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 Michael Sam and the Vikings 
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Post Michael Sam and the Vikings
First of all, congratulations to Michael Sam for having the courage to come out publicly as gay. May there be many more people who do the same, and may homophobia go by the way of the Dodo Bird as soon as possible. Honestly, it sickens me on every level that in the 21st century, so many people look down their noses at homosexuality. I put it up their with racism, sexism, and other forms of out-and-out ignorance.

Now that I've got my preaching out of the way, what do you say we talk football, OK? Because I have a serious question about Michael Sam and whether there is a place for this kid on the Vikes defense, which sure could use a boost.

I look at this guy. He wears number 52. He looks like Ray Lewis. He's something like 6 1' 255 pounds. And he is a first team All-American defensive end. I am puzzled to hear "the hair" project him as a fourth round situational pash rusher instead of a projected linebacker who is taken higher in the draft. I don't doubt that he lacks the skills to play linebacker tomorrow, but aren't the great teams the ones that see outside of the box a little bit? The Vikes certainly have a dearth of quality linebackers. Or looking at it differently, they're a team with a lot of "projects" at those positions. Does it make sense, say, to take this kid in the third round and try to mold him into a starting linebacker by 2015? Hasn't he proven himself more than any of our linebackers other than Greenway (who isn't exactly a spring chicken)?

I am not a big SEC fan so I could be totally off base here. Honestly, this whole post (other than the first paragraph) is complete speculation on my part. I'd kind of like to hear from those who have watched a lot of this kid. But to make first team All American as an undersized DE, he has to have some serious abilities. And the Championship NFL teams are the ones who find the apparent square pegs and, with inspiration, figure out ways to fit them smoothly into round holes. Doleman was a "tweener" who we turned into a pretty good d-lineman. I'm thinking that maybe, this guy goes in the other direction. Am I wrong?


Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:24 am
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
First, I absolutely agree with the first part of your post.
Second, why dont u like SEC football? Just curious.
Third, the games i watched with Missouri, he was definitely a leader on the field. If the Vikings drafted him, i would be very happy. He definitely has the tools to be very successful in the NFL.

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:29 am
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
DanAS wrote:
First of all, congratulations to Michael Sam for having the courage to come out publicly as gay. May there be many more people who do the same, and may homophobia go by the way of the Dodo Bird as soon as possible. Honestly, it sickens me on every level that in the 21st century, so many people look down their noses at homosexuality. I put it up their with racism, sexism, and other forms of out-and-out ignorance.

Now that I've got my preaching out of the way, what do you say we talk football, OK? Because I have a serious question about Michael Sam and whether there is a place for this kid on the Vikes defense, which sure could use a boost.

I look at this guy. He wears number 52. He looks like Ray Lewis. He's something like 6 1' 255 pounds. And he is a first team All-American defensive end. I am puzzled to hear "the hair" project him as a fourth round situational pash rusher instead of a projected linebacker who is taken higher in the draft. I don't doubt that he lacks the skills to play linebacker tomorrow, but aren't the great teams the ones that see outside of the box a little bit? The Vikes certainly have a dearth of quality linebackers. Or looking at it differently, they're a team with a lot of "projects" at those positions. Does it make sense, say, to take this kid in the third round and try to mold him into a starting linebacker by 2015? Hasn't he proven himself more than any of our linebackers other than Greenway (who isn't exactly a spring chicken)?


No, he hasn't, not as a linebacker. Can he cover at all? From what I've read, he was rarely asked to drop back in Missouri's scheme and he has limited flexibility to change directions. He might not be skilled or fluid enough to convert to LB. After all, converting a DE to LB in a 4-3 defense is no small thing. There are accomplished players in the draft who have already shown they can play LB and as a DE, he's undersized. I assume he's projected to be drafted in R3 or R4 for those reasons.

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Doleman was a "tweener" who we turned into a pretty good d-lineman. I'm thinking that maybe, this guy goes in the other direction. Am I wrong?


Didn't he just admit to going in the other direction? ;)

Sorry, I shouldn't crack wise but how am I supposed to resist a set-up line like that?

Seriously, there's no way to know with certainty if he could become the LB equivalent of Doleman at DE but I think it's pretty tough to project him to LB in a 4-3. I'm getting the impression that you're rationalizing a reason for the Vikings to draft him because you respect his willingness to publicly admit to being gay.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:36 am
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
I am fairly wary of picking another "reach" or project player after the farce that was Ponder. So rater then think he can be rebuilt into a LB, why not pick him for what he is? We arent exactly hip deep in talent. AND the move would certainly shut up all the critics who are preoccupied with Kluwe's accusations (which may or may not be true).....he really looks promising in his current role.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:36 am
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
He is a mid round project player, lets not talk about inserting him into our starting lineup, it's not gonna happen.

