ESPN Is The Distraction, Not Michael Sam

  • Eric Goldschein

michael sam

Michael Sam was cut by the Rams. Then he cleared waivers without another team claiming him. Then the Rams declined to sign him to their practice squad, despite early reports that they might, because the team is still stacked at defensive end.

So, Michael Sam is not an NFL player at the moment. It can’t be because Sam isn’t good enough to play — he led the Rams with three sacks in the preseason and finished with a six tackle performance that secured his place as an NFL-caliber player. Rams coach Jeff Fisher said “I think he can play in this league.” You didn’t hear people say that about, say, Tim Tebow (unless that person was Urban Meyer). So what gives? Why hasn’t any team with a 4-3 defense picked him up?

Bills center Eric Wood has the answer:

Surprise, surprise. Tony Dungy once said that Sam would be a distraction for an NFL team, because “things will happen.” When he said “things,” did he mean ESPN reporting on Sam’s showering habits? Did he mean that Fisher would be cross-examined by the media about Sam in his post-cut press conference? Or did he mean Sam would be grabbing guy’s asses in the locker room and staring at them in the shower?

If he meant the latter, he was sorely disappointed — Fisher himself said Sam wasn’t a distraction and did everything that was asked of him. From a football standpoint, Sam has impressed. It’s the media, led by the Worldwide Leader, that hasn’t produced. Hopefully, one team will have the courage to withstand Josina Anderson’s gaze and will sign a player who proved he can contribute to a winning team.

Photo via Getty