's a lot more to his story to be told.

          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

          by TerryDarc on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:22:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Jeff Fisher is by all accounts (6+ / 0-)

            a class act. Not sure about the training staff, but get him in a good strength/conditioning program and work with him to improve his run defense, and in the meantime bring him in as an extra pass rusher in long yardage situations. A bad showing at the combine doesn't mean a player is a bust; maybe it wasn't just the right circumstances for him to showcase his talents.

            Heck, Tom Brady was a 6th round pick as a QB and ended up pretty well, while Tim Tebow was a first rounder and is now out of the NFL. It all depends on what the organization does with him.

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Sat May 10, 2014 at 08:28:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ... (0+ / 0-)

              He'll get a fair shot.  There will be too many eyes, especially after all the stuff with Martin and Miami last year.

              The things that need to be figured out:

              Was the combine and senior bowl flukes?  Those hurt him badly.  I've been wondering if he was distracted from preparing to come out and dealing with the immediate aftermath of press and that contributed to his issues.  Or if he had an injury we don't know about?

              Can he get stronger?  He's not fast enough to play linebacker and he is small for def line.  He needs to get stronger to take the pounding NFL linemen take.

              Can he find a special teams position?  That's going to be his best shot to make a team this year.

              If he gets cut, will he land on a practice squad? - Again, still in the game.

              •  I keep thinking Antwan Randel-El (0+ / 0-)

                Not that he's gay, but he was a great QB in college, but "wrong" for the NFL, and came in sideways as a runner and special teams, and ended up with a great career (and a winning TD pass!). Not every player is a Peyton Manning, destined for success. Some, like Randel-El and Tom Brady (and Michael Sam!), might need to sneak in and then grow. But flexibility is key. Can't be a diva from beyond the second round!

                But he's already shown his courage by coming out ahead of the draft and making clear he wasn't afraid of prejudice. It's amazing how quickly everything shifts. The next openly gay player will have an easier time-- "What's the big deal?"

        •  Um, no (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JohnnyAppleseed, happy camper

          Not a whole lot of Defensive Ends on Special teams.  Running backs, Corner backs, Safeties, OLB, and Tight Ends yes, Defensive ends, no.  He is going to make the team as a DE or not at all.

          It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

          by ksuwildkat on Sat May 10, 2014 at 06:13:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah - he is too slow for special teams (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jank2112, happy camper, VClib

          He was an excellent college player, but he is a tweener for the NFL who really doesn't have a position. Too slow to be a linebacker and not big or strong enough to set the edge as a defensive end.

          He had a really bad combine where he ran slow and didn't perform well in the strength test.  He probably should have either bulked up some or cut some weight and worked on his footwork and playing in space. He is 6'2" and about 260 pounds and ran a slow 4.91 forty-yard dash. How bad was his combine? For tested DE's he was in the lowest 10% (or lower) for height, bench press, 10 yard dash, 20 yard shuttle, verticle jump, hand size and 3 cone drill (in a couple of these he was in the lowest 1 percentile!!!)  He was in the lower third of tested DEs for weight and 40 yard dash time. Really just a horrible. horrible Combine.  

          If he was 6'4 and 285 pounds and ran a 4.9, he would have been drafted much higher. Likewise, if he was 245 pounds and ran a 4.75 someone would have taken an earlier flier that they could have coached him into a serviceable outside linebacker.

          Anyway, he is too slow to be an ace coverage man on special teams in the NFL. Big time special teamers are usually corners, safeties, wide receivers or maybe an especially fast or quick linebacker. If Sam makes the Rams he will play special teams, but he will be stuck on the interior in the punt coverage and return units and maybe in the interior on the FG unit (although most teams just use their regular offensive lines with the extra tight ends on the wings so it isn't a chinese fire drill when the FG attempt is being made). He will just be a grunt special teamer if he sticks.

          He better keep his nose clean and come into camp in shape. Teams don't give late round draft choices much slack. That being said, I will root for him to stick because when you have had the kind of college career like he has had - you really deserve a chance to see what you can do on Sundays.

          •  ... (0+ / 0-)

            Ive been hearing he has been working on conditioning and such since the combine.

            I think part of his combine performance was related to attention from him coming out.  Distractions and such... But I could be wrong.  Guess we shall see.

        •  I hope he does. I'm rooting for him. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Other gay players.... (8+ / 0-)

    There was a rumor this spring that four current NFL players were considering coming out as a group.

    Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

    by psychodrew on Sat May 10, 2014 at 04:56:26 PM PDT

    •  That would be a huge move. But it's (0+ / 0-)

      a very unique and personal decision for each closeted homosexual as to when they come out.  Good chance that some of these players are married to women, have kids, etc.  Where Michael Sam received a lot of support, a player in that situation would likely receive a great deal of scorn.

      Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

      by cks175 on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:04:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm only surprised that... (12+ / 0-)

    ...a bigger market team didn't take him. There was speculation early in the 7th round that the Cowboys would take him with one of their multiple picks in the 7th because they lost a lot of pass rushers to free agency.

    But St. Louis qualifies as home, lots of Rams fans are familiar with his outstanding play "on Saturdays", and NO ONE (sane) will openly suggest that Jeff Fisher made a "non football" decision to draft Sam.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:00:10 PM PDT

    •  Washington sports pundits were opining that (0+ / 0-)

      the Redskin's would take Sam to counter the negative publicity they've been receiving lately from Native Americans who are opposed to their team name.

      There would be criticism that it was a "non-football" decision if that had happened, which I think might factor into why the Redskins didn't take him, even though they definately need an upgrade on special teams.

      Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

      by cks175 on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:07:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations, Michael (7+ / 0-)

    Make the SEC proud!

  •  Ravens, Bears, and Giants were (7+ / 0-)

    prepared to sign him should he have gone undrafted, per ProFootball Talk.

    I don't know.  He's a genuine tweener - neither a linebacker nor a defensive end - whose measurables do not impress (40, shuttle, 3 Cone, vertical, broad jump).  He's slow and lacks explosion.  Occasionally these late guys play above their numbers.   You can't measure heart.  I hope that is the case with Sam.

    "The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends." -Julian Assange

    by Pierro Sraffa on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:08:07 PM PDT

  •  I'm willing to bet (0+ / 0-)

    the NFL commissioners office made a call to the Rams and asked them to draft Sam.
       If he wasn't drafted then groups outside of football would have been asking questions. And it woudn't have been much better if he was drafted in the last pick.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:14:45 PM PDT

    •  might as well have been picked last (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka, LSophia, greengemini

      but i'm not looking this gift horse in the mouth.  i'm glad he was drafted at all.

      now he has a chance to prove himself.

      he is a pioneer and that is tough, but if he does nothing else he makes it easier for the next guy

      and it would be wonderful if some other gay men in the NFL decided to come out in order to support him

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:27:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Probably would have been better not to be drafted (0+ / 0-)

        so he could go to some place where the fit was best.

        If I was Sam I would want a shot on a team that plays the 4-3 base, and is also pretty bad defensively. About half the teams in the NFL are playing the 3-4, so that takes about half of the league away. Rams have invested heavily in their front 4 with high draft choices, so that's not good for Sam. And the Ram's have had a ton of draft picks over the last couple years because of the ransom they got from the redskins for RG3. It is going to be really hard for Sam to make the Rams. Well at least he is going to get some guaranteed money out of it.

        If Sam was a free agent a really good place for him would have been the Bears or maybe the Vikings or Jags.

        •  ... (0+ / 0-)

          I agree.  I'd rather be a UFA than a 7th rounder... Unless I was Mr irrelevant cause that's just kind of cool.

          But yeah given the number of UFAs making teams now, it's not a bad place to be in.

          I'm betting even if he gets cut, he ends up on the practice squad

    •  I doubt this and hope it didn't happen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Yitbos96bb

      No one wants to be a charity case.  He got drafted because he desired to get  drafted.  No way the NFL gets involved in a draft pick

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Sat May 10, 2014 at 06:15:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ... (0+ / 0-)

      And it would have been complete bullshit brought on by stupid people.  After his combine and senior bowl performance, Sam legitimately could have not been drafted.  His projectable numbers are bad... His major plus is past performance and character. So anyone claiming he was picked late or went undrafted because he was gay is an idiot.  It's the same idiocy saying Tebow wasn't signed by a team because he's a conservative Christian... No, it's cause he's a bad QB and refuses to play another position because he's an egotistical moron.

      NOW, all that said, if Sam went undrafted and no team invited him to camp as a UFA, then there may be legit bigotry.  However by all indications thus wasn't going to be an issue.

    •  I don't think this happened at all (0+ / 0-)

      and it would have been completely and utterly inappropriate to cry homophobia had he not been drafted, especially since there was a 100% chance of him signing as a UFA immediately after the draft anyway. Sam's combine performance sunk his stock into the 6th or 7th round at best, and the Rams decided to take a flier on him. There would have been no reason to suspect discrimination if he fell out of the draft.

      If he had no UFA contract offers or even camp offers, that would have been different. But there was no chance of him not signing somewhere.

    •  No Way... that would have been a bigger insult to (0+ / 0-)

      Sam than him being passed over.

      The type of draft collusion you are suggesting here would cost the commisioner his job, and would be impossible to keep secret.

      Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

      by cks175 on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:12:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the rams got a steal. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator

    a lot of teams are going to be kicking themselves, come next fall, for not drafting him earlier.

    •  No, they didn't (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Treg, TomP, jncca, Yitbos96bb

      He got drafted in the right place - late rounds.  He is a late round guy.  Nothing wrong with that.  11,000+ kids play FBS and high FCS football (roughly the draft population).  Of those 256 get drafted.  Lots of great players didn't get drafted.  Just being part of the 256 that did is an achievement.  Now he has to go out and claw his way on to a roster.

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Sat May 10, 2014 at 06:20:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's wishful thinking. I hope he succeeds, (0+ / 0-)

      and it makes a feel good story even better if he does, but the odds of him overcoming his physical shortcomings are about 50-50.  

      I'm thankful he was drafted, and that the league and the fans were open to the idea of an openly gay man being drafted.

      Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

      by cks175 on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:14:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's going to (0+ / 0-)

    get hit with all kinds of nastiness and hate. What's needed immediately is a FB and Twitter campaign telling St. Louis management and team to stand strong with him.

    And I hope he turns out to be a really good pro player; a lot of the college guys aren't quite as good as pros.

    Great Questions of Western Philosophy: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

    by Mnemosyne on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:41:41 PM PDT

    •  As a lifelong St. Louisan, I'm a bit nervous (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne

      that my city will embarrass itself when he takes the field at home for the first time. Don't get me wrong, he'll get a lot of cheers, but I think there will be a lot of booing too.

      Although I guess he'd get that anywhere. Even in San Francisco. Football seems to draw a more conservative crowd.

      Cheers or boos, I am proud that my city's football team drafted him, even if I don't give a flying fuck about football, I'm just waiting for the next hockey season to start and the Blues annual postseason collapse.

      "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

      by yg17 on Sat May 10, 2014 at 08:12:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This has to be a first... (10+ / 0-)

    Yeah, the drafting of an openly gay football player, but then watch this, which was broadcast on ESPN:

    ..which makes me wonder--is this the first kiss between two men that ESPN has ever broadcast?

    -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

    by gizmo59 on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:44:38 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry, but I don't buy for a minute (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, Jujuree

    That Sam slipping to the 7th round had nothing to do with him being gay.  He was a projected 3rd-4th round pick until he came out.  I know his combine wasn't great, but it definitely didn't drop him this far.  I hope he proves the doubters wrong and is successful in the NFL.

    •  He was projected 3 or 4 before the combine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1BQ, TomP

      And the announcement made people think 5 or 6 was more likely, but then he had a mediocre combine.

      I suspect he would have been down to 6 without coming out.

      •  He had a horrible combine (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, happy camper

        I know some front office people for a team and they couldn't give two shits that Sam was gay. They cared that he is too slow, too short and doesn't have good core strength. These guys would draft Attilla the Hun if it would help them win. All they care about is winning. That's it.