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:05 am
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
I guess he wasn't so great the senior bowl as a LB but dude is a DE. God knows we need depth everywhere and especially if we cannot get Everson Griffen and/or Jared Allen back.

Most of you guys n gals know I am very pro-gay rights. I just hope the media doesn't overkill his story as I'm hoping it'll lead a trend in players to feel comfortable about who they are. Deion Sanders even said this morning "Not the first gay player in the NFL, but much respect for coming out".

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:21 am
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
NextQuestion wrote:
I just hope the media doesn't overkill his story


Yeah, they wouldn't do that. :( :wink:

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:23 am
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
dead_poet wrote:
NextQuestion wrote:
I just hope the media doesn't overkill his story


Yeah, they wouldn't do that. :( :wink:


Hah, It's already a huge story but my hope is that it cools off around draft day.

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:25 am
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
No reason to pick a guy just because he's gay. But if he slides to the fourth or fifth round because of it then I sure hope our leaders would make the pick if they think he's worth it and not simply avoid it because of what it is. I just want good football players, I don't care if they're black, purple, blue, white, orange, gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, or whatever. There was a time you didn't draft or sign black people because it was "weird", (putting it VERY nicely...) then teams started to realize there was a lot of untapped potential to obtain and all the stupid stuff goes out the window when you want to win! As it should.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:50 am
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
dead_poet wrote:
NextQuestion wrote:
I just hope the media doesn't overkill his story


Yeah, they wouldn't do that. :( :wink:

Or like this board will a bazillion (23 pages and counting) comments on Kluwe :wink:

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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
mondry wrote:
No reason to pick a guy just because he's gay. But if he slides to the fourth or fifth round because of it then I sure hope our leaders would make the pick if they think he's worth it and not simply avoid it because of what it is. I just want good football players, I don't care if they're black, purple, blue, white, orange, gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, or whatever. There was a time you didn't draft or sign black people because it was "weird", (putting it VERY nicely...) then teams started to realize there was a lot of untapped potential to obtain and all the stupid stuff goes out the window when you want to win! As it should.


Yeesh. You took the words right out of my mouth.

Yep, what he said! :thumbsup:

This kid is all over the news, and I have to say, I am rooting for him. He has been through a lot in his life, and this was minor. Basically, I heard he is one of many kids. One of his older brothers was kidnapped and never found. Another one was shot and killed. Two other ones have been in and out of jail for years. I think another sibling died in infancy. All of this, and he's okay; first to go to college and all that. This kid is actually making something out of himself, and that is great to see!

Let him fall, we'll scoop him up!

Just, ya know, don't make him play special teams, because, ya know...yeeeeaaah.

:govikes:

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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
mondry wrote:
No reason to pick a guy just because he's gay. But if he slides to the fourth or fifth round because of it then I sure hope our leaders would make the pick if they think he's worth it and not simply avoid it because of what it is. I just want good football players, I don't care if they're black, purple, blue, white, orange, gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, or whatever. There was a time you didn't draft or sign black people because it was "weird", (putting it VERY nicely...) then teams started to realize there was a lot of untapped potential to obtain and all the stupid stuff goes out the window when you want to win! As it should.

At the risk of sounding homophobic ... there is a reason NOT to pick him because he's gay. And it has nothing to do with whether a team accepts his lifestyle. It has to do with whether they want the media scrutiny that will accompany him.

Here's the scenario:

You have two linebacker prospects. They both grade out equally. Neither is a sure-fire star, but a mid-round project. It would be a tough choice no matter their sexual preference.

Player A will be the first openly gay player in NFL history if he's drafted. Player B is straight, or at least presumed so.

Who do you take?

If you take Player A, then you might as well set up the Big Top because the Media Circus is coming. Not only will they hound Player A about it every day, but also every player on the roster and every person in the front office. "What do you think?" "Do you accept an openly gay player?" "Has anyone given him a hard time?" "Have any players asked for a trade?" On and on it will go, ad nauseum, for as long as Player A is on the roster. It'll be Tim Tebow 2.0, only magnified about 100 times.

Take Player B, and nobody bats an eye. Just another fourth-round project.

Like it or not, "Do we want the distraction?" is a legitimate question. It would be naive to think that GMs and player personnel directors won't ask it. And while they'll never say it, I'm pretty sure that at least one team will pass on Sam for that very reason. Not sure I could blame them.

