Chris Long: Everyone but ESPN is over Michael Sam being gay

Michael-Sam-boyfriendESPN featured some phenomenal investigative reporting on Tuesday when the network passed along some of the details of Michael Sam’s showering routine. For those of you who are a little slow, I’m being sarcastic. We have no idea why the World Wide Leader told us that Sam has not yet showered with certain teammates, and neither does Rams defensive end Chris Long.

A few hours after Josina Anderson went on the air and spoke about Sam’s showering habits, Long tweeted the following.

That’s how a lot of people feel. The first ever openly gay player in the NFL fighting for a roster spot is a huge story — we get that. It took guts for Sam to come out before the NFL Draft. But don’t we have enough headlines about him — such as Sam sacking Johnny Manziel and flashing the money symbol — that we don’t need to get into when and with whom he supposedly takes a shower?

Again, this seems like the type of stuff ESPN does that inspired their own Neil Everett to take a shot at the network last week.

H/T Jimmy Traina

Michael Sam is not showering with teammates, according to ESPN

Michael Sam RamsMichael Sam seems to be adjusting to life in the NFL quite well, at least on the field. Sam, who made headlines on Saturday when he sacked Johnny Manziel and flashed the money sign, appears likely to make the St. Louis Rams 53-man roster. But what about his showering habits? It’s important that we hear all about that, right?

Don’t worry, ESPN has you covered. During Tuesday’s edition of SportsCenter, Josina Anderson updated viewers on how Sam is fitting in with his teammates. Things started out pretty normal.

“Defensive tackle Kendall Langford said that Michael Sam is just one of the guys,” Anderson began. “He seems to be taking a rookie approach in terms of just listening and learning at his own pace. He’s just trying to feel his way through and, perhaps, see what guys he can relate to.”

Anderson then brought up showering, and things got a little too personal.

“Another Rams defensive player told me that Sam is respecting our space,” she said. “From his perspective, he seems to think that Michael Sam is kind of waiting to take a shower as not to make his teammates feel uncomfortable. Langford and linebacker Alec Ogletree didn’t know that specifically and also weren’t tracking that.

“Langford told me, ‘I have not been in the shower at the same time as Michael Sam,’ but said there could be a million reasons as to why that is. He said (Sam) could be doing extra work on the practice field, riding his bike or doing extra cardio. But overall Langford said he seems to be adjusting to life in the NFL and the speed of the game.”

[Also see: Chris Long rips ESPN for shower report]

If you ask me, that’s too much information. We know having an openly gay player in the NFL is going to create some unprecedented situations in the locker room, but Sam’s shower schedule isn’t something ESPN needs to be passing along to their viewers. This is the exact type of stuff Neil Everett was angry about when he took a shot at the World Wide Leader.

Video via The Big Lead

Michael Sam sack on Johnny Manziel, celebration causes Twitter user to lose bet

Michael Sam money gesture

Michael Sam’s sack on Johnny Manziel and subsequent “Money” celebration caused one Twitter user to lose a bet he made that was impossible to enforce anyway.

A guy on Twitter who goes by “Fisher King” sent the following tweet before Saturday’s preseason game between the Rams and Browns:

Fisher King wasn’t the only one who was saying stuff about Sam sacking Manziel that night; many other pundits were begging for it to happen so there would be an “internet meltdown” which never actually happened.

So how did the Fisher King guy react after the sack?

Fisher King wanted to make good on his promise but knew the drinks proposition was unrealistic. Instead he turned to a more reasonable payoff — donating to a charity of Sam’s choice.

Head to Page 2 to read what happened next.

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Michael Sam sacks Johnny Manziel, does money sign (Video)

The two biggest stories in the NFL leading up to the draft and throughout training camp were Johnny Manziel and Michael Sam.

Would Manziel ascend to the starting quarterback position on the Browns? Would Sam make the Rams’ roster and become the first active gay player in the NFL? The hype and questions surrounding the two players were endless.

But those two mega-stories converged at the exact same moment at the exact same time when Sam sacked Manziel in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s preseason game between the teams.

Oh, and as if that weren’t already enough, Sam brought down the house by taunting Manziel with the money celebration like a boss:

Michael Sam money gesture

Nothing Sam has done so far has cemented him as a legitimate NFL player as mocking Manziel’s celebration. Here’s another look at it:

GIF: Michael Sam sacks Johnny Manziel, does money celebration... on Twitpic

Sam’s not the first NFL player to mock Manziel’s money celebration — Brian Orakpo did it on Monday night, too.

Michael Sam likely to make Rams roster?

Michael Sam RamsEver since Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round, the big question has been whether he would make the team.

Getting drafted by an NFL team was historic, but we’re still a ways from Sam becoming the first openly gay player to play in the league. Still, it looks like Sam may make the 53-man roster.

SI NFL reporter Peter King is covering the Rams’ training camp this week and sent these tweets Tuesday about Sam’s likelihood of making the roster:

This is along the same lines as what Rams reporter Nick Wagoner projected last month. As Wagoner noted, the Rams typically keep 9 defensive linemen on the roster. He thinks Sam will be the 9th.

Keep in mind that Sam will have plenty of competition for the final spot. Sam also has lost weight with the intent of becoming a special teams contributor, which could help increase his chances of making the team. If he does make the team, the next step would actually be making a play in a regular-season game.

Michael Sam has great response for Tony Dungy

Michael Sam RamsTony Dungy became persona non-grata this week after saying he would not have drafted Michael Sam. A day later, Dungy decided to “clarify” his original comments. Sam also was asked about the comments Tuesday and responded.

“Thank God he wasn’t St. Louis Rams’ coach,” Sam joked to the media. “But I have a great respect for (Tony) Dungy, and everyone in America is entitled to their own opinions.”

That’s a pretty good response from Sam, who did not want to continue talking about that subject.

“I don’t really care what people are coming up and talking about,” Sam said after being faced with another question from the media about Dungy. “My job is to make this team, that’s my number one priority.”

Dungy issued a statement Tuesday to elaborate on his controversial comments about not wanting to draft Sam. Dungy says the media circus surrounding Sam is what would have dissuaded him.

His statement is below.

[Read more...]

Tony Dungy: I would not have drafted Michael Sam

Michael Sam RamsMichael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams more than two months ago, and we have heard very little about his sexual preference since then. With the exception of his touching speech at the ESPYs, the fact that Sam is gay has seemingly been a nonissue. Tony Dungy must not have taken note of that.

Dungy recently said he would not have drafted Michael Sam if he was still an NFL head coach.

“I wouldn’t have taken him,” the former Indianapolis Colts coach and current NBC analyst said, via Ira Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune. “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.”

Not wanting to “deal with all of it” is undoubtedly the reason several teams passed on Sam. While all has been quiet to this point, Dungy doesn’t believe it will stay that way.

“It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen,” he added.

The most interesting thing about Dungy’s stance is that he tried to go down the politically correct road when asked about Sam back in February.

“The NFL has always been based on merit and I think that will continue to be the case whether it’s Michael Sam and the issue of homosexuality or anything else,” Dungy said at the time. “Guys who produce and play well will be welcome in the league.”

I guess what he meant was Sam will be welcome in the NFL, but he wouldn’t be welcomed by me.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and Dungy’s is one that is shared by many but bottled up by most. Fortunately, the Rams were willing to deal with whatever distractions might come with drafting Sam if it means potentially improving their football team. If everyone felt the same way Dungy feels about Sam, an openly gay player would never be drafted.

H/T The Big Lead