Michael Sam broke new ground when he came out publically as a gay athlete before he ever played a down as a professional. Could his presence and the media circus negatively affect the Rams ability to cash in your NFL picks?
The Emperor Has No Clothes
In 1837 Hans Christian Anderson wrote a children’s fairy tale called, “The Emperor Has No Clothes”. The story was about a king, known for wearing only the finest clothing, who was sold the finest cloth that could only be seen by those who were fit for his position. To the stupid and the ignorant, the clothes were invisible. The “cloth” was in fact nothing at all but a made up story by two swindlers looking to make money for nothing more than their imagination. The townspeople, ignorant to the truth as was the king, all praised the magnificent clothing afraid they could not see them. One day a small child, unshackled by the truth, said, “But he has nothing on!”
And so it goes that we have a modern day version of the Danish fairy tale where the pundits collectively stick their heads in the sand and pretend that Michael Sam’s brave and historic declaration is business as usual. Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy ignited a media firestorm by stating,
"I wouldn't have taken him," Dungy said of Sam, the openly gay linebacker the St. Louis Rams selected in the seventh round of May's NFL draft, "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 ... things will happen."
Refreshing. That’s what Dungy’s opinion is and it is merely stating the obvious. What he failed to mention was that if Michael Sam happened to be Jadeveon Clowney, the top overall pick in the draft, teams would reconcile that his vast potential mitigates any anticipated distraction.
As long as the PC police continue to harangue those with opposing viewpoints, or should I say truthful observations, their cause is but an illusion. Dungy’s statements were not disrespectful nor were they slanderous. He merely stated what every coach and general manager has privately deliberated when considering that the player in question is a seventh round talent.
But now the Rams will get a firsthand look at whether Michael Sam has the ability and skill set to make their roster. Yet the question that is equally importantly is if the grown men inside their locker room are as evolved as we all pray they should be.
NFL Odds on Michael Sam
Ladbrokes is one of the few offshore bookmakers ready and willing to give you action by posting the NFL odds on the Rams’ verdict of Michael Sam. And without further ado, here are the props.
Michael Sam to be part of the Rams 53-man squad on September 7th, 2014 (-275)
Michael Sam to NOT be part of Rams 53-man squad on September 7th, 2014 (+187)
Michael Sam to NOT start any 2014/2015 regular season games for the St. Louis Rams (-2000)
Michael Sam TO start any of the 2014/2015 regular season games for the St. Louis Rams (+700)
It appears as though Ladbrokes is fairly optimistic this seventh round choice will win a spot on the roster and make history in the process. If he does, I say good for him and good for the Rams. The Rams are a solid physical team and will have to be solid emotionally as well if they are to weather the questions from both inside and outside of the locker room.