That being said, I salute Michael Sam for coming out now, rather than doing it after being drafted. That would be unfair to the team that drafts him.

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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
PurpleMustReign wrote:
First, I absolutely agree with the first part of your post.
Second, why dont u like SEC football? Just curious.
Third, the games i watched with Missouri, he was definitely a leader on the field. If the Vikings drafted him, i would be very happy. He definitely has the tools to be very successful in the NFL.

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I didn't mean I didn't like SEC football. I'm a friggen football addict, and they have great football. But the conference I follow most closely is the Pac 10 -- and particularly, Stanford football.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:33 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
First off, I applaud Michael Sam for coming out as gay. His courage can be a testament towards his character.

Secondly, I may be in the minority, but, if Michael added about 12 pounds (which, in the NFL, is easier to do than in college), he would fit as a 4-3 defense end. Sure, he may be a little small height wise, but his weight, speed, and athleticism would suit him as a 4-3 defensive end.

Thirdly, Sam was a very good player this year. He was a player who I thought would make a good draft choice for us. Unfortunately, I can see him being labeled now and it will be too 'taboo' for some GMs to draft. It is unfortunate, but I cannot help but feel that Sam's playing ability ( the ONLY thing that should matter when it comes to his draft stock) will be overlooked because of this. Call me cyclical, but it is just the way our society that makes me feel that way. But, that is whole other topic that I am too weary to get into in general, and this board is not the right place to discuss said topic.

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:49 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
Mothman wrote:

Seriously, there's no way to know with certainty if he could become the LB equivalent of Doleman at DE but I think it's pretty tough to project him to LB in a 4-3. I'm getting the impression that you're rationalizing a reason for the Vikings to draft him because you respect his willingness to publicly admit to being gay.


Absolutely not true, my friend. I want the social issues to be 100% out of the picture when it comes to the selection. I could make argument why they would suggest taking him, or not taking him, but those arguments interest and compel me a whole lot less than the football question.

Yes, he didn't play well at the Senior Bowl at linebacker. But that's one game. One. And I'm not convinced that someone with that build couldn't play in a 4-3.

Anyway, I'm just throwing this out. The dude has a body like Ray Lewis and he has demonstrated some mad skills when it comes to tackling guys with footballs in their hands. So I was wondering, why not a linebacker? If he has a shot at being a great LB and has an excellent chance of being dangerous pass rusher as a DE, maybe it's not crazy to spend a high third round pick on him. But I realize there are "ifs" in that sentence.

But please believe me, Jim. I am raising this because I want to improve the Vikes' defense, I respect what he has accomplished ON the field, and this "tweener" stuff has me wondering if he might be an undervalued commodity in the draft. The other stuff is extremely important to me but I would never compromise my team's quality just to make a sociological statement.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:25 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
I don't actually see a need to congratulate anyone for a preference. Facing the possible heat for making an announcement, well, maybe (?).

...wisdom, I don't know.

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:40 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
fiestavike wrote:
I predict he will not be drafted. he brings way too much media attention with him. Just heard one of his advisers on NPR saying that he will have grounds for a lawsuit if he is not drafted and that he doesn't plan to be an "activist" at least until he is established as an NFL player. Good grief.

And he'll have grounds for a lawsuit if he's cut. And grounds if he's hazed. And etc. etc. etc.

The smart move would be to avoid him like he had the plague. That's especially true for the Vikings with the Kluwe thing going on.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:58 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
I predict Goodell finds a way to award a compensatory 4th rd pick to the Vikes and tells them to draft Sams to make the Kluwe problem go away


Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:00 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
DanAS wrote:
Absolutely not true, my friend. I want the social issues to be 100% out of the picture when it comes to the selection. I could make argument why they would suggest taking him, or not taking him, but those arguments interest and compel me a whole lot less than the football question.

Yes, he didn't play well at the Senior Bowl at linebacker. But that's one game. One. And I'm not convinced that someone with that build couldn't play in a 4-3.

Anyway, I'm just throwing this out. The dude has a body like Ray Lewis and he has demonstrated some mad skills when it comes to tackling guys with footballs in their hands. So I was wondering, why not a linebacker? If he has a shot at being a great LB and has an excellent chance of being dangerous pass rusher as a DE, maybe it's not crazy to spend a high third round pick on him. But I realize there are "ifs" in that sentence.

But please believe me, Jim. I am raising this because I want to improve the Vikes' defense, I respect what he has accomplished ON the field, and this "tweener" stuff has me wondering if he might be an undervalued commodity in the draft. The other stuff is extremely important to me but I would never compromise my team's quality just to make a sociological statement.


