If being cut by the Dallas Cowboys practice squad this week wasn't bad enough, now Michael Sam and his three preseason sacks have disappeared from the NFL's official website. (Update: NFL response below).
In doing research for my column on Sam being cut, I was trying to remember whether he had three sacks or 2.5 in the preseason with the St. Louis Rams. I looked at the go-to site for such things, the gold standard, the Bible -- NFL.com. And I looked. And I looked. And I have looked for the past two days. Here is what I have seen:
Where the hell was Sam? Was I dreaming or did he not sack Johnny Manziel in the preseason and have two others? I kind of remember it being a big deal at the time all of two months ago. Nope, I wasn't dreaming:
In fact, Sam had three sacks, which was more than all but three other players in the preseason. The Rams' official website was more on top of things:
I suspect it's simply some harmless computer glitch. I have reached out to NFL.com and have yet to get back an explanation. I doubt (assume?) that someone wasn't trying to be funny and erase statistical evidence of the first openly gay player in league history.
This reminds me of the old days of the Soviet Union when a member of the ruling clique would suddenly disappear from official photos. You knew then the guy was on his way to Siberia. Sam isn't in Siberia but he's in the digital equivalent and it's time for the NFL's official website to rehabilitate him. Un-disappear Michael Sam and his sacks!
Update: An NFL spokesman told Outsports that Sam's missing stats are the result of a the way the stats are tabulated on the site:
"The category stats only queries stats from the current (last) team. Other players that may have been cut are shown because of stats they accrued from their last team. When the Rams cut him, if he hadn't been signed [by another team], then the stats would be there. It's a flaw that we're addressing."
(Note: You can check here to see if Sam has been added back to the preseason sack list.)