Posts tagged #nfl

Finding Faith in Humanity

Michael Sam at the 2014 NFL Combine (Courtesy CBS Sports)

Earlier this evening the NFL Draft concluded. Usually the  third day of the draft is the least eventful of all the days. By now most of the college stars that are household names are scooped up. Most of the guys drafted today will be in and out of the league within a few years. Some will be cut before they get to play a snap of pro football. Some will become future hall of famers. There are players drafted first overall that never find success. Tom Brady, American Male Ugg enthusiast, was a flabby 6th round pick at one point. There are no rules to knowing who's skills will or won't translate to the pro game. That's why it's such a gamble, but a very fun gamble.

Today wasn't the ordinary boring third day of the draft. Today was Michael Sam day. Michael Sam is a defensive end from the University of Missouri. He was the SEC co-defensive player of the year. He is 6'2" and weighs 261 lbs. He is also the first openly gay professional athlete.

For a while it looked like he wasn't going to be selected. But in the 7th round the St Louis Rams pulled the trigger and made sports history. ESPN had cameras covering the event at Sam's draft party. If you haven't seen the video, I encourage you to do so. Sam was shown on the phone talking with the Rams. He burst into tears as he was told he was going to be selected. He then proceeded to kiss his boyfriend. It was a cool moment.

Of course, not everyone is on board with this "new age" love. Twitter was ablaze with intolerant morons that don't recognize the importance of this moment. I feel sorry for those people that can't handle the fact that two people love each other and shared a special moment. There was one misguided fellow that questioned how he was going to explain to his kids that two men were kissing on television! I can't possibly imagine how this poor man now has to go out of his way to explain to his son that it's entirely possible that two men actually love each other. 

Some of us, and I'd like to say the majority of us, just shrugged it off. We grasped the importance of the moment but didn't see anything weird about a couple kissing on TV. Some of us may have even done our jobs as parents and told our kids that both of those men were human beings and its ok for two people to love each other. How would I explain this "Michael Sam situation" to my own son? It wasn't as easy as it seemed. 

"Well son, Michael Sam is what the NFL general managers call a 'tweener'. That means he's having a hard time being assigned a position because of his size and weight. He's too small to be a lineman and too big to run around and be a linebacker. So he may struggle." And that, Sir Idiots of Twitter, is how I would explain it to my son. I have an issue with the modern day mongrel that sees love as a disease. Those that feel the same way are the true disease.

As we move on in time future generations will become more and more tolerable of same sex relationships. One day, hopefully in my lifetime, there will be a point in time where people look back at this moment in time and wonder why a gay professional athlete being drafted was such big news. For now, we unfortunately have to deal with the hatred and bigotry spewed from the mouths of the stupid. But today was a giant leap in the right direction. Today was a good day in sports history. Now all Michael Sam needs to worry about is Michael Sam the football player. I hope he does well. Just not when the Rams plays the Bears.

Posted on May 11, 2014 and filed under Sports.

NFL Draft: A First Round Review

Broncos 2014 Draft Pick Bradley Roby will look as good in orange and blue as he can rock a bow-tie. (Courtesy Denver Post)

The first round of the NFL Draft was yesterday, and for many a football fan with it brings the promise of greatness (or something exciting to wash away the bitter tears from the previous season). Did Johnny Football expect to be moving to Cleveland, I wonder? Anyway, here's guest-writer Tony Garcia with more observations...

Finally. It's over. After months of debate and prognosticating, the NFL Draft is over! Wait… what's that? There's six more rounds? That can't be right. What the hell was I just watching for the past 4 hours?

I kid, I kid. I enjoyed every moment of it. The first round of the draft is in the books and I need a cigarette. Was it good for you?

This has to have been the most hyped draft that I can remember. Partly because of the timing of the darn thing. The draft was moved back a couple weeks this year which led to an overhyping and an already hyped event. I say overhyped like I hate it. I don't. I love it. I watched every minute of it. Like I said in my previous blog, the NFL is king and they are going to flex their muscles tonight. The draft will dominate ratings, talk shows, Twitter, Facebook and the 24 hour news cycle. But we already know that. 

Another reason it was ultra hyped was the cast of characters. Two guys come to mind right off the top of my head that made the draft what it was. Those two guys are Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel. Sure, there are guys that are going to probably be bigger impact players than Clowney and Manziel but those guys were the stars of the show tonight. Clowney is said to be a generational talent. Guys like him don't come around too often. Manziel on the other hand has already been in the spotlight for a couple years. He was a college superstar and we'll see if his talents will translate to the pro game. He's also been known to throw down a few brewskis every now and then. Mostly on days ending in "Y". His name is Johnny Football and he's here to party. 

I never know what to expect on these draft nights as far as draft order goes. I'm not much of a mock draft guy. Meaning I don't put together my own mock draft and try to outsmart the smart guys like Mel Kiper Jr. and his perfect head of hair. His hair intimidates me. It's like staring into an eclipse. You know you shouldn't look, but you still do anyway. 

But after one round I have a few notes on the things I witnessed tonight:

- John Gruden loves Johnny Manziel and probably went through a years supply of Vaseline going over his game tape. 

- JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney should be pretty fun to watch if you ask me. 

- Three phrases can pretty much sum up the entire evening: "Giant hands", "Penetration" and "Ball skills". 

- My beloved Bears didn't pick any of the top 5 guys I had on my list. This could be a good thing. 

- Not as many trades this year as in years past. 

- Who the hell names their child Ha Ha? Seriously, that's a name? If I'm every scoreboard operator I'm cueing up Nelson from The Simpsons classic "Haha" for every time that dude makes a mistake. Good player, bad name. 

- The Packers and Jets, two teams I strongly dislike, got two players I'd want on my team (Calvin Pryor and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix).

- The Lions did it again, drafting a guy they could've probably traded down and gotten later in the first round. I love ripping the Lions so maybe there's nothing they could've done that I would've applauded. LOLions.

- Cleveland's bar district single-handedly became one of America's most booming bar areas. I mean that in a literal sense. Johnny Manziel will be doing many 12oz curls and will turn that place into another Vegas strip.

- Chris Berman needs to hang it up. I think I've been saying that for about 10 years now but the guy just won't quit. He may have been clever in the 90s but his brand of comedy died years ago. He reminds me of that guy in your group of friends that just doesn't know when it's time to call it a night. 

- Whenever the Jets fans chant "J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets!", I chant "S-U-C-K, Suck! Suck! Suck!"

- My favorite part is always seeing the emotion that some of these kids display. As an athlete growing up, I always imagined what it would be like to be drafted to any team. I can't imagine that feeling. 

That's all I've got for now. I'll be paying close attention over these next few days to what's going on with days two and three of the draft. It's always fun to see your favorite team start building what could be a Super Bowl winning team. GMs make and break their careers on these days. Once the draft is over all of the experts will start handing out their grades. The reality is we won't know how these draft classes turn out for another 2-3 years at least. All we can do is sit down and watch it all unfold. I'd like to say I can't wait for football to start back up again, but after a brutal Chicago winter I'm ready to enjoy summer. Football signals the end of summer and I'm just not ready for that yet. At least not while the Blackhawks are still alive and well in the hunt for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Posted on May 9, 2014 and filed under Sports.