        Sam got drafted where he should have been drafted. And the reason he got drafted at all are because there is some real good tape of him playing on Saturdays. I bet you there are 50 DEs with better measureables than Sam that didn't get drafted at all. Those other guys just didn't have the success playing on Saturday that Sam has had.

        The Maras, the Rooneys, Jeff Laurie, Robert Kraft, etc. there are plenty of owners that are progressive about social issues. And really, almost any owner in the league just cares about winning. Again, they would draft anybody that would help them do that.  

      •  He wouldn't have been drafted if he hadn't come (0+ / 0-)

        out.  That's how disappointing his combine was.

        Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

        by cks175 on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:17:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have watched the draft (7+ / 0-)

      I am a little bit of a draftnik.  It is like a chess game and I enjoy watching how the teams look at filling their needs via the draft.

      The draft is all about what teams need beyond the first couple of picks which are usually the best players (or athletes) available.  Beyond that point, it is all about filling needs with the best players available at the particular position.

      The bottom line is that Sam had very poor stats in the combine compared to comparable players at his position.  In particular, his vertical jump was extremely poor.  For a defensive player in the pros, that is a definite minus. Despite what many may think, much of the rankings in the draft is dictated by measurable stats from the combine.  

      That is why highly acclaimed quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater fell so far.  In both of their cases, they fell due to their small size for a pro style quarterback.

      Maybe Sam coming out as gay may have played a part for a few teams, but IMHO, it was not the main factor for the majority of the teams.  The main factor was his combine results.

      Regardless, if he becomes a really great player does not matter where in the draft he was taken.  What matters more is how he fits into the team's style of play and how much he can contribute to make that mark.  

      As a comparison, Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana was a 3rd round choice.  Perennial all pro Tom Brady went in the 6th round.

      "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

      by gulfgal98 on Sat May 10, 2014 at 06:20:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It wasn't just Manziel and Bridgewater that fell (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, greengemini, gulfgal98

        AJ McCarron and two other big time SEC quarterbacks plummeted down the draft. And McCarron is essentially considered to be one of the great college QBs of all time.

        The SEC QBs that fell were burdened with a poor combine just like Sam was. They all are considered to have mediocre arms and other somewhat least than desireable measureables.

        •  Texas Monthly (0+ / 0-)

          had a really good article about Manziel. That boy has been lucky his ass doesn't have a jail tattoo on it. His family is very wealthy   and that "probably" had something to do with some of his 'skating'.

          I like him as a person and player.

          If I wasn't Bob Dylan, I'd probably think that Bob Dylan has a lot of answers myself. Bob Dylan

          by weezilgirl on Sat May 10, 2014 at 11:24:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I understand the statistical issue, but I question (0+ / 0-)

        the assumption that statistics are the only way to judge the future performance of a player.  There are numerous examples of players drafted in early rounds whose performance disappoints while "walk-ons" become key players for their teams.

        His statistics are what they are, yet somehow he outperformed other players in his conference, many of whom probably had better stats.

        While "what you have" is important, what you do with what you have is at least as important, IMO.  And I doubt anyone will ever come up with a scientific measure of the intangibles which make up a person.

        In decades past, draft decisions were based a lot on "gut feelings" of scouts and coaches, which of course were often wrong.  It seems to me that this new focus is designed in part to shift responsibility away from the people making the draft decisions, who can say it's not their fault a draftee didn't work out, because they used "scientific" methods.

        •  ... (0+ / 0-)

          If that's the case, it's a miserable fail of an idea.  Checking the GMs fired over the past 5 years, how many got a second chance to run a team...not many.   It's kind of GoT style... Win or die.

          Many GMs fall in love with workout warriors who then suck in the nfl.

        •  Just checked (0+ / 0-)

          and Sam was rated as number 208 by the draft scouts.  Some very high rated players went later than expected while a few team "reached" down for players not so highly rated.

          There are 32 players drafted per round.  But the desparities can be great depending upon how a player is perceived or how he tested in the combine.  Below are two very different cases, both involving quarterbacks, so they are of the same position.

