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The recent situation with Marcus Smart falling into the crowd and subsequently shoving Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr has many questioning what prompted Smart's actions. Smart has gone on record saying that Orr used a racial slur (the rumor is that he told Smart to "go back to Africa"), though Orr denies that and claims he called Smart a "piece of crap". This whole "he said, she said" (or, I guess "he said, he said") situation has me wondering what really went down.
I can't imagine that Smart reacted that way after being called "a piece of crap". I mean, that's a third-grade-recess-level insult, definitely not worthy of risking your NBA draft stock by shoving a guy. A racial slur, now that I understand. But let's pretend for a moment that Orr is telling the truth and that didn't happen. What else could Orr have said to prompt the shove? I think a well placed insult about Marcus Smart's girlfriend likely would have done the trick.
There is really no evidence that Marcus Smart actually has a girlfriend, and I highly doubt that Jeff Orr had any inside information to that end. That said, going for the girlfriend insult is pretty easy go-to in a situation like that. If that's something along the lines of what Jeff Orr said - then that would certainly give evidence to the fact that Marcus Smart's girlfriend may exist. Unfortunately though, I'm guessing that we will never know for sure - it's between Orr and Smart and I doubt they'll say much more than they already have.
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In a celebration worthy announcement, Missouri Defensive End, and SEC defensive player of the year Michael Sam has announced that he is gay. According to Adam Schefter, Sam is projected as a mid round draft pick, and barring an unexpected announcement prior to May's draft, will make history as the first gay player in the history of the National Football League.
Sam came out to teammates and coaches during camp in August of 2013 during a session of telling the team something about himself. While all members associated with the Missouri Tigers squad protecting his status from the public eye, despite Sam never asking this protection of anyone he chose to confide in. On Sunday, Sam conducted interview with the New York Times, and ESPN's Outside the Lines to acknowledge that he is gay, telling both sources, "I am an openly, proud gay man."
While there is an air of tolerance and almost excitement at the announcement, the obvious subsequent question to this news is of course, "Who is Michael Sam's boyfriend?" In an era where public outing is considered taboo and incomprehensible, Sam isn't about to say. He did acknowledge in his interviews that he dated a fellow Mizzou athlete, but noted that the person was not a football player.
Sam's upbringing was filled with personal tragedy and obstacles along his way to 11.5 sacks and 19 TFL in his senior season, explaining to Outside the Lines how this was an easy decision for him:
I endured so much in my past: seeing my older brother killed from a gunshot wound, not knowing that my oldest sister died when she was a baby and I never got the chance to meet her. My second oldest brother went missing in 1998, and me and my little sister were the last ones to see him ... my other two brothers have been in and out of jail since 8th grade, currently both in jail.Telling the world I'm gay is nothing compared to that.
Michael Sam discussed how well received he was by the Tigers locker room, and hopes that translates into the NFL for the new path he blazes. He just came out to his parents within the last week knowing that these stories were on the verge of being released. He joined Twitter immediately following the ESPN piece, and launched his Twitter career by saying, I want to thank everybody for their support and encouragement,especially , and . I am proud to tell my story to the world!
The NFL has already commented on this news, in an official statement saying:
We admire Michael Sam's honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL.
In the signature quote to end his interview with OTL, Sam states:
I'm not afraid to tell the world who I am. I'm Michael Sam: I'm a college graduate. I'm African American, and I'm gay. I'm comfortable in my skin.
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Imagine if Brent Musberger happened to see Blake Bortles' girlfriend Lindsey Duke instead of Katherine Webb.
After a stellar season at UCF, Bortles is very much in contention to be drafted at #1 overall, and already has the arm candy that an NFL quarterback may typically get. Blake Bortles girlfriend Lindsey Duke will look just fine in the green room this spring, waiting for Roger Goodell to call his name. Duke, a model who has graced the cover of aXis Magazine, is a huge and avid supporter of her boyfriends career with frequent tweets of support and nerve racking angst.
Duke has done an amazing job in promoting her brand, and may have the ability to leapfrog Bortles in terms of popularity. In a recent New York Daily News article, Bortles college coach understands it:
When ESPN reporter Gene Wojciechowski told UCF coach George O’Leary that a Google search of his quarterback resulted in about 224,000 hits and a search of the QB’s girlfriend led to over six million, the coach responded by saying, “I would hope as a head coach that the numbers would be reversed, but obviously you haven’t seen his girlfriend. She deserves six million Googles.”
While her Google results aren't much a surprise to O'Leary, they're not much a surprise to anyone who happens to follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Duke is never shy to post pictures, including the frequent bikini shot. With the very distinct possibility of replacing Matt Schaub in Houston, we'll officially have a QB wife battle with Matt Schaub's wife Laurie Schaub.