NFL Rosters had to be trimmed to 53 players over the weekend. Some teams were having to cut over twenty players. Some of those players were invited back to the practice squads. Among those players that was cut and not invited back was Michael Sam. If you dont know the story of Michael Sam you have been living under a rock and I may reach out to you and join you to get away from the real world. But I digress, Sam openly admitted before the draft that he was gay and was attempting to be the first openly gay NFL player.
As one can imagine the media circus that followed him in St Louis was large. Questions were asked of him, Rams personnel, teammates, and opposing players. ESPN grabbed headlines by dedicating a segment to Michael Sam’s shower habits and how his teammates were handling it. It opened my eyes but nothing ESPN does anymore should surprise. They have turned in to the sports version of TMZ when they are not showing a live event. They continually march out clowns day after day.
The shower report pushed many people over the edge, including players throughout the league. A Buffalo Bills player said on the record that ESPN is the reason Michael Sam does not have a job. A general manager off the record also blamed the media. Well folks….. I am here to break the news that those claims are almost as ridiculous as the shower story.
The next time there is a commercial on your reality show or its halftime of the Quidditch game google Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, Tim Tebow, or Michael Vick. Those 5 guys carried a bit of a media circus with them.
In the cases of Owens, Johnson, and Moss they were mostly wide receiver divas that caused distractions wherever they went. Teams continued to sign them as they continued to produce. When they no longer were good enough, they no longer were in the NFL.
Tim Tebow was the most recent media darling. He was an absolute rockstar for 8 games in Denver. He was let go in favor of Peyton Manning. He signed with the Jets but could not beat out Mark Sanchez, not exactly a superstar. And he received another try out in New England where he was later cut because he was not good enough.
The last case of Michael Vick brought a circus because of the heinous acts he committed. He was given a second chance by the Philadelphia Eagles where he played for 5 years. It was media chaos for the first year and a half of the Vick tenure. Questions by media were asked wherever he went. His teammates were constantly being asked about him. Many opposing stadiums held protests. The Eagles marched on with him as they thought he was good enough for 5 years. He was let go by the Eagles and is currently the backup with the New York Jets. He may still have something left to give the Jets.
All of this leads us back to Michael Sam who was a 7th round draft pick. The scouting report called him a niche player. It stated he was undersized but may be able to catch on somewhere as a pass rusher. He performed admirably this pre season recording 3 sacks. But lets keep this in perspective, it was the preseason against many who are in the same unemployed category today as Michael Sam.
The uproar over Michael Sam not being on a practice squad, I repeat practice squad needs to stop. ESPN and the media need to stop being blamed. His courage is admirable and I hope he has opened the doors to many others afraid to come out. I was rooting for him.
The media circus happens in every sport and it will continue to go on. Teams will always employ media distractions if that player is producing.
So take a step back and dont look for someone to blame. This is not ESPN’s fault. This is not the media’s fault. It has nothing to do with shower habits. The answer is short and simple. Michael Sam was not good enough.