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Johnny Manziel, Michael Sam, and distractions

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Now that a few days have passed and, hopefully, we might be able to see things in a less impassioned light, let's talk again about former NFL coach and current football commentator Tony Dungy. You know him. He answered a question honestly and with all due consideration to all involved yet was vilified for his answer. Ah, yes, tolerance. The insipid calling card of the left.

As a quick recap, Dungy was asked if he would have drafted Michael Sam, an openly gay football player. Dungy said no; he wouldn't want the distractions which would come with such a selection. He didn't say that Sam didn't merit an opportunity or that Sam couldn't play football. Indeed he stressed that he had no problem with the former Missouri standout as such. He simply said that as a coach he didn't want distractions of any kind if they could be helped.

Think what you want about homosexuality or homosexuals in sports, this isn't an invalid concern. Distractions are actually beyond the ability of either Dungy or Sam to control really. Coach Dungy was reflecting that in his response.

At this point we're going to do a bit of conjecture. We won't deny it. Still, the projection we have in mind should make for interesting discussions.

Jerry Johnson, the somewhat less than uncontroversial owner of the Dallas Cowboys, has said that he was close to drafting Johnny Manziel. Manziel was easily the best player on the board for Dallas when his name came up, Johnson reports. Yet the Cowboys went with Notre Dame guard Zack Martin instead.

We have not yet found any detailed reasoning behind the choice, but we will take what we think a good educated guess. We think the Cowboys passed on Johnny Football because they feared the distraction it would cause. Manziel's own self aggrandizing actions since the Cleveland Browns selected him seem to bear out that he can easily be a distraction. His antics have been so overt that Cleveland management felt compelled to request he tone it down a notch. His response was, essentially, nope, won't do it, I'm just being me.

Perhaps this wasn't Johnson's concern. Only what happens with the Browns will bear that out, as only what happens in St. Louis will bear out Tony Dungy's concerns about distractions. But it will be an interesting exhibition season this August in the NFL either, or both, ways.

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