          The first case was when Jacksonville drafted QB Blake Bortles third while he was rated as 31st in the draft.  On the opposite end was QB A. J. McCarron who was ranked 50th and was drafted in the mid 5th round.

          So when you look at how Sam was drafted versus where he was rated, it seems that Sam was drafted fairly close to where he was rated.

          "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

          by gulfgal98 on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:36:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It totally did. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChadmanFL

      A CB that ran a 4.8 was drafted in the 5th round and no one would "take a flier" on the SEC Defensive player of the year.

      I'll always be...King of Bain...I'll always be...King of Bain

      by AZphilosopher on Sat May 10, 2014 at 06:21:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A poor combine can definitely drop you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP

      Tennessee offensive tackle Antonio Richardson was projected as a second or third round pick, but a poor combine performance has been credited with making him an undrafted player.

    •  Chad - his Combine was a total disaster (0+ / 0-)

      not wasn't great, it was horrible in every aspect. That's what took him down the draft board. He also didn't show much in the Senior Bowl practices and games. Did being gay play a role? Probably, but it was very secondary.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Sat May 10, 2014 at 11:35:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Being gay probably got him drafted. The fact that (0+ / 0-)

        he came out gave the teams an opportunity to see what kind of character he had.  If it weren't for the publicity surrounding his coming out, based on his combine results, teams would not have given him the close look he got because of his coming out.

        Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

        by cks175 on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:21:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ... (0+ / 0-)

      And you would be wrong.  

  •  congrats to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TLS66

    m sam and to the rams, of course the bigots were out in force spewing their hate and intolerance, but that's america the ugly for you.

    •  Have to agree (0+ / 0-)

      the combine performance was an excuse for the team owners to be cowards.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Sat May 10, 2014 at 06:04:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it was a football-based reason. (0+ / 0-)

        He was next-to-last in bench press and ran a 4.91. There were six events for DLs at the combine, and Sam didn't perform among the top 15 defensive lineman in any of them.

        Jackson Jeffcoat, of Texas, had a much better resume:

        2013: First-team All-American selection, Co-Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and Ted Hendricks Award winner. Was only FBS defensive lineman to lead his team in tackles.
        and was a top-15 performer in four of the six combine events...and went undrafted.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Sat May 10, 2014 at 11:12:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ... (0+ / 0-)

        Then you are quite ignorant and know nothing about football.  

  •  Let's celebrate with cake (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP

  •  Good move, Sam will be welcomed in SoCal when Rams (0+ / 0-)

    move to LA in 2015...

  •  St. Louis fans should be concerned about Sam (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea

    for one reason only.  Is he good enough to make the roster and stop Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Carson Palmer, Tony Romo, RGIII, and both Manning brothers?  That's who he would face this upcoming season if he makes their roster.

    •  He can stop Wilson all he wants (0+ / 0-)

      but I hope he doesn't stop Kap for personal reasons.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sat May 10, 2014 at 08:33:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Ram's strength is defensive line. (0+ / 0-)

        Is Sam works out, at best he will be a situational pass rusher, a backup used in some schemes.  Each starter on the Rams defensive line was picked in the early to mid First Round.  Sam does not have their talent.  That said, being a backup in the NFL is a good living and also will make progress for the players who come out after him.  

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Sat May 10, 2014 at 09:12:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  He was picked, which is awesome (6+ / 0-)

    no matter what happens to him now, he was picked by an NFL team.  This is pretty awesome.

    "Moon landing was real. Evolution exists. Tax cuts lose revenue. The research has shown this a thousand times. Enough already." - Austan Goolsbee

    by anonevent on Sat May 10, 2014 at 06:13:49 PM PDT

  •  I hope he has a great career (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, greengemini, Sister Havana, grover

    Except for twice a year when I need him to fall on his ass. With love, from Seattle.

