Woody Allen once said 80 percent of success is showing up. If that’s true, these days, showing up gay is good for what, 110 percent of success? Just ask Michael Sam, one of GQ’s 2014 “Men of the Year.”
Oh, Sam didn’t achieve success in his chosen field. The former Missouri defensive end has been cut from two NFL franchises this season (one a practice squad). And not in his secondary gig; the documentary show he was planning to do for Oprah Winfrey’s network was nixed when the St. Louis Rams, which had drafted Sam, got wind of it.
So we’re left to guess why Sam is worthy of a GQ “Man of the Year” cover. Here’s a theory: he had the marketing savvy to announce he’s gay before the NFL draft. Sound too cynical? How many untested third rate NFL draft picks are offered their own show on the sob-sister network?
Taking the “courageous” step of publicly joining society’s most trendy and celebrated grievance group allowed people to ignore Sam’s lack of size and speed, his sub-par combine performance, and the fact that his SEC Defensive Player of the Year award was based largely on two games against weak opponents.
And it sure did create a buzz, with morning shows and liberal sports journalists falling all over themselves to congratulate the man they just knew would be “the gay Jackie Robinson.” They even awarded the guy his “own truth.” (Funny, but Jackie Robinson didn’t need his own truth. The Truth was good enough for 42.)
We can hope the elevation of Sam to “Man of the Year” will help ease the pain of the sports media at the just-announced retirement of NBA player Jason Collins – the gay Jackie Robinson of 2013. And it will have to tide them over until the next Jackie Robinson shows up. Gay.