Michael Sam Returns To Montreal Alouettes

Michael Sam has returned to the Montreal Alouettes two weeks after leaving the team for what he said were “personal reasons.” Sam left Montreal June 12, the day before the Alouettes’ first Canadian Football League preseason game, and allegedly boarded a plane headed for Dallas. At the time, speculation was rampant about whether Sam was leaving the team for good or if he would return.

From the Montreal Gazette:

As for Sam, he was in Montreal on Wednesday with injured linebacker Kyries Hebert and has a locker at Olympic Stadium. He’s expected at team meetings this Sunday and at practice the following day.

Earlier this week Alouettes general manager Jim Popp offered The Guardian his perspective on why Sam left the team:

“I think he needed a break,” Popp said. “That’s my personal belief. I think it was just overwhelming to some degree, and he needs to clear his mind, clear his head. Do I think he wants to play? Do I think he wants to be on the field? Do I think he wants to be Michael Sam the football player? I, 100%, believe that. Yes.”

(from Outsports)

Still No Word From Michael Sam On Departure From Montreal Alouettes

“I don’t know why Sam left the team but the bottom line is that if he doesn’t return to the Alouettes soon, his dreams of playing pro football are over forever since no team would ever want to take a chance on him again.

“It would be a sad ending to his story that burned so promising 16 months ago.” – Jim Buzinski writing for Outsports on Michael Sam’s unexpected departure from the Montreal Alouettes

I have believed in Sam from the minute he landed on the national stage.

Still thinking best thoughts that this all works out for his best.

Silence From Michael Sam As Montreal Alouettes Move Him To Suspended List

Still no official word as to why out footballer Michael Sam left training camp a day he was scheduled to make his first appearance with the Montreal Alouettes in an exhibition game on Saturday.

While Sam hasn’t addressed the departure in any way, the Alouettes General Manager Jim Popp has made a few statements to the press.

“There’s nothing to tell you. He wanted to go home, and that’s what he did. I don’t know why. When a guy wants to go home, they go home. He had some personal things to take care of.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns. I’m surprised he left. I was very surprised. If he doesn’t come back, I would think football’s over for him. He’s the one that has to face that. But I don’t think he doesn’t want to play football. That’s why he came here.”

“It’s a huge story because everybody keeps hounding and hounding and hounding. Michael Sam just wants to be a football player,” Popp said. “I would think anybody that’s 25 years old that has been going through it for a year and a half, it would have to affect him. I would think so. That’s one reason he didn’t want to do interviews and just concentrate on football.”

An anonymous source with the team told the Gazette that Sam may have had an negative reaction to a comment made by another player.

“All I know is I heard somebody made a comment about him, about how he wasn’t very good and wasn’t having a very good camp. He took it personally and was pouting in his room,” the source said. “It’s very strange. I have no idea what’s going on. He might have a personal issue.”

Out Footballer Michael Sam Absent From Montreal Alouettes Opening Exhibition Game

Michael Sam, out football player who signed with the Montreal Alouettes in late May, is not with his team today for his team’s exhibition opener against the Ottawa Redblacks.

From ESPN:

“The Montreal Alouettes organization would like to clarify the situation surrounding international defensive end Michael Sam,” the team said in a statement. “Friday morning, Michael asked the team a special permission to leave training camp and return home for personal reasons.

“The Montreal Alouettes fully respect Michael Sam’s decision and rally around him to offer him all time and support needed. The team has left the door open and Michael is welcome to come back whenever he feels ready.”

Named the 2013 SEC defensive player of the year for Missouri, Sam came out before the 2014 NFL draft, and was eventually picked by the St. Louis Rams late in the 7th round.

The Rams released him after the 2014 preseason, and the Dallas Cowboys picked him up for their practice squad. He lasted several weeks but was eventually released.

Sportscaster Rick Moffat tweeted he ran into Sam at the Montreal airport. From Sam’s luggage load, Moffat didn’t think Sam was leaving for good. See below.

Michael Sam Is Heading To The Canadian Football League

The Montreal Alouettes announced Friday that they have signed former Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam to a two year contract. Sam will join the team for rookie camp next week.

“I am very excited and proud to join the Montreal Alouettes and want to thank team Owner Robert Wetenhall, General Manager Jim Popp and Head Coach Tom Higgins for this opportunity,” declared the Alouettes’ newest member.

“I cannot wait to put on the pads, get back on the field and work hard each and every day with my teammates to bring a Grey Cup to the great fans here in Montreal.”

While I continued to hope for prospects here in the US for Sam, I’m glad to hear he’s at least going to be doing what he loves for a living. And hopefully he’ll find his way back to an American team soon.

The average CFL player makes $80,000 a year vs. $1.4 million in the NFL. The minimum CFL salary is $51,000 vs. $400,000 in the NFL.

Tim Tebow Signs One Year Contract With Philadelphia Eagles

Former NFL quarterback gets a second (third?) chance at the big time with the announcement that he has signed a one year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The sports world is pretty much shaking it’s head over this one. Tebow’s career completion rate is 47.9%.

And yet, out footballer Michael Sam is told over and over again HE’S not playing in the NFL because he’s simply not good enough?

In the 2014 NFL preseason Sam was top-five in the NFL in sacks and was second on the St. Louis Rams team in tackles.

I’m not the only one scratching my head.

Missouri’s Markus Golden Will Be Interesting To Watch In 2015 NFL Draft

Erik Siegrist, writing for Rotowire, has an interesting take on Markus Golden, Defensive End for Mizzou, who’s up for the NFL draft this year.

He compares Golden to another player from last year’s draft in terms of stats and play:

Basically, the same stats, right?

Cutting to the chase, I’m sure regular readers (who must be wondering why I’m writing about a DE from Missouri out of nowhere) will guess: Golden is Player A and out footballer Michael Sam is Player B.

Like Sam last year, Golden’s size has most teams viewing him as undersized for a DE, but a possible candidate to move to OLB instead. Like Sam last year, most experts are viewing Golden as a probable mid-round pick, possibly sneaking into the third round but more likely getting selected on Day Three.

Last year, in a deep class for pass rushers, 43 DEs and OLBs came off the board before Sam was selected late in the seventh round.

[snip]

But when on paper two players are so similar, if there’s a wide divergence in their fates in the draft, you have to start looking seriously at other factors to explain the discrepancy.

Through no fault of his own, Markus Golden is in a position to almost single-handedly prove (or disprove) the most common theory as to why Michael Sam is currently not with an NFL team, even on a futures contract.

The NFL continues to hold the line that Sam isn’t on an NFL roster because he wasn’t good enough.

We’ll see if the same stats – without the cache of being Co-Defensive Player of the Year for the SEC as Sam was – will work better for Golden.

And that will definitely tell us something. Won’t it?

Mike Huckabee: President Obama Calling Michael Sam Shows American Culture In “Utter Collapse”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, speaking at the Family Leadership Regional Summit last week in Iowa, said that President Obama calling NFL hopeful Michael Sam last year when he came out a sign that the culture of America is in ‘utter collapse.’

‘The values that so many of us hold dear are values that are under assault today,” he said in a speech. ‘I never believed that in such a short period of time, the culture in America would go into utter collapse.

‘If you told me just a few years ago that one day the President of the United States would use his precious time in the Oval Office to call people up simply to congratulate them for being gay, I would say, “No, surely he’ll call a veteran and thank them for their service, for losing a limb or a leg.” But even when (US Navy SEAL sniper) Chris Kyle was murdered, his widow didn’t get a phone call, but a gay football player who came out did.’

I’m not sure how Huckabee can claim to know everyone that President Obama does or does not call.

In addition to congratulating Michael Sam, Obama publicly congratulated NBA player Jason Collins when he came out and recently singled out gay soccer pro Robbie Rogers when he visited The White House with his team Los Angeles Galaxy.

Huckabee, a failed candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2008, is weighing a second run for the GOP nod in 2016.

Michael Sam Leaves DWTS On High Note

Out footballer Michael Sam became the third contestant eliminated from this season’s Dancing With The Stars last night.

Sam danced an emotional rumba dedicated to his estranged father to the Cyndi Lauper song “Not My Father’s Son” from the hit Broadway musical KINKY BOOTS.

Unfortunately, he only garnered 30 points out of a possible 40.

Gracious in defeat, Sam told Access Hollywood, “I thought my last dance was my best dance. And I would like to leave on my best dance instead of my horrible dance.”

I’m still a fan. I think Sam has tremendous heart, and his sense of commitment shows up in everything he does.

Here’s hoping he takes to the football field again very soon.

Anonymous Bisexual NFL Player “Offended” Michael Sam Said Others Don’t Have Courage To Come Out

TMZ Sports is reporting that they have spoken to a “bisexual NFL player” who’s “offended” because out NFL-er Michael Sam said other gay men in the league are less courageous because they don’t want to come out.

The player — who didn’t want to be identified by name — has played in the league for several seasons and says he’s open about his sexuality with close friends.

But when the player read Sam’s recent comments about gay men in the league — he was offended.

Specifically, the player was upset when Sam said … “I respect the players that did reach out to me and had the courage to tell me that they were also gay, but they do not have the same courage as I do to come out before I even played a down in the NFL.”

The player’s response — “As a bisexual man, I just feel like Michael Sam does not speak for all gay men.”

“He has his own opinion … but DON’T say that we don’t have the courage to come out. It’s totally wrong. Just speak for yourself. No one else.”

I think it goes without saying that if you’re accused of not having the courage to come out, and then you don’t while giving a news outlet an interview, you’ve basically proven Michael Sam right.

The unnamed player added that “the NFL isn’t ready for people to be open about it. Or the General Managers for that matter.”

Mr. Anonymous also threw out a final swipe at Sam, saying that he had his chance, but, “I just don’t think he performed well.”