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Thread: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Rams Star Chris Long:
    "I'M PROUD OF MICHAEL SAM"
    ... 'Excited to Play with Him'

    Michael Sam is impressing his St. Louis Rams teammates -- on and off the field -- so says superstar Chris Long who tells TMZ Sports he's proud of the guy and can't wait to play with him.

    After Sam was honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPYs last night, Long says he was getting a lot of positive text messages from other players on the Rams.

    "I've been hearing a lot of really great feedback," Long says ... "To be able to go up there, when he was nervous I'm sure, and speak about such an emotional topic is impressive."

    During the speech, Sam thanked the Rams for supporting him as he tries to become the first openly gay football player to take the field in an NFL game. Long says he's heading in the right direction.

    Long also says Sam has done a great job managing the media circus that's been surrounding him ever since he went public with his sexuality.

    "When he's been on the football field, it's been all business ... and the team supports him."

    Long adds, "He's a great kid."


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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Excellent Maui, thanks!
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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Let's be candid. There's no way he gets cut, right? I mean, the NFL is going to want this story to play out, don't you figure?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Let's be candid. There's no way he gets cut, right? I mean, the NFL is going to want this story to play out, don't you figure?
    I would hope that Michael Sam's roster spot, should he earn one, is based on his production and potential on the field, not what the NFL wants.
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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    I think the guy is good enough to make the team and contribute. He was a man amongst boys in College. I think that transfers to the NFL. We shall soon see

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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I would hope that Michael Sam's roster spot, should he earn one, is based on his production and potential on the field, not what the NFL wants.
    As we all hope. But is it realistic to think the "story" won't come into play on this decision?
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    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    As we all hope. But is it realistic to think the "story" won't come into play on this decision?
    I think it is realistic to surmise that Jeff Fisher will keep the best players on the final 53 - story or no story. If Sam happens to be one, then he'll make the roster. I can't see Fisher getting caught up in a "story" at the expense of the team. Jeff gave Sam an opportunity - who knows how it will shake out in the end. It won't be all that long before we find out.

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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    I think it is realistic to surmise that Jeff Fisher will keep the best players on the final 53 - story or no story. If Sam happens to be one, then he'll make the roster. I can't see Fisher getting caught up in a "story" at the expense of the team. Jeff gave Sam an opportunity - who knows how it will shake out in the end. It won't be all that long before we find out.
    Again, I think we all hope the same thing. But I'd be surprised if Fisher didn't receive some level of pressure to keep Sam on the 53. I think he has a legitimate shot, but with a 7th rounder it's usually a long shot.
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    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Fisher is gonna put the top 53 guys together, sure, with a few personal choices i'm sure, there always are a few guys that should be on the final roster that don't

    at least with varied opinions

    fisher doesn't seem like a guy to give in to that sort of thing

    it's football

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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Commentary leaning to the contrary...


    Tony Dungy 'wouldn't want to deal with' drafting Michael Sam

    By S. Gardner
    FOX Sports
    July 21, 2014, p.m.

    Former NFL coach Tony Dungy has always been considered something of a pioneer in football circles, both for his uncommonly cool temperament on the sidelines and, more importantly, his status as the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl, with the 2006-07 Indianapolis Colts. When it comes to Michael Sam's opportunity to become the first openly gay player to play in the NFL, however, Dungy seems less enthusiastic about the prospect of Sam spearheading a movement that could bring more acceptance to the game.

    In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Dungy, who coached the Tampa Bay Bucs for six years before spending seven seasons in Indianapolis, said he wouldn't have taken the Missouri defensive end Sam had he been running the St. Louis Rams, who selected Sam in the seventh round of May's NFL Draft. "I wouldn't have taken him," said Dungy, now an NFL analyst for NBC. "Not because I don't believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn't want to deal with all of it.

    "It's not going to be totally smooth," he told the paper. "... Things will happen." Dungy didn't specify what "things," exactly, he expected Sam to encounter, but Dungy's stance on homosexuality is well documented. In 2007, Dungy found himself embroiled in a bit of controversy when he accepted the "Friend of Family" award from the Indiana Family Institute, a conservative group that supported a proposed gay-marriage ban in the state.

    "I appreciate the stance they're taking, and I embrace that stance," Dungy said when he accepted the award. "We're not trying to downgrade anyone else. But we're trying to promote the family -- family values the Lord's way. ... IFI is saying what the Lord says. You can take that and make your decision on which way you want to be." After Jason Collins became the first openly gay NBA player last year, however, Dungy seemed to have softened his stance when he spoke out in support of Collins' decision to come out as gay. Only time will tell how Sam's openness about his own sexuality will impact NFL locker room culture, and certainly there are many who expect it won't go "totally smooth," as Dungy put it.
    "The Story" may have lost some of its thunder but it is still there in the clouds. We'll see.

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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Let's be candid. There's no way he gets cut, right? I mean, the NFL is going to want this story to play out, don't you figure?
    I agree with your premise here HUb. For better or worse, right or wrong, I see virtually no way the Rams cut Sam. They're vested in him now. They took the chance to draft him, have given him glowing reports, and the team has accepted him. Then, a national TV audience saw Fisher and Snead at the ESPY Awards, as Sam thanked them in his speech. Just my opinion, but I see his slot on the team as basically a lock.

    Like others, I hope if Sam makes the 53 man roster, it's because he earned a spot, but unless he falls completely flat in the preseason, I think his spot is secure.

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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Again, I think we all hope the same thing. But I'd be surprised if Fisher didn't receive some level of pressure to keep Sam on the 53. I think he has a legitimate shot, but with a 7th rounder it's usually a long shot.
    You know Hub, looking at the other side of the coin .. It is not completely unreasonable to suggest that Fisher felt Sam was for sure good enough to make the team or he wouldn't have drafted him in the first place. If Sam wasn't gay, he might have been selected much sooner. Maybe we got a steal!

    As far as Fish being pressured, who would be the one applying the pressure? I don't see Silent Stan meddling with him. Goodell may have Jeff on his speed dial, but what sort of leverage would he have? I doubt Fisher's had any DUIs lately. I hope Sam is judged fairly on his talent - either way - then let the chips fall where they may.
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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Let's be candid. There's no way he gets cut, right? I mean, the NFL is going to want this story to play out, don't you figure?
    Yes, excellent point; a very valid probability. I agree.

    The caveat for all parties involved, however, is: IF MSam does make the team, there may be some unique doubts lingering in the minds of the media (both the honest and the tabloid sort), the Rams FO, the fans, etc.

    But particularly, in the minds of some of the players that will get cut.

    IMO, the story will have to resurface, as in "out of necessity". Still much material to toss around.

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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    Sam's jersey sixth-best seller in NFL
    By Nick Wagoner

    EARTH CITY, Mo. -- It's pretty common to see a rookie who has never played a game show up on the list of the NFL's best-selling jerseys before training camp even begins. Many college players simply carry the name-value and fan following that makes proving themselves in the NFL unimportant when it comes to purchasing a jersey.

    You don't, however, see rookie seventh-round draft picks on the list before they've ever taken a snap. But as we already knew, St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam is clearly not your run-of-the-mill seventh-round draft choice. As the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL, Sam has already become one of the most well-known seventh-round picks of all time.

    If you needed any further evidence, simply take a look at the list of the top 10 in jersey sales on NFL.com from April 1 to July 17. Sam's No. 96 jersey checks in at No. 6 on the list, behind established NFL stars such as Denver's Peyton Manning and Seattle's Richard Sherman and ahead of the future Hall of Fame quarterback trio of Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Heady company, for sure.

    Sam is also one of only two defensive players -- Sherman the other -- to make the top 10. Clearly, Sam's historic announcement and pursuit of a roster spot in St. Louis has transcended his draft position and made his jersey a hot commodity among fans.

    If nothing else, Sam's jersey is already considered something of a collector's item. It will likely continue to sell well, but it's still a piece of memorabilia that could have a short shelf life. There aren't many fans who buy jerseys of a player who is far from a lock to make his team's roster.

    That's much different than the situation in Cleveland, where quarterback Johnny Manziel is No. 1 on the list in no small part because of his larger-than-life personality and the profile he brings into the league as a first-round pick. Manziel is a lock to make the roster and the only question surrounding his status in that regard is whether he'll be the opening-day starter.

    Sam doesn't enjoy the same luxury as he pursues a spot on the team's initial 53-man roster with the possibility that those No. 96 jerseys could be out of date only months after they were purchased.

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    Re: The Official Michael Sam "Off-the-Field" Thread

    We've got two different concepts going on here, and we should be careful not to jumble them together.

    First, there's the reason the Rams selected Sam. Did his orientation play a part in that selection or not? I say not. I think Fisher saw a good situational defender, who lacked the physicality and versatility to make him a starter, but could be valuable for 5-10 snaps per game in specific situations. I believe Fisher sees a guy who "could" make it in the NFL, but ultimately is a long-shot. But let's face it, Fisher saw Mitchell Van Dyke (226) and Christian Bryant (241) as better NFL options than Michael Sam (249).

    Second, there's the ramifications (no pun intended) of Sam's place on or off the roster come week 1. If he makes the team, there will be a "story". If he does not make the team, there will be a "story". All the stakeholders involved (Rams, fans, media, NFL, etc.) will have a take on the story either way, and there will be results from that which will affect the team. I'm not saying either way will be positive or negative, but there will be results which must be handled.
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