Montreal signs Michael Sams

Whole lot of media outlets including “The Scratching Post” and “CFL news” tweating that Michael Sams is now a Montreal Alouette.

Yep, the story's up on TSN and there's a statement from Jim Popp. Welcome to the CFL, Michael!

That's terrific. Good luck to him and very smart move. And good work Popp.

I genially like Jim Popp's style , not afraid to make a potentially controversial move , first he signs Chad Johnston last year to spice things up and sell a few tickets , then he takes a CDN QB in the draft and now signs a openly gay athlete just before training camp opens .
All good and classy moves in my mind.

The thing with Jim is that he goes after value no matter what the optics are. He wants to make the team better, so why let the homophobes of the world stop him from signing Michael Sam, who could potentially improve us at rush end?

the story is also on the homepage of USA Today..

[url=http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2015/05/22/michael-sam-cfl-montreal-alouettes/27732301/]http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nf ... /27732301/[/url]

great publicity for the CFL and the Als. :thup:
Hopefully this young man has the chops to make an impact on the team and it's ticket/merchandise sales.

There hasn't been one negative comment on this topic yet, but that hasn't stopped certain posters from making this an issue of gays right vs homophobes. :roll:

How 'bout keeping this about the skills of Michael Sam and what he will contribute to the Als on the field instead of reducing him to 'just' a homosexual?

Is it possible for people to mention him without bringing up his sequel orientation, which has nothing to do with him as a football player?

When we talk about any other player, we don't need to mention it they're straight or gay, because it's not relevant.

Wha? I wasn't reducing him at all. I was pointing out that Jim Popp evidently doesn't give a crap about a player's sexual orientation; if you can play, you'll have a fair chance to compete for a job. But homophobia is exactly why gay rights needs to be discussed. If everyone were open-minded, the point would be moot. But I've already seen people deriding Sam in the Comments section of articles on this signing.

There you go again, repeating what's different about him rather than commenting on what is the same; a highly skilled football player about to test his skills in the pros.

Uh, you're an idiot. Commenting on the challenges he's had to face as a result of homophobia does not mean I'm not attentive to his skills as an athlete. That's about all I have to say on the subject.

I see you have nothing of substance to contribute so as one of your low level of intelligence often does, you resort to name calling.
There is a very long thread about the obstacles he's had to overcome to get to the pros. If you want to discuss it further, I suggest you scrounge through the off-topic section and find it and place your thoughts there.

I for one, am not familiar with Michael Sam as a football player and look forward to seeing him in action. If he lives up to the hype he garnered in college, I'm sure CFL fans will appreciate his football skills and the Als will be even more of a challenge this season.

I'm finding that many headlines and articles do that already. Pleasantly surprised. :thup:

There is lots of coverage of this on all kinds of American media which is great publicity for the CFL - because let's face it for obvious reasons this is a much bigger story than just another football player signing. There are stories on every mainstream sports website already in the USA and even links to the story on the home page for news sites like CNN.

So that publicity is a good thing for the CFL. Here is a link on the story from a unique perspective from a sports website I bet many of you don't go to on a regular basis. This is a very significant signing for many in the gay community.

[url=http://www.outsports.com/2015/5/22/8622639/michael-sam-cfl-montreal-alouettes]http://www.outsports.com/2015/5/22/8622 ... -alouettes[/url]
Michael Sam has signed a contract to play for the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League this season. Barring injury, Sam will take his first regular-season professional football snaps when the Alouettes play host to the Ottawa Redblacks on June 25. It is the opening kick-off game for the 2015 CFL season and will be broadcast nationally in Canada.

That game may get more attention in the United States than any CFL game outside of the Grey Cup.

Sam was the first NFL prospect to ever come out publicly as gay, and he was the first publicly out gay man to play an NFL preseason game. An NFL active roster spot, however, has so far eluded him.

"With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today," said Alouettes' general manager, Jim Popp. "Not only have we added an outstanding football player, we have added even a better person that brings dignity, character, and heart to our team."

He will wear No. 94 for the Alouettes.

Every expectation is that Sam will play extensively for the Alouettes this season and has the potential to move into a starting position quickly for the team.

While many hoped Sam would take his first regular-season professional football snap in the NFL, no team has been willing to sign him other than the St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys. Both teams cut him last season. Instead, he will follow in the footsteps of another trailblazer - Warren Moon - who spent five years in the CFL before any NFL teams would take a "chance" on a black quarterback. Moon is now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"I am very excited and proud to join the Montreal Alouettes and want to thank team Owner Robert Wetenhall, General Manager Jim Popp and Head Coach Tom Higgins for this opportunity," Sam said via the Alouettes. "I cannot wait to put on the pads, get back on the field and work hard each and every day with my teammates to bring a Grey Cup to the great fans here in Montreal.

Sam brings a pedigree rivaled by few CFL recruits. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC, which some say equals the CFL in football talent.

