Fame has a way of making people crazy. I don’t know how that feels, but the fact that I’ve gotten hand-written letters from prisoners claiming to be about that Hot Mess Life gives me an idea of what it’s like to be in the spotlight.
Now let’s the shine the light on the man of the NFL hour, Michael Sam. Topics like these are geared towards those who stay away from rocks, but if you live under one, let me give you a synopsis of Mr. Sam. He was the first openly gay NFL prospect prior to being drafted into the NFL. He was “successfully” drafted in the 745th round of the draft last week (football heads will get the humor), and was selected by the St. Louis Rams. Mr. Sam is definitely breaking ground with his entrance into the league, and will be definitely be making way for other players to potentially come out and be accepted, as well as test the tolerance for the league and its fans on how they will treat openly gay players.
Sam has always said he just wants a chance to prove himself in the league, and be known as a football player, and not a GAY football player. I get it, I really do. I believed him for a while, until the light of the media and stardom started to burn upon him. And lo and behold, the entity that Oprah, descended upon Michael’s entourage and a seemingly great idea was born. And you know when the wonderful Wizard of O is in the mix, all hell has the possibility of breaking loose.
Allow me to explain: Michael Sam was clearly already getting a lot of attention prior to the draft. A gay African-American man? One who might play in the NFL? That was a trifecta of political correctness hot button topics! Having already received an endorsement deal with the credit card conglomerate that is VISA before he was drafted, Mr. Sam was soon after in talks with Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network for a reality show. The pitch for the show was centered around Sam’s quest to make the St. Louis Ram’s final football roster this summer. For a person that is only about the football apparently, he sure was ready to make some bank and gain even more notoriety for a show that was centered on him ( oh, and football). Talks to squash the reality show only happened allegedly AFTER Mr. Sam and his camp sat down with the Rams organization and the team decided that it was not a good idea to go ahead with the show, a fire that was also a fueled by media and some of the Rams fan base. Seeing it as too much of a distraction, talks of the show were taken off the table.
Let me tell you why I think this whole situation is a hot ass mess. Mr. Sam, don’t talk about it, be about it, sir. I am all for you being a pioneer in the gay community, as the NFL has to be one of the toughest places to come out and be accepted as a male, gay athlete. You being drafted into the NFL definitely blazes trail, and I am sure you wish your sexuality was not even an issue when it comes to your employment. If you want it to really be about football, MAKING THE TEAM SHOULD BE THE ONLY THING ON YOUR MIND.
Having a reality show is the worst thing you could do, as it will only open you up to more unnecessary scrutiny. Seriously Mr. Sam, how many other people do you know that decided to have a reality show that would ultimately improve their place in society? Nick and Jessica broke up. Let’s not discuss Whitney and Bobby, and even Anna Nicole Smith. And what about all the contestants on the Swan? I am digressing a bit here, but unless you’re a Kardashian ( WHY ARE THEY FAMOUS AND I’M NOT?), reality shows don’t help anyone in life.
The moment you decide to expose yourself and document your journey of making it in the NFL, you take the attention away from the one thing you want it all to be about: FOOTBALL. Homie, you’ll be lucky to even make the team, so why in the world would you consider doing a reality show? I saw your combine performance. You have an uphill battle to climb, and you don’t need more ankle weights making it a harder trek.
If you really want to be a pioneer and a trailblazer in the gay community and help in taking society to a place where none of this crap even matters, make it all about football and nothing else. Television cameras aren’t needed buddy, improvement on your 40 time and the ability to work in a 4-3 defense is what you need. So as enticing as Oprah may be, don’t fall into the trap that his her glamour. If you fall victim to the Oprah mystique ( “YOU GET A SHOW! YOU GET A SHOW! YOU GET A SHOW!”), you’ll be just like Lindsey Lohan: EVEN WORSE.
For a sneak peek into my world, check me out at Hot Mess Life