Typically, NFL players tend to make their presence felt on “Dancing with the Stars” in a big way. As a matter of fact, many of them have won. (Just look at Donald Driver, Emmett Smith, or Hines Ward.) However, we should say here that the ones who have been particularly successful were the ones who spend most of their career with one team, and had that entire following voting often for them. Keyshawn Johnson, for example, played for multiple teams, and he was out extremely early on his season.
With all of this in mind, Michael Sam is somewhat of a toss-up as a far as a potential good contestant goes. He has obviously seen his story play out in the headlines, but he’s never played in a regular-season NFL game. He is going to have to impress with his dancing, since he’s not going to have that support from fans of an individual team.
Name – Michael Sam
Age – 25
Claim to fame – Being the first openly-gay player to be drafted into the NFL. He was drafted in the 7th round by the St. Louis Rams in 2014, but was cut before the start of the regular season. He also was briefly a part of the Dallas Cowboys practice squad. He at one point planned to star in a documentary series on OWN, but that was dropped after the Rams expressed concern over it being a distraction.
Partner – Peta Murgatroyd. She won the competition with Donald, and has competed with other athletes before including Metta World Peace. Sam is probably one of her most high-profile dancing partners she’s had since she first debuted on the series.
Strengths – He won’t have to train to get into good shape, and he will be able to hit the ground running, given that he is not tied too much to an NFL team at the moment. He also will probably have the support of the LGBTQ community behind him; we don’t quite know the strength of that following just yet, but that should help to counteract not having the support of specific team’s fans.
Weaknesses – There is a certain rhythm that comes with being a linebacker, but it’s not dance rhythm. Some football players are able to adapt to the competition well; others aren’t. Also, we hate to say it, but discrimination is still out there, and some viewers with a certain viewpoint may choose not to vote for him no matter how good he is. He’s going to have to combat that from the voting public much in the same way that Chaz Bono and Carson Kressley did.
Prediction – Sam’s a guy who has overcome plenty of obstacles in the past, so we feel pretty confident that he will do pretty well here. Given the past history of football players on this show, he’s probably going to be good enough to make it fairly far in the competition. We don’t see him winning at the moment, but who knows? Maybe he blows us away the first week and our mind changes completely.
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