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.
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.
February 16, 2013
It was good while it lasted? A few days after the Rams signed young WR Titus Young, he was dismissed from the team. While I didn’t expect for Young to be the 2nd coming of Torry Holt, I felt he could have been productive. He could have easily been one of the Rams top 3 receivers if he had remained on the team.
The fact that Fisher dismissed Young just as soon as he picked him up puzzles me. Though he wasn’t exactly a model citizen in Detroit, the 4 TDs he scored this past season would rank him 2nd among Rams WRs. The Rams aren’t exactly stacked at receiver either, and could use a solid WR like Young in their receiving corp. Not to mention, Young and Austin Pettis have the Boise State connection.
Lets take a look at the Rams current WRs:
Danny Amendola: 66 catches, 666 yards, and 3 TDs
Chris Givens: 42 catches, 698 yards, and 3 TDs
Brandon Gibson: 51 catches, 691 yards, and 5 TDs
Brian Quick: 11 catches, 156 yards, and 2 TDs
Steve Smith: 14 catches, 131 yards
As you can see, the Rams could use some better production in the passing game. When you look at the current list of free agent WRs there are some attractive names out there. Mike Wallace, Wes Welker, Greg Jennings, Josh Cribbs, Randy Moss, and Braylon Edwards. I personally think St. Louis should take a look at Mike Wallace, Percy Harvin, and Ramses Barden.
Out of all the big name free agents, Mike Wallace has the most upside. He will come with a price tag, but I think he’s worth the gamble. Wallace had down year in 2012, but has averaged at least 8 TDs for the past 3 years and has 17.5 yards per catch for his career.
Rick Spielman, GM of the Minnesota Vikings has stated that the team has no interest in trading WR Percy Harvin despite several rumors that Harvin is on the trade block. If Harvin does become available however, I think the Rams should made an effort to acquire his services. Despite Harvin’s durability issues, when healthy, he can immediately impact the Rams passing attack and return game. Percy Harvin has more kickoff/punt return TDs since 2009 (5), than the entire Rams team (1).
Former New York Giants WR Ramses Barden is an under the radar FA I think the Rams should look into. At 6’6 224 pounds, Barden could be at the very least a goal line threat for St. Louis. He showed flashes of production last year, like his 9 catch, 138 yard outburst against the Panthers in Week 3.
Bottom line, the Rams need more weapons for Sam Bradford. The defense has been solid, but in order to take the next step, St. Louis needs more consistency on offense. The NFC West is all of a sudden one of the best divisions in football with heavyweights like the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. The Rams have their work cut out for them in 2013. They need to start putting points on the board if they want to have any shot at making the playoffs next year.