Why everyone got the Michael Sam doc wrong
Michael Sam performed well in the preseason while Oprah Winfrey continued to shoot the documentary, despite nonsense from "experts" that the "distraction" of cameras would hinder him.
The much-debated documentary about Michael Sam, produced by The Oprah Winfrey Network, airs Saturday night, Dec. 27, on said network at 9pmET. The film will go behind the scenes of Sam's quest to enter the NFL, featuring his draft day and his struggles and triumphs with the St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys.
Many people attacked the show in the spring. Yet their concerns about the cameras distracting Sam from football proved to be (predictably) totally overblown as we saw what he did in the preseason with said cameras.
The Washington Post is the latest to put out a "we told you so" hit piece on Sam and the show. What's painfully obvious when reading every single one of these columns about the show is that none of these people have actually talked to Sam or anyone on his personal team. None of them have asked about the motivations behind the show or how it all unfolded. Assumptions are made, leaps in logic are taken, the long relationship between the NFL and "reality TV" is forgotten, and everyone gets to pat each other on the back for the collective group think.
While one could certainly quibble with how the show has been rolled out, I'm glad we will get this sneak peek into the life of Michael Sam, an historic figure in sports, at this critical time in his life and career.
I'm also glad they're releasing the show. This was the one "non-football issue" looming over Sam's head. For those weak-minded NFL general managers, owners and head coaches who would use something like a documentary as reason to not invite Sam onto the team, that is now gone before the end of the year. Sam's NFL future is now "reality TV" free - his fate will be decided by these men on whether he can help them on the field and whether they can handle the fact that he's gay.
You can check out a couple previews here: