Sam, Oprah and the St Louis Rams

Can he do it in the NFL?
Can he do it in the NFL?

Don’t be stunned if Sam becomes one of the first cuts for the Rams or close to it. An NFL lockeroom is a professional work environment, and if you are a disruption, and can’t play, you will be gone. Name me the backup that sucked but was in the news constantly. Tebow could be considered, but he did win more playoff games than Peyton Manning until last year. He was drafted in the FIRST round, and even then when he hit camp he shut up. Lets also keep in mind that the talking heads at ESPN fell over themselves making sure they were on record that a late pick in the first round was going to be a failure at a position where almost all fail. This week, the mantra was “Sam can be an NFL player” only the Rams being homophobic could stop him. I would be willing to bet that most teams had him on the list for 7th round or a free agent invitee, but had they known that Oprah would be asking for a media pass, many would have gone running. How many teams beg to be on Hard Knocks again?

Think about this, how many well educated, well spoken black men are graduating from college this weekend? I would think, just due to the exploding size of college classes, more than at anytime in history.

Regardless of what side of the aisle you sit on, this is a horrible job market. If you want to scream about this being the era of rainbows and clouds, pick up a newspaper and look at the want ads. See how many are not IT or Sales or Heathcare. I’m in the 100th largest US city, I work for a Billion Dollar company, and we have cut headcount by two-thirds in 2 years. We have not hired a soul in almost a year.This city has double digit unemployment. Oh yeah, we have four 4 year schools, and that’s not counting technical schools and online schools. If my kid who graduating wants to follow her dumbass father and get a history degree there are a half dozen brick and mortar schools in an hour’s drive where she can do so. Shreveport cannot be an outlier. Especially in the South.

So think about the environment that Sam is entering. The men that he is graduating with are scrambling for jobs, if they haven’t been already, and he’s behind because he’s been doing this football thing during most of his free time at school.
I firmly believe if Sam was mocked to the first two days of the draft, Oprah would not be involved. Sam would have hit camp, more than likely a starter, and worked to be a football player.Michael Sam2
Lets say for the sake of argument Sammy Watkins was gay- there is NO chance any of this “distraction” mess happens.
How about say . . .Davonte Adams? We might get the storm, but not the Oprah network. Right team, right staff, Adams can expect a solid career.
Sam can’t. No matter what team he goes to, his odds are not good. There are very good odds that in 3 months he’s looking for a job in a horrible job market, just like the bulk or his roundmates.

Sam has gotten more attention than the entire second,third,fourth,fifth,sixth and seventh round combined. I would go as far as he’s gotten more run on ESPN than any player save Manziel and might even surpass Watkins and Bortles combined (The two biggest errors in the draft).
So with all that, what would you advise Sam to do if you were sitting in a room and Oprah called?
The POWAH OF THE OPRAH cannot be denied. No matter what side of the aisle you sit on, you cannot deny she was a huge part of getting a President elected with a very, very limited resume. What could she do with a black man wanting to break into a new ground?  Sam is far from being the first gay man in the NFL, simply the first to declare his gayness before applying for the job

Michael SamNow let me be upfront on this. I have a gay brother, I should be attending my first gay wedding in a few months. (Go Josh!) I have gay friends. I do support gay marriage, and I am a Christian. I am a firm believer, socially, that what adults do behind closed doors is up to them, as long as it does not involve children or animals. I am also quite sure that being gay will not make him run faster, hit harder or make one more sack than if he decided he was straight.
I do think that bringing the circus upon himself and his team has all but ensured that he will be on the Oprah network more than the NFL Network far more once the season starts.

I cannot blame Sam for taking that Oprah deal. She is a smart woman looking to save her network. Sam has a great chance to cross into several segments of the population, and the fact that he looks good on camera doesn’t hurt either. Oprah can easily find places to use him once his NFL career is over. Is there a Veiw type show he could easily spend the next decade on? Lord knows some of the C-listers Oprah could pull from the world of pro-sports are legion. Can you see a “Regis and Kathie Lee” show with Sam and Ross the Intern? I can.

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1 Comment

  1. Nice piece of writing… real nice.

    For the record, I agree, if, Sam makes the team it will be an against all odds event. Screw Oprah he’ll have his own movie. Well, I take that back… she’ll probably produce it.

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