She went viral in shoulder pads and a helmet, running over, around and through the boys, and now Sam Gordon is looking forward to a bigger challenge… and fifth grade.
Photo credit: Ashley Morfin
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Michael Sam was the loud country boy who wore a tank top and a cowboy hat. He was the smooth-singing baritone who could irritate his coaches and crack up his teammates with his improvised songs. He was one of the best players to come out of tiny Hitchcock, Tex., where his family was well known for all the wrong reasons.
He was an all-American and defensive terror on the football field. He was a regular at the gay club, where the bartenders knew him by name. Sam introduced himself to the world Sunday night as a National Football League prospect who happens to be gay.
Now he is poised to become a trailblazer in a violent and macho world that will scrutinize his every action and turn his private life into a very public debate.
But Sam has never had it easy. He grew up about 40 miles southeast of Houston near Galveston Bay in Texas, the seventh of eight children. Three of his siblings have died and two brothers are in prison. He lived briefly in the back seat of his mother’s car, and his relationship with his family remains complicated: When he visits home, he usually stays with friends.
(via I love-hate football!)
Playing in high school was the worst decision of my life. But as an adult, I can’t get enough of America’s sport.
He saw it in me before anyone else—the ability to be a shutdown corner—when I was still in high school. But even though I didn’t wind up playing for Pete Carroll at USC, I’m sure glad I am now. If you’re looking for reasons the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl, start with him. And it’s not just his game plans, either.
If Terrance Knighton had his way, the behemoth better known as Pot Roast would be running slant routes for Tom Brady instead of trying to sack him. If you ever see Virgil Green at a restaurant, tell the waitress it’s his birthday: You will be in for a treat.
And if you only associate Golden Tate with the $7,875 fine he received earlier this season for taunting the Rams on a breakaway touchdown, well, there’s more to the wideout than one unfortunate highlight. “He’s one of the most compassionate people I know,” says one man who knows Tate like few others do. In the oversaturated media frenzy that is Super Bowl week, the fact that players are people from diverse backgrounds often gets overlooked.
To learn more about the Broncos and Seahawks beyond the manufactured storylines, The MMQB called the players’ high school or college coaches and asked them to share one thing that fans might not know about their former pupils. The answers will surprise and, in some instances, amuse you.
Today’s podcast traces the history of football broadcasts, just in time for the big game.
Andrew Sullivan points us to a Brazilian soccer team’s “ingenious" way to promote blood donations.
Nicknamed the ‘Red and Blacks’, there’s no prizes for guessing what colours Vitoria usually play in. However, ahead of the new season, the club have ‘drained’ the red hoops from their home strip in a bid to raise awareness and get their fans to donate blood for transfusions and the like. The red hoops on the home shirt will then be replaced one-by-one as the level of blood donated rises, until the shirt is eventually restored to it’s former glory when the target is met.
Buzz Bissinger writes on Junior Seau’s death, the media scrum outside his house, and that regardless of how little we know for what led to his suicide by gunshot to the chest, the man was a ferocious warrior in a vicious game.
Tebowing = over. All the cool kids are Bradying.
As you prepare for the big game, take a look out our super scientific breakdown of Brady and Manning, off the field.