Football fans, do you remember that guy by the name of Tim Tebow? The Florida Gator quarterback that was drafted 1st round, 25 pick by the Denver Broncos in 2010? Also, the most overrated NFL player, media and statistically speaking?
Yeah, you should remember that guy.
You don’t remember Tebow because of Tebow’s on-field ability (see: a badly inaccurate throwing arm), but because of how he exposed his Christian beliefs. No football fan will disagree with me in saying that his media attention was over the top and completely unnecessary.
Well, football fans, one person has started the next Tebowmania. That person’s name is Michael Sam. And, as we all know, Sam is currently the first openly gay football player, now a part of the St. Louis Rams.
Sam, the co-SEC Player of the Year and a SEC first-teamer, was drafted in the 7th round with the 249th pick out of Missouri but has currently not signed a rookie deal. When you look at his credentials, you wonder why he was not drafted earlier.
Most people will automatically say his sexual orientation played a part in why he was not drafted in the 3rd-4th round range, which is where he was slated to be picked. But, looking at his game tape and poor draft combine, he’s not the explosive defensive end we are now seeing more and more of in today’s game. Not to mention that being an undersized lineman won’t get him a lot of looks.
As the season nears, signs of another Tebowmania has emerged. Once Sam was drafted, ESPN and NFL Network spent at least 3 or 4 segments dedicated to Sam. Adding on to the abundance of attention, it appeared like Sam had a deal done with the Oprah Winfrey Network for a series chronicling his life as a NFL player. The fact that the series was ultimately canceled may have actually been the best thing for him to do.
After their draft, the Rams are considered to be playoff contenders. The extra attention Sam would be receiving, as a player that might not even make the team, would certainly not sit well with Rams players and coaches.
What sickens me the most is that the attention Tebow and Sam make is not because of football (not that I ever think it will be). The attention these players garner is because of the destructive media. Let’s realize that this is football and not a pop culture contest. Let these men play football — that is their job.