Michael Sam

Someone Drafted Michael Sam, But…

Michael Sam

Chris Lee / St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I spend the weekend minding my own business, listening to industrial music almost non-stop while reading filth. Of course I had Twitter on in the background, and the uprising I saw yesterday was quite something when Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round.

Most people I follow and have on lists celebrated the pick as they should. It is huge for an openly gay athlete to finally break through. ESPN had a camera at his house, and Sam’s reaction to being selected even brought me to tears:

Of course there was negative reaction from some of those in Straight America who doesn’t want to see two men kissing. Now they get to experience what I experience when I see the heterosexual abomination of the football player kissing the pretty girl. It really is stomach churning when I see a boy and a girl kiss. Just the thought of it sends shivers down my spine that seem to settle in the pit of my stomach that tried to force the regurgitation of my lunch.

There are also those who think Sam is getting way too much attention. After all he’s a seventh-round pick, they contend. Just because he’s gay it shouldn’t matter, they add.

If only the real world was as pleasant as the utopia in their heads. Yes he’s getting all the attention because he’s gay. He broke through the glass ceiling.

Sam should be celebrated as should the Rams. And I’m happy. But there is still one thing that is bugging me about this.

Here is every SEC defensive player of the year and where they were drafted by the NFL:

2003 – Chad Lavalais, 5th round 142nd overall
2004 – David Pollack, 1st round 17th overall
2005 – Demeko Ryans, 2nd round 33rd overall
2006 – Patrick Willis, 1st round 11th overall
2007 – Glenn Dorsey, 1st round 5th overall
2008 – Eric Berry, 1st round 5th overall
2009 – Rolando McClain, 1st round 8th overall
2010 – Patrick Peterson, 1st round 5th overall
2011 – Morris Claiborne, 1st round 6th overall
2012 – Jarvis Jones, 1st round 17th overall
2013 – Michael Sam, 7th round 249th overall

When Sam came out, we heard how he was overrated and all of that nonsense that executives and general managers used to veil their homophobia.

I guess I should be happy that Jeff Fisher and the Rams did this, happy that we were thrown the bone. But I wonder if Sam is really a worse defensive end than Zach Moore from Division II Concordia of St. Paul who was draft at the end of the sixth round (198 overall) by the Patriots? Or Larry Webster III of the Division II Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, drafted in the fourth round (138 overall) by the Detroit Lions? Or his fellow linemate Kony Ealy at Mizzou who was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round with the 60th overall pick?

I get that the draft is a crapshoot, that most of the players selected will be busts. Hell, Sam could wind up being a bust. But there is something telling about all 32 teams leaving the reigning SEC defensive player of the year dangling until being a compensatory pick of the seventh round.