Diary Of A Sports Fanatic
May 14, 2014
Over the past week, the St. Louis Rams made history by drafting the first openly gay player into the NFL. This was a steal for two reasons: 1. They drafted this year’s SEC Defensive POY and a hell of a pass rusher for little to no cost. 2. They launched themselves into the national spotlight, by revealing one of America’s elephants: Homophobia.
Let’s not beat around the bush, THIS was the reason Michael Sam was the 249th player selected in 2014 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, this video makes some people uncomfortable. Why would a loving embrace, make someone upset? Because in the year 2014, a person’s lifestyle choices are still scrutinized, ridiculed by people they don’t even know. This deep seeded insecurity and hatred bubbled to the surface when the most courageous team in the NFL drafted Michael Sam. Here’s a tweet from Marshall Henderson, basketball player for Ole Miss.
Not only did blatant ignorance show it’s ugly face, there was also some subtle shade from the Christian community. By comparing former NFL QB Tim Tebow’s faith to Michael Sam’s sexuality to conclude that homosexuality is wrong or trivial is silly. Just as silly as Marshall Henderson’s homophobic tweets…
Since 2004, every SEC Defensive POY [except Demeco Ryans, 2nd round, 33rd pick] was drafted in the 1st round, until Michael Sam. Many have criticized Sam’s combine performance, and attributed it to his plummeting draft stock. I, on the other hand smell bull shit [excuse my French]. And yes, Sam did run a 4.9 in the 40, there’s no disputing that. But for all the people who have every played organized football [myself included] running in a straight line for 40 yards HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GAME OF FOOTBALL.
I’ve gotten a chance to watch 6 Mizzou games this past year, and Michael Sam was the best player on the field in at least 4 of them. This guy just looks like he belongs in the NFL. Now look… I’m not saying the guy will be the next Lawrence Taylor, but he projects to be a solid player. He has a knack for rushing the passer, and a relentless motor. Which is extremely important, especially when you share a division with Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson like the Rams do.
I applaud the St. Louis Rams for making a great football decision, as well as having the courage to make history. Michael Sam’s induction into the NFL will force us to expose the prejudices that lurk in the shadows of our society. A person’s sexuality is their choice at the end of the day, whether you agree with it or not. Less judgement, More respect! Until next time… One Love.
March 22, 2013
On Thursday the Buffalo Bills brought in former West Virginia standout QB Geno Smith to meet with team officials. Today Smith performed a private workout in front of coaches and staff. After releasing struggling QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo is searching for the QB of the future. All signs indicate that Smith will be the new face of Bills’ organization. Many draft experts have the Bills using their 1st round selection on Smith after his impressive workout at the combine. There are still critics of Geno Smith’s game however, after an inconsistent senior campaign. ESPN analyst Merril Hoge thinks Smith isn’t worth a 1st round pick, due to his erratic accuracy.
Which QB will Buffalo get if they decide to take a flyer on Geno Smith? The explosive QB who didn’t throw an interception until Week 6? Or the QB that looked mighty average during the team’s 5 game losing streak? Despite a mid season slump, Geno had a great senior year. He threw for 4,205 yards, 42 TD, and only 6 INTs. At the end of Week 5 Smith already amassed 1,996 passing yards and 24 TDs. Smith was the leading candidate for the Heisman early in the year, and virtually a lock for the 1st overall pick in the upcoming draft.
Smith’s Heisman hype cooled however during West Virginia’s 5 game slump that eliminated them from any chance at a Big 12 title or BCS bowl game. Despite questions on Smith’s accuracy, he is still a 1st round talent. Especially when you consider that this isn’t a great draft class for QB’s already. The Buffalo Bill’s are scrambling to find a franchise QB after the failed Ryan Fitzpatrick experiment, and Geno Smith would be a good fit. With CJ Spiller and Steve Johnson already in the fold, the Bills have some solid weapons in place for Smith to be productive. This past season the Bills ranked 6th in rushing yards pg. If the Bills select Geno with 8th overall pick, new head coach Doug Marrone will have some of work cut out for him though. His team must find a way to duplicate last year’s ground attack if Geno will have any shot at a descent rookie campaign.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr.com
March 2, 2013
With the upcoming NFL draft 54 days away, the St. Louis Rams are looking to bolster their roster and improve upon last year’s 7-8-1 record. All Pro RB Steven Jackson is unlikely to resign, so St. Louis needs to start building around their $50 million dollar man Sam Bradford. The Rams have 8 picks in April’s draft, 2 in the 1st round. They will need to take advantage of every pick in order to keep up with Seattle and San Francisco in the NFC West. St. Louis could use an upgrade at WR, OL, and I also wouldn’t mind them drafting a pass rushing LB/DE.
If the Rams can manage to snatch Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings, then by all means… Despite missing 7 games last year, when healthy Harvin is a matchup nightmare. He is a productive receiver and can provide a big boost to the Rams return game. However, there is a WR I think the Rams should take a flyer on if available…
Tavon Austin/ WR / West Virginia: Austin is not the biggest receiver at 5’8, but he makes it up with his elite speed. He ran a blazing 4.34 at the combine. This past year he hauled in 114 passes for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012-13. Tavon is WR with great footwork, and an superb route-runner. He is has a knack for making defenders miss and thrives in open space. Like Percy Harvin, Austin could make big plays for the Rams’ special teams unit.
Other Players that need to be on the Rams’ radar…
Shamarko Thomas/ S / Syracuse: This past year he racked up 84 tackles (60 solo), and 2 INT. A hard hitting safety that reminds you of a healthy Bob Sanders. Coaches say he’s a workout warrior, and he provided them right in his workouts. He wowed scouts during footwork drills, even besting some of the CBs. Thomas possesses a solid 5’10 frame, as well as top end speed. He ran a unofficial 4.38, had 28 reps on the bench press, and a ridiculous 40.5 inch vertical. The Rams could use an athlete with Thomas’ skill set. Quintin Mikell is due $9 million this upcoming year, which is pretty expensive for an aging safety. Look for St. Louis, to look to add a safety to replace Mikell.
Cornelius Washington/ DE/OLB /Georgia: At 6’4″, 265 pounds, Washington is an intimidating presence at linebacker. He out benched all the LBs at the Combine with 36 reps (Only 2 LINEMAN fared better on the bench press). Not only does he have the size, he has the athletic ability to play inside and outside backer with 4.55 speed and a 39 inch vertical. The Rams could use a run stopper like Washington, who also possess the ability to drop back in coverage.
Terron Armstead/OL/Arkansas-Pine Bluff: Armstead has an unmatched athletic ability for his size. At 6’5, 306 pounds, he ran a blistering 4.71 40 yard dash, crushing the combine record for lineman. His amazing workout at the combine has him shooting up teams’ draft boards. NFL scouts are chomping at the bits, finding ways to utilize Armstead’s abilities. For Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Pro Day, teams are interested in seeing him do some TE/H-Back drills. The Rams would be wise to draft someone with this kind of talent to protect Sam Bradford.