Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sam's Club

(In my best Roger Goodell voice)
With the 247th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select Jonathan Dowling, Safety, Western Kentucky University.

I must admit, I’ve never heard of Jonathan Dowling.

And I’ve barely heard of Western Kentucky.

But when my Raiders selected Dowling last Saturday, I was bummed.

Really bummed.

Oh it had nothing to do with the guy we selected.

It had everything to do with the guy that we didn’t.

Michael Sam.


261 pounds.

Brown eyes.

Taken by the St. Louis Rams, two picks later, with the 249th overall pick.

I really wanted this guy on my team.

Even though he plays for the other team.

You see what makes Michael Sam so special is not the fact that he has two first names.

Plenty of guys have that, like JaDeveon Clowney.

What makes Michael Sam so special is that…
um… well.. …he’s the SEC co-defensive player of the year.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

You see since 2006, every SEC defensive player of the year – like C.J. Mosley, the guy who shared the award with Sam -- has been taken in the first round.

Until now.

Maybe Michael Sam is not so special after all.

You see, according to Sam’s player profile page at

He lacks burst and acceleration off the edge.

Has average hip flexibility and adequate anchor vs. the run.

Whatever that means.

And… oh yeah…  

He would be the first openly gay active player in NFL history.

Heavens to Murgatroyd.

A gay guy playing the NFL.

What’s next, gay marriage in Arkansas?

Now as if Sam getting drafted wasn’t shocking enough, Sam’s reaction to getting drafted nearly pushed the world off its axis.

Like the majority of the 248 heterosexuals taken ahead of him, Sam cried.

Like a baby.

Like Mike Evans, who was drafted 7th overall.

And like Stephon Tuitt, who was taken 46th overall.

Giant crocodile tears.

And like many of the others draftees, Sam shared the moment of his life.

With the love of his life.

Planting a big wet one on their lips.

But what made Sam’s club so different is that he is black.

And the man he was kissing is white.

Well, not the black/white part.

Thankfully that’s not shocking anymore.

But the guy/guy part sure was.

For some.

Like former Super Bowl champion Derrick Ward, who tweeted:

I'm sorry but that Michael Sam is no bueno for doing that on national tv.  Man U got little kids lookin at the draft. I can't believe ESPN even allowed that to happen.

You can’t believe ESPN “allowed that to happen”?

Was Chris Berman supposed to step in and throw a pink challenge flag?

Well not only did ESPN show it.

But they treated it like the Zapruder film.

Giving it more airtime than Mel Kiper’s hair.

17 straight minutes.

The NFL fan hadn’t seen something this gay since the old Tampa Bay Bucs logo.

But even with all this gay talk, somehow, someway, the world survived.

And the draft continued.

And amazingly, my television didn’t explode.

Now I’m ashamed to admit that like most of you, I’ve had moments where my sense of humor beat out my sense-a-tivity.

Like when my friend told me that a gay sports bar just opened in his neighborhood.

And I asked if the only thing the TVs show is figure skating and Denver Broncos football.

Maybe that’s funny.

But that’s not right.

Here’s the bottom line -- I have absolutely nothing in common with Michael Sam.

I’m not black.

I’m not gay.

I can’t bench press 225 pounds.

17 times.

And I can’t run a 40-yard dash.

And I certainly can’t run a 40-yard dash in under five seconds.

And I will never make an NFL team.

But I sure hope he does.

Some people think it’s sacrilegious to compare him to Jackie Robinson.

So I’ll leave that for another blog.

But I will say is that this is one courageous man.

And he can play on my team any day of the week.

Especially Sunday.

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