I have no problem at all believing you, Dan. Whether you and I agree on any given topic or not, I never doubt your sincerity.

As for Sam being a linebacker, he certainly has the right last name to play on the strong side. :) Seriously, I think whether he gets drafted by a team to play that position or not will depend heavily on that team's scheme and on how he looks at the combine and at his pro day. Any team that wants him to play LB and cover is going to want to see evidence of good coverage skills or at least a strong indication that those skills can be developed. Ultimately, unless he plays DE, I think he'll probably be a much better fit for a 3-4 team at LB than he would be a for a 4-3 team.

I do think he'll be drafted and find his way onto an NFL roster.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:11 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
fiestavike wrote:
I honestly find that almost inconceivable. What team do you think has a GM and coach with enough clout to take on that distraction? Patriots maybe. That's the end of my list. If he is drafted I predict it will be by the Patriots, but I really doubt it happens.


I don't think it's inconceivable at all, nor do I see the Pats as the only team who could make a choice like that. Seattle, SF, Denver, Pittsburgh ... heck, I think there are a quite a few teams who could do it and he's talented enough that I think someone will give him a chance. I also don't think he's a lawsuit waiting to happen.


Last edited by Mothman on Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:39 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
Who gives a sh!t if he's gay or not? As long as he can play football.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:40 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
I think if he has the talent to play at a NFL level, someone will draft him. But if he is just another one of these guys that you take a chance on in 6-7th rounds, then I predict most teams will stay away, for the reasons mentioned above. Distraction, law suit, accusations, hazing, ect. No team will want to deal with that over a low draft pick. If he had the skills of 1st, 2nd rounder, I don't think his sexual preference would make a huge deal to most teams, would be worth the potential risk and distractions. But everything I read/hear about (since there are about 10 articles on him already) is that he isn't really regarded as a good NFL prospect. I guess we will see/hear more about how he is doing as the Draft gets closer.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:00 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
This thread isn't worth a needle. You guys have gone entirely too long without a super bowl appearance.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:12 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
NextQuestion wrote:
dead_poet wrote:
NextQuestion wrote:
I just hope the media doesn't overkill his story


Yeah, they wouldn't do that. :( :wink:


Hah, It's already a huge story but my hope is that it cools off around draft day.

Don't worry, some one will test positive and it will be leaked and Sam will be left by the wayside.

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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
At the risk of sounding homophobic ... there is a reason NOT to pick him because he's gay. And it has nothing to do with whether a team accepts his lifestyle. It has to do with whether they want the media scrutiny that will accompany him.

Here's the scenario:

You have two linebacker prospects. They both grade out equally. Neither is a sure-fire star, but a mid-round project. It would be a tough choice no matter their sexual preference.

Player A will be the first openly gay player in NFL history if he's drafted. Player B is straight, or at least presumed so.

Who do you take?

If you take Player A, then you might as well set up the Big Top because the Media Circus is coming. Not only will they hound Player A about it every day, but also every player on the roster and every person in the front office. "What do you think?" "Do you accept an openly gay player?" "Has anyone given him a hard time?" "Have any players asked for a trade?" On and on it will go, ad nauseum, for as long as Player A is on the roster. It'll be Tim Tebow 2.0, only magnified about 100 times.

Take Player B, and nobody bats an eye. Just another fourth-round project.

Like it or not, "Do we want the distraction?" is a legitimate question. It would be naive to think that GMs and player personnel directors won't ask it. And while they'll never say it, I'm pretty sure that at least one team will pass on Sam for that very reason. Not sure I could blame them.

That being said, I salute Michael Sam for coming out now, rather than doing it after being drafted. That would be unfair to the team that drafts him.


That scenario doesn't match up with what I posted. If he's a 3rd round talent that slips into the 4th or 5th round (for whatever reason) we're not talking about two equal 4th round prospects. We're talking about a guy who grades as a 3rd rounder, vs a guy who grades out as a 4th rounder. Taking him in the 4th or 5th round is a value pick and that's why I'd hope they do it, despite the "circus".

Now I will say I personally don't even know where he's projected to go, maybe he is a fourth rounder, I have no idea. I made my post under the assumption that he would be an early / mid 3rd rounder so I apologize for not making that clear. With that said, I agree with everything you said about it, you're exactly right, if player A is a 82 rating and player B is an 82 rating but not publically gay you probably just go ahead and take player B. But that's likely why he WILL slide and become that "value pick" as far as player talent vs draft positioning.


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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
The problem with passing on him because of the media frenzy...if this dude turns out to be an All Pro/HOF type of player (hey, who knows? Randle was UDFA) and teams/Vikings whiffed on him because of the sexuality. All players should be treated equal...if he can make an impact for a team...TAKE him. He's obviously talented to be co-DPOY in the SEC. He'll go somewhere

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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
I'd rather pass on him. We all know how the media is and this would probably be overly blown out of proportion. Plus, with the crap that Priefer is dealing with now, drafting Sam is just going to draw even more attention to that situation. I don't want anything to do with the guy to be honest. I'd already have him scratched off my draft board if I was a GM. I'm sure there are a fair share that already do and Spielman could be one of them.

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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
Is there any proof that a story is really that detrimental to an organization? Everybody's acting like because he'll get some press during training camp that it'll translate into losing games. Hey, remember that stupid story surrounding Te'o? We haven't heard a #### thing about that since, what, September? This will be a story from now until week 1 of the regular season. Honestly, who cares? If he's making tackles like a madman out there and doing his job well, what difference does it make?

I could care less about his sexuality. Can he play ball? Sure, homophobic guys in the locker room will be uncomfortable. Let them be uncomfortable. It's not like they won't perform on the field or be worried about the dude grabbing their butt in the huddle. His 20-year-old teammates at Missouri somehow handled it.

Quote:
Mr. Sam said he began to wonder if he was gay in his early teens, though he had a girlfriend in high school. It was after he arrived at Missouri in 2009 that he realized for certain that he was gay. Teammates increasingly suspected as much, and some knew that he dated a man on the university’s swim team, but it never prevented Mr. Sam from being one of the most popular players on the team. He was known for his intensity on the field and his booming voice off it.

“When I first met him, you could be downstairs and you could hear Mike all the way on the second floor of the dorms,” said receiver L’Damian Washington, who met Mr. Sam on a recruiting trip and quickly became a close friend. “He’s just a loud guy. Everybody knows when Michael Sam is in the building.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/sport ... .html?_r=0

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There's little doubt about that with Sam, who might not be a first-rounder but is considered the ninth-best defensive end in the draft according to CBSSports.com.

For the last few years, I've heard questions persist about whether the turbocharged NFL culture -- which often resorts to anonymous bashing through the media -- could handle a gay player. Mizzou showed it can be done. Perhaps a college football locker room is a different dynamic because players aren't paid, but it's still high-level football. Any Mizzou bigotry could have made the last six months mighty uncomfortable for Sam.

That doesn't seem to be the case here.

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootbal ... -non-story

Zimmer strikes me as the type of guy that won't tolerate intolerance. If Sam isn't performing his responsibility, he'll get an earful of Zimmer. If a teammate is making loud, bigoted, intolerant remarks, he'll probably get an earful of Zimmer too. He seems like an equal-opportunity ass-kicker.

It wouldn't surprise me if we pass on him, given the Priefer/Kluwe deal, but that could be a shame. The guy seems to have legit talent. I wish him well wherever he ends up.

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:54 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
Being that I am from Kansas City, Missouri I have always been a huge Mizzou. I was hoping we would draft him before this whole thing came about. It's not like he is a bad player. He was our best player last season IMO and Kony Early (who played the other DE spot) is a potential top 10 pick. Micheal Sam was looking like a top 25 pick last month and lots of mock drafts had him that way. Then he was asked to play LB and wasn't used to it and succeed. I'm hearing the same stuff about him as I did another former Mizzou DE (Aldon Smith) and I would say he is having a good time minus the off the field stuff. The entire football team has known for years that he was gay. I think he would be a great leader for a huge Vikings team. Players being scared of playing with him is crazy. Just because he is gay doesn't mean he likes every guy, lol, he just wants to play football. I'm straight, does that mean I like every single girl (well I guess I am desperate). He is still a freaking boss and is my screensaver on my phone since the fumble in the cotton bowl. Please draft him vikings!


Miz!

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:32 pm
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Post Re: Michael Sam and the Vikings
The argument to stay away from Michael Sam because of the possibility of litigation if he gets cut is an absurdly weak argument. It hinges on the inaccurate characterization of a minority as avenging victim. Nothing in Michael Sam' s history points to that as a probability. He will rise or fall based upon his football ability. However, the insular nature of the NFL does not lend itself to change.

I find it ludicrous that locker rooms and meeting rooms create some k
ind of shield behind which employees may be treated ruinously by other players, coaches and management (verbal abuse, physical threats, the concussion scandal) as if they exist outside of social and workplace rules.

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:35 pm
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