I GUESS I’ll put this under the NFL category, but what I want to talk about here is more so just how absolutely stupid the media can get (man the theme of today is just me calling people stupid isn’t it?!) Most of the people in the media aren’t stupid at all. A lot smarter than me (that isn’t hard to do), and really smarter than most out there. But they have their moments where they don’t think and simply lose their skulls as a group, usually triggered by one story followed by some colleagues piggy backing on that story which is what happened here.
The last thing I wanted to do was write a piece on this Tony Dungy/Michael Sam BS. I even retweeted someone yesterday who said something to the affect of “if you’re thinking of writing a piece on Tony Dungy, just take a hammer to your computer”. So true. But I can’t help but hammer something and again I state my aim here is at the media.
Keith Olbermann, maybe the most intelligent man doing sports today piled on. Jim Rome, who when it comes to issues of this stature normally takes a more serious and intellectual look at things piled on. Bruce Arthur, probably the writer who’s opinion I value the most in Canada piled on. And several others who are really highly intelligent people piled on Tony Dungy in this story without giving it any real thought. Someone said something a little negative about Michael Sam and the media…bored out of their minds because it is the middle of July, jumped on the story and chose to bash Tony Dungy.
Really?! Tony Dungy? This is probably the best guy in football during his nearly 40 years around the NFL. And he doesn’t even get the benefit of the doubt?!
I can only guess that people in the media (not all, but definitely a lot of them) saw something negative about Michael Sam and they didn’t care who it was, they were looking to get on the bandwagon. Are they scared of being labelled as homophobes? I’m guessing that’s part of it.
But lets break this down.
First, Dungy said he wouldn’t have taken Sam. No team took him until the 7th round, so basically 32 teams agreed with Dungy. He didn’t trash Sam, he said he wouldn’t take him because of the distraction. Right, it will be a distraction! It will be a distraction within the locker room because every team has 2 or 3 morons who will cross the line or do or say something stupid just to get a laugh.
Some have brought up Michael Vick whom Dungy helped get back in the league when he was released from prison in 2009. Well, Vick was a former 1st overall pick and is pretty well regarded as one of the most talented QB’s to ever play the position. Sam on the other hand, before coming out, was projected to be a 4th-5th round pick.
Some bring up how Sam just likely dropped because he is openly gay and not because of his play because he was the SEC defensive player of the year so of course he can play….right? Wrong. How many guys have won the HEISMAN TROPHY and not done jack in the NFL? The Heisman, which is awarded to the best player in college football. 2006 winner Troy Smith is struggling right now to make it in the CFL! Great in college by no means promises success in the pros. Not in football, not in basketball, not in hockey, in no sport!
But my favourite part in all this was those people in the media who are bashing Tony Dungy, still today, and want to point out how Michael Sam just kind of brushed it off. That’s awesome, that is what Sam needs to do, but the media is still talking about it. And if it happened in season, Jeff Fisher would be hounded for a comment on it while preparing for a game on Sunday, and so would Michael Sam’s teammates.
This would be called a DISTRACTION. The media wants to have all the power until it’s negative, then, like in this case, it would never be the media’s fault. No, somehow it’s Tony Dungy’s fault by stating what most of the league thought which was that the distraction doesn’t outweigh the talent.
If the guy who came out was Khalil Mack, or Jadaveon Clowney, or Sammy Watkins, or….Smither’s what’s one of the bad 1st round players names? “Johnny Manziel?” Or Johnny Manziel! Had it been one of these guys who was the first openly gay player, then it’s worth the distraction because they have big time talent. Michael Sam just doesn’t. Sam is honestly likely to find himself up here in a few seasons. He might be a real good special teamer, but he’s a huge long shot to ever be a defensive starter.
Yet somehow this is all Tony Dungy’s fault hey? Shut up. Seriously, any media guy trying to manufacture the opinion that Dungy did something remotely wrong here, SHUT. UP. “But he’s against gay marriage so it has to be hateful!” No, it wasn’t. You can disagree with someone’s life style and not hate them.
I’ve got friends who are very religious, and I swear as bad as anyone which they disagree with. Weird, we’re still friends. “He’s forgetting that he was in the same situation as Sam when Chuck Noll hired him!” Same situation hey? A coach is the same as a player is he? The media attention now is the same as it was in the early 80’s is it? Social media? Internet? Popularity of the league? It was all the same as it is now was it?
Also, Dungy when he first broke in as a coach was considered one of the best minds playing in the league. Mel Blount has said he was the smartest player he ever played with. Hall of famer Mel Blount who played for the 70’s Steelers said that. Dungy’s talent as a coach was worth any distraction it may have caused. His job in Tampa Bay proved that. His Super Bowl ring proved that.
As the title says, the media just proved Tony Dungy’s point for him. This is going to be one that a lot of very intelligent people in the media are going to look back on and say “woah, wish I wouldn’t have said that”. Hell, it just started. You just got verbally laid out by some small time blogger who doesn’t even get paid to do this.
Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups