Hansen Unplugged: 248 players better than Sam?

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by DALE HANSEN

WFAA

Posted on May 12, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Updated Monday, May 12 at 1:43 PM

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Missouri's Michael Sam — the SEC defensive player of the year and the first openly gay player in the NFL — was the 249th pick in the league's 2014 draft.

Now you'll never convince me there were 248 better college players... and better NFL prospects... in that draft. Two-hundred and forty-eight better than the SEC's defensive player of the year? There's just no way.

Now Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says they didn't draft him because he's what they call a "tweener" — too small to play one spot, too slow to play another. And he might very well be.

The NFL landscape is littered with great college players who couldn't make it in the NFL. Michael Sam might very well be another one.

And who would know better when it comes to drafting college players than Jerry Jones?

St. Louis finally took Sam in the seventh round... the 249th player taken in a 256-player draft. And when Sam was seen celebrating with his family and boyfriend, the world apparently shook; we almost collided with the sun.

And yet somehow, we have survived another day.

Former Texas quarterback Case McCoy tweeted after seeing that picture on ESPN: "ESPN, are you serious?" Which, ironically, is what most Texas fans said every time Case McCoy ran on the football field.

Now I don't understand how Texas didn't have a single player drafted (it's the first time that's happened since 1937), and how Jackson Jeffcoat, the Big 12's defensive player of the year, wasn't drafted either. Apparently another "tweener" who will get his chance in Seattle now.

And I do not understand why so many people are so afraid of a gay man in an NFL locker room. I think the other players are going to be okay.

(I've worked with gay men in my station and in my department for more than 40 years now, and not one of those guys has ever hit on me, and I'm starting to get a little ticked off about it. Not now, but in my day I was a good-looking guy... and yet nobody tried.)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says, "We truly truly believe in diversity," and this is an opportunity to demonstrate it.

Two-hundred and forty-eight players taken... then Michael Sam.

I think they just showed us, but Michael Sam has a chance now; that's all he wants... that's all he deserves.

To deny him that would say more about the NFL — and more about us — than it would Michael Sam.

E-mail dhansen@wfaa.com

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