    Do I laugh now, or wait 'til it gets funny?

    by WalterNeff on Sat May 10, 2014 at 06:56:20 PM PDT

  •  Marvelous that Sam was drafted. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Sister Havana

    He is a courageous young man who's likely going to have more difficulty performing with the intensity of focus as well as the barrage of ignorance.  If he succeeds, it quickly will not matter that he is different in some respects.  The problem is that he is small and not that fast.  He makes up for physical deficiencies with work, intelligence and dedication.  I'm hoping they are sufficient and wish he were on "my" team.  By the way, a couple of the writers (including a former scout) for the Cowboys had them selecting Sam late.

    The last estimates I've seen are that somewhere between 5 and 20% of the population is gay.  It's been suggested also that sports and entertainment may have slightly higher proportions of gays.  That means that an awful lot of gay athletes have always been playing our games.  It's also likely that many of their teammates are/were aware of their distinction.  On the other hand, the ancillary benefits of "professional" sports are such that "coming out" could be costly in the extreme.  So however much we might wish otherwise, until a star quarterback or defensive player opens up and forces the issue, progress will be only by dribs and drabs.

  •  mike my man (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LSophia, TomP

    we were all rooting for you here at Kos yesterday.

    my whole family was talking about you today after we heard you got drafted, we are proud of you man.

    "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

    by Seattle Socialist on Sat May 10, 2014 at 07:29:00 PM PDT

  •  Delighted for him (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, grover

    It would have been great to see him join the Legion of Boom, but Pete Carroll knows what he's doing.

    That ESPN video had me in tears.  So beautiful.

  •  To be honest (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover

    If he had been drafted by a divisional rival of my favorite team, I would be rooting for it to turn out as badly as possible for the team that drafted him.

    Since he wasn't, I wish him well.

  •  HAHAHAHAHA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Sister Havana

    Michael Sam is in the NFL and Tim Tebow IS NOT.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Good day!!!

    Message to Dems: We HAVE to start showing up for Midterms.

    by Jank2112 on Sat May 10, 2014 at 09:34:16 PM PDT

  •  President Obama congratulates Michael Sam (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Sister Havana
    “The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today in our Nation’s journey. From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are,” a White House official emailed to ABC News.

    "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

    by Seattle Socialist on Sat May 10, 2014 at 09:37:40 PM PDT

  •  All I care about is how he plays. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana

    What he does in his personal life is none of my business, it's what he does on the field that counts.

    Go Rams!

    A person's word used to be their contract, now people use contracts to get out of keeping their word.

    by bitpyr8 on Sat May 10, 2014 at 09:56:25 PM PDT

  •  It was a bad day for some of the favorites like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana

    Johnny Manzel and AJ McCarran. These guys were supposed to be the top dogs but had to learn patience. I think they were really bidding on what the NEEDED and nothing else.

  •  Michael Sam (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana

    ...seems like a really good guy!

    "Sell 'crazy' someplace else, we're all stocked up here." -Melvin Udall

    by hoof32 on Sat May 10, 2014 at 11:51:11 PM PDT

  •  Sam has no (0+ / 0-)

    redeeming qualities as an NFL'er.  He won't make the team for reasons other than tremendous media pressure for the team to employ a homosexual.  

    It's a step backwards, but at least the "Rams" took it.  The jokes will write themselves.  

  •  Interesting that a lot of the people who are (0+ / 0-)

    upset about Sam were also horrified by the possible glimpse of a woman's nipple at the Super Bowl half time show a few years ago.

    I've lived long enough to see an African-American man be elected President and gays and lesbians allowed to marry.  I have a reasonable chance of seeing a woman elected President.

    But it doesn't seem I'll be around to see sanity in our country with regard to the basics of human sexuality.  As bad as sex ed was in this country around 1960, it's even worse today in many classrooms.

  •  Newsflash! (0+ / 0-)

    Straight men:  if you have ever, even once, in your entire lives changed clothes in a dressing room - at a high school (public or private); in a college gym or dorm; at a gym of any kind; at the country club or athletic club, anywhere for any reason - a gay man has been changing with you.  Maybe he was watching; maybe not.  You survived.  What puzzles me is why some of you seem to prefer that gay men be dishonest about themselves.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Sun May 11, 2014 at 01:58:36 PM PDT

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