Unrealistic Expectations

I was watching Michael Sam in the combine.

Great job on the podium doing something that can’t be easy. However, BSP feels he might be the victim of unrealistic expectations to some degree. These expectations are likely created by — who else — the media.

When we hear someone is “first”, the media expects them to be above and beyond. Michael Sam is getting beyond sports media attention, making it seem like he’s a big time talented player. Even Sam would tell you he’s not the best player in the draft. Michael Sam was the co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year (along with C.J. Mosley); of course that’s going to generate attention. But for people like BSP, we know Sam wasn’t even the best defensive end in his conference; that honor goes to Jadevon Clowney, who will be picked in the top five.Clowney was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. Sam wasn’t even the best end on his team; that’s Kony Ealy who will be a 1st day pick.

Whichever team gets Sam will get a core special teamer; he’ll be a situational pass rusher. While we put only a little stock in the combine, Sam has a slow 40 time for a linebacker and he’s not super agile or strong. He’s a definite NFLer but he’s not going to be ROY or a Pro Bowler. That’s okay. Do you know how many players don’t even get a shot at an NFL roster?

We’ve seen the media, though. I’m not sure if a team will have writers, sports talk media and national media complaining that Sam didn’t get enough opportunity.  Yeah, not the team’s fault, not Sam’s fault but the fault of those who create unrealistic expectations of a mid to late round pick.

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About bittersportspills

I love sports. I don't love the hype, homerism, ratings talk, self-important egomaniacs, bias or any of the other nonsense you get with the national media. Nor will you get the two clowns on sports talk radio who stage phony arguments. It doesn't make it entertaining. It makes it time to turn on your iPod and jam instead of listening to white noise generators. This is the sports blog for you, the ones who don't like everything Los Angeles or New York. Just because the sporting media is based there doesn't mean we have to like their teams. We do treat them fairly, though. That means if one of those cities has an average QB who plays particularly well...we'll note it. If they're garbage, we'll say so. Instead of crying "why, why, why" like a certain sports media homer did in his radio broadcast. This isn't my job...I have a real one. Nevertheless, I'll post here when I make an observation. Common sense in sports is nearly dead. Now we're attempting to bring it back.
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4 Responses to Unrealistic Expectations

  1. thewayniac says:

    I do agree with you that the media is over-hyping this poor guy, who by the way I loved his response: “I just want to be seen as a football player, not a gay football player”. However, I don’t feel they are setting unrealistic expectations. The highest he was projected before he came out was late third round, and now it seems he is anywhere between a 4th and 5th.
    I think you are right that he will be more of a specialist player, which merits where people are projecting he will be taken. And I like how you pointed out that, although co-DPOY in the SEC, he wasn’t even the best on his team or at his position in the league. In the end, I don’t think it is the media hyping up expectations he can’t meet, I think it’s the media that won’t leave him alone all year that will be the hardest.
    Nice piece, definitely made me think.

    • He’s a good player. But he’s not the kind who you trade up in the draft to get. As for media overhype, an NFL Network combine commercial had four top-10 prospects … and Sam.
      And what if he lasts until the sixth round? Seventh? Will the media start dumping on the NFL as apparently gay-bashing? I do think that will come from people who don’t understand the sport.
      Branch Rickey brought in Jackie Robinson because he could play at a very high level and deal with the nonsense. Robinson won multiple individual league awards. Sam isnt that kind of talent, but due to overhype, the casual (i.e. not us) fan might think he is.
      What if he busts? Rolando McClain was an SEC Defensive Player of the Year. It happens. I just don’t want non-NFL fans to think those of us who love football couldn’t adjust to an openly gay man playing in the league.

  2. Pingback: Sam’s Been Drafted … Now What? | bittersportspills

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