Starting Lineups: Did Michael Sam's Announcement Feel A Bit Weird To Anyone Besides Me?

michael sam espn interview

Former First Team All-American defensive end Michael Sam of the Missouri Tigers told the world on Sunday that he is a gay man. (Something that, evidently, plenty of folks already knew.) Coming out of the closet has proven to be one of the more difficult decisions any homosexual person will ever have to face. I applaud the man for overcoming any fears he might've had. To that, I tip my cap to the man.

Yet, when I woke up on Monday morning and the news cycle spun and spun and spun, I wasn't weirded out at all by Sam's announcement. No, I was weirded out that there was so much news to discuss about Sam's coming out.

I admit, I'm a slave to the 24-hour sports news cycle. So when I turned my television on Sunday while doing laundry, I saw the news scrolling down the ticker. BREAKING NEWS: Michael Sam announces that he is gay. That, in itself, wasn't odd. What was odd was that there was a journalist in Columbia, Missouri, chilling out at a sports bar waiting to see the reaction of folks in Missouri's biggest college town to gauge their reaction (which was all cheers). My question is, why are you there, sir?

How was the Worldwide Leader so ready to have panels of former players, coaches and analysts lined up to discuss such specific topics like: How would players react to a gay player in the locker room? How would coaches handle a player who is gay? Would Michael Sam's draft stock be affected?

Then I remembered that our news can be contrived at times.

Michael Sam, a man who probably has already signed with an agent and possibly a publicist, made it known to media circles that he'd be making an announcement soon. ESPN gobbled up this story and packaged it as BREAKING NEWS to the public. This is not a slight towards ESPN, as this is how the media game goes. However, Michael Sam's announcement didn't feel like an announcement. It felt like a production. One that ESPN, major media networks and the blogosphere will be able to leverage into almost a week's worth of news filler for their various shows.

Maybe I wanted a press conference instead. Or just a tweet. I can be transparent here in saying that I LOVED LeBron's Decision, but these two "decisions" aren't in the slightest comparable. Or maybe they are, and I'm just being hypocritical. I have no idea what the "right" way is in this particular situation, but this didn't feel like BREAKING NEWS. This felt like a ticking time bomb that only those in the know knew when the alarm would go off.

As it stands, this is the last time I'll be talking about Michael Sam being gay. Personally, I'm hoping my Jacksonville Jaguars scoop him up in the 3rd-4th round. We could use one of the best defensive ends in college football on our roster, and that's all that matters to me.

Here are your links for Monday.

Redskins hire Doug Williams for front office role -- Pro Football Talk

Like Most People, Kevin Garnett Was A Ruff Ryders Stan In 2000 -- Smoking Section

How Joe Johnson can steal the show at All-Star Weekend -- SB Nation

Cup Noodles Shoveling Snow Is Heart Melting -- Kotaku

How Ice-T accidentally recorded audio for a Dungeons and Dragons book -- Polygon

Aroldis Chapman smokes Marlboro Reds, wakes up at sunset, drives really fast -- Hardball Talk

Amir Khan: Does Brit really have a glass jaw? -- Fight Saga

Melo Don't Flop -- Sports Grid

Is Nike’s Surprise Air Yeezy II “Red October” Release A Strategic Apology? -- Karen Civil

3 Replies to “Starting Lineups: Did Michael Sam's Announcement Feel A Bit Weird To Anyone Besides Me?”

  1. I think reading the quotes in this article make you understand why it's news specific to the NFL
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20140209/michael-sam-draft-stock/

    And this is why everybody was ready for it
    http://www.outsports.com/2014/2/9/5396036/michael-sam-gay-football-player-missouri-nfl-draft

    I'm always quick to assert that ESPN is manufacturing stories (the NFL gets at least 15 minutes on Sportscenter no matter what time of year)- however, this was and is a huge story. You state that you are tolerant and welcoming of his lifestyle/orientation, but fact is a lot of folks in this country are not. A number of people in whatever locker room/organization he ends up in won't be as welcoming (at least in private). I think you ignore the that the chosen religious beliefs of a large portion of this country (and the world- you may have read about Russia and the Olympics) are in direct contradiction with this place he's in.

    So yeah. It's a story.

    1. Oh, I hope that doesn't get misconstrued as it not being deserving of being a big story. I just thought that it felt like a presentation vs. a breaking news piece that had just "happened". I agree with you 100% with the folks who are not tolerant of his choice, their reactions will be awesome.

      Thanks for the Outsports piece BTW, reading now.

      -Ed.

      1. Ah well in that case, yes he definitely did not become gay yesterday. I think the "breaking news" aspect was the fact it was finally "official" and was made publicly known.

        I give a ton of credit to his teammates, coaches, the Mizzou community, any media who knew beforehand, and anyone else who gave him the opportunity to "break" the news in the way he chose. I find it amazing that was able to happen in 2013/14, nobody can keep anything to themselves these days.

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