Photo: Getty Images
By: Ian Furness
We already had our "dare to dream in 2014" show last week, but along those lines, I still dream about the day when someone's sexual orientation isn't a story. Of course, on this side of the state of Washington, it has become less and less of an issue each day, but an NFL locker room is different.
Like it or not, the reality is a professional sports locker room is it is still a haven for politically incorrect and sometimes offensive behavior compared to a “normal” workplace. It is understood that unless there is an interview agreed upon, what is seen and heard is often off the record, which is probably a good thing.
But each locker room in every team sport is different. The different dynamics that are in play come from the leaders in that room. In hockey, your captain and assistant captains set the tone for the entire room. In football, the room is split in half, defense and offense. The leaders of those groups also oversee how things take place. Like any workplace, there are cliques and class clowns, big personalities and the guy that just keeps to himself.
When it comes to Michael Sam and his future of the NFL, the room will be a big key. I can’t speak specifically as to how he would or would not be accepted in Seattle. I would hope, and I believe that with guys like Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman leading the way, if he could play, he would be accepted immediately.
But from a football standpoint, doesn’t he scream Seattle Seahawk? The general consensus is he is an undersized defensive end, too slow and a little too big to play OLB in a standard NFL defense. Sure he had a great college career. He was a defensive player of the year in the SEC. That in itself is a pretty good resume piece. But the fact he doesn’t fit in the NFL box of what a player should look like yet he had great success at the highest level in college is what the Seahawks are all about. He is projected to be a mid to late round pick, too big or slow for his position to be an NFL player. Sounds a lot like a certain All-Pro safety for the Seahawks doesn’t it?
And about the other thing, as Herm Edwards calls it, “baggage”…. I can just hear Pete Carroll asked about it and saying, “yeah, that is pretty cool.” And really, the fact Michael Sam came out before the combine and before his last college football season is indeed just that. Pretty cool.