And which my work place finds a need to block. :? so thanks for copying the article. :thup:

Thanks Travel for that article. For me, he's a name, I don't follow college football in the US that much but his name, obviously, has been out there in the media. I'm interested in how a star college player from the US, and the CFL has many, will fare in the CFL and the perspective of Canadians playing agains't him and any US college players. All are all-stars or close to it that play in the CFL.

Another article on Sam from the same Outsports website.

[url=http://www.outsports.com/2015/5/22/8627219/michael-sam-gay-cfl-montreal-alouettes-cameron-wake]http://www.outsports.com/2015/5/22/8627 ... meron-wake[/url]
Now that Michael Sam has signed to play with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League there are three names he needs to keep in mind -- Cameron Wake, Jerrell Freeman and Henoc Muamba. All three of these defensive players got their start in the CFL and are now playing for the NFL.

The CFL offers Sam, a pass rushing defensive end, the chance to shine since it has some key differences with the NFL:

The field is 65 yards wide vs. 53.5 in the NFL. Sam does not have great overall speed, but he does have good pass rusher speed and the wider field takes advantage of that. "He is what everybody would like to have coming off that edge," Montreal Alouettes General Manager Jim Popp told the Toronto Sun.
The CFL uses three downs to gain 10 yards, not four downs. This means a more wide-open game with more passing and rushing the passer is what Sam does best. His relative lack of bulk is less of a hindrance than in the NFL, where power running is more of a factor.
Each side in the CFL (offense and defense) plays with 12 players, not 11. This obviously gives the defense one more spot in which to insert Sam.
The best model for Sam is Cameron Wake, a star with the Miami Dolphins and similar in size to Sam (6-3, 258 for Wake and 6-1, 260 for Sam) . Drafted out of Penn State in 2005, Wake was cut by the Giants and out of football until 2007 when he joined the British Columbia Lions of the CFL. He blossomed there and led the league in sacks in both 2007 and 2008. His production caught the attention of NFL teams and Wake signed with the Dolphins in 2009, where he has become an All-Pro and defensive mainstay.

Wake has never forgotten his CFL roots and misses the camaraderie he experienced there. What he doesn't miss are the much smaller salaries and inferior training conditions. The average CFL player makes $80,000 a year vs. $1.4 million in the NFL. The minimum CFL salary is $51,000 vs. $400,000 in the NFL. It was not revealed what Sam will be earning in Montreal but it will be nowhere near what he would make on an NFL roster.

The CFL may lack in money but it does give Sam the chance to show what he can do on a football field. More and more NFL players have gone the CFL route and if Sam sparkles he will be noticed. If he puts up numbers anywhere near what Wake did with the B.C. Lions, he will get another shot at an NFL job.

wow that was quick.
Michael Sam home jerseys are already listed for sale in the Als online store..

[url=http://zonerouge.montrealalouettes.com/6-1301-product-michael-sam-home.html]http://zonerouge.montrealalouettes.com/ ... -home.html[/url]

http://zonerouge.montrealalouettes.com/DATA/PHOTOITEM/detail/681_detail.jpg

http://zonerouge.montrealalouettes.com/Data/PHOTOITEM/detail/680_detail.jpg

So you know nothing about him as a player, but think fans will appreciate his skills? How can you know whether he is skilled or not if you know nothing about him as a player?

Also, you want us to all strictly talk about what he can do on the field, but you admit to not knowing about him as a football player. So what, exactly, would you contribute to a discussion about his skills?

Want to know about what he can do? He was the DPOY in the SEC in his senior season. He has been dogged by poor combine numbers and his speed, at least in shorts, is not up to par. Now, plenty of people performed poorly in testing to become elite players. For example, everyone said Jerry Rice was slow and he ended up becoming the greatest wide receiver in pro football history. So perhaps Sam is slow in shorts, but on-field speed is something different. That said, if his speed is not up to snuff, he won't be long for the league. As a rush end, you need speed. His size is perfect, and he has a motor (ie. he doesn't quit on many plays), but he will need to show that the questions about his speed are unfounded.

And as much as you don't want his sexual orientation to be a part of the story, it is inevitable. This is no different than Jackie Robinson in 1947. Barriers get broken, and as it becomes more and more common place, then it stops being part of the story. But he's the first through the door, just like Jackie Robinson. So don't act all smug and arrogant because you think it shouldn't be a part of the narrative. It is and you know full well that it would be. So don't act surprised or disgusted. You just end up looking foolish.

I know that he was skilled enough as a college player to win defensive player of the year and was an all-star who was considered too small for the NFL and gas just signed with the Als.

That is all that is really important.

I'll know more about his football ability when I see him play a few games in the CFL. Then I can judge for myself.

If the announcers calling games need to reference his sexual orientation as much as some posters around here, it will be as annoying as Rod Black constantly and unnecessarily name dropping player's dads.
Get over it.

Indeed. Black quarterbacks in the NFL are no longer a big deal, but Doug Williams will always have a race-based label attached to his name because he was the first to reach a specific achievement.

And in 20-years Sam will still be the "first openly-gay...". We just hope that at some point it ceases to be noteworthy, but it already seems to be fading as far as he's concerned.