Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Twinkling of Toes

Were I enough of a celebrity, I'd totally join the cast of Dancing with the Stars, shave my chest, apply spray tan and do the nastiest tango ever with Cheryl Burke.  And she would like it, the way a woman likes it when a man can give her a really good tango.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

I'm less sure that Michael Sam doing it is such a good idea, however.  Mr. Sam, if you're totally out of the loop, is the former SEC defensive player of the year who couldn't quite stick with the NFL.  Some attribute this to institutional homophobia -- Sam having publicly "come out" prior to the draft and then (quelle horreur!) kissed his lover on national TV when they called his name.  But really it's because he's a tweener:  Too big for linebacker; too small for the defensive line.  And you can't blame that on being gay.  It just is what it is.

That said, I'm sure he's going to try again next year to make a team.  And so, in the meantime, I'm not sure Dancing with the Stars is the best career move.  Sure it's fun.  And Emmitt Smith won the thing.  But not all of us are Emmitt Smith, I can promise you.

Were I Sam, I'd have joined one of those cage boxing organizations instead.  The ones with initials like WWE or something.  Establish my bona fides in the Department of Perceived Toughness.  It almost goes without saying that the NFL is rife with homophobia, and it's going to be hard enough to crack into the league wearing Capezios.

I will say this about Michael Sam:  First, I admire him greatly.  Second, I have to believe he's good enough to play somewhere in the NFL.  I refuse to believe he's not as good as or better than the sea of rank and file second-string linebackers who populate the league's special teams.  So next season will be interesting to see if he can actually prove that correct.  I just would have preferred that he attempted it in a relative vacuum.

On further thought ...

Maybe this is all just part of the larger plan.  No excuses, no apologies, no explanations.  This is who I am, and I am now going to try and sack your quarterback.  See if you can keep me from doing so.

Which makes it seem all the more admirable.  Me?  I'm a pragmatist.

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