Well, that didn’t take long. You had to know that at least one TV network, that doesn’t focus on sports would try to grab a slice of the Michael Sam-first-openly-gay-player-in-the-NFL pie. That network Is going to be The Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN.
Over the years, Oprah Winfrey has interviewed or had many guest appearances by sports figures on her syndicated show, and I’m sure there’s been appearances on her network since it launched. This, could be bigger than them all. I don’t blame the network at all.
From a financial standpoint, I also don’t blame Michael Sam. His best move very well could be striking while the iron is hot, so to speak. But, if Sam thinks being viewed as a football player, first and foremost will ever be possible. He has another thing coming.
His reality show will only make matters worse. If, he truly wants to be known as a football player, his work on the field, not in front of a camera, needs to shine. There’s no doubt Sam will make a huge payday from this, but it may harm any chance he has at sticking in the NFL.
I happen to think he’ll stick around a while. But, let’s be real. There is a strong possibility Sam won’t enjoy a long, successful NFL career. He may not even make the Rams squad. He’s too small to play defensive end, and he’s too slow to play outside linebacker in most NFL schemes.
There are also the ramifications that could be felt by the St. Louis Rams. Even though, they didn’t draft Sam until late in the 7th round, you have to wonder if they would have drafted him, knowing that he would be the subject of a reality show. 2014 is a very important season in the maturation of the Rams franchise on the field. They don’t need distractions off the field hampering them. Especially, in what is arguably the best division in football.
Sam, and the Rams have the potential to really turn heads this upcoming football season. Rams’ fans across the country hope the most notable moments are seen Sunday’s on FOX or CBS, not the Oprah Winfrey Network.