final minute after Toronto had missed three

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final minute after Toronto had missed three

Postprzez shenyuqing113 » 17 kwi 2018, 02:58

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Michael Sam waited and waited. Hours passed, rounds came and went, and eventually, there were only eight more picks left on the third and final day of the NFL draft. For just a moment, it looked as if his chance of being picked by a pro team and becoming the leagues first openly gay player might take a detour. Or at least be delayed. The call finally came Saturday from the St. Louis Rams, the team right down the road from where Sam played his college ball at the University of Missouri. Sam was selected in the seventh and final round and admitted it was a frustrating wait. He said teams that passed on him chickened out and he should have been drafted sooner. "From last season alone, I shouldve been in the first three rounds. SEC Defensive Player of the Year, All-American," Sam said. He stopped short of directly saying his stock dropped in the draft because he came out. "You know what, who knows? Who knows? Only the people who sit in the war room know," he said. "They saw Michael Sam, day after day they scratched it off the board. That was their loss. But St. Louis kept me on that board. And you know what I feel like Im a (Jadeveon) Clowney, a first draft pick. Im proud of where I am now." Sam came out as gay in media interviews earlier this year. His team and coaches knew his secret and kept it for his final college season. He went on to have the best year of his career: He was the co-defensive player of the year in the NCAAs best football conference and had 11.5 sacks. The pick came after several rounds of suspense. The first round of the day, No. 4 overall, came and went, no Sam. Then the fifth and sixth, and finally, the day was down to just a handful of picks. When Mike Kensil, the NFLs vice-president of game operations, walked to the podium at Radio City Music Hall in the drafts final minutes to announce the Rams second-to-last pick, the crowd got a sense something was up. Very few of the last day picks were announced at the podium. Twitter lit up with suggestions the Rams were about to make news. When Kensil said: "The St. Louis Rams select ... Michael Sam..." the fans gave a hearty cheer, chanting "Yes! Yes! Yes!" and "Michael Sam!" Sam was in San Diego watching with friends and family at the home of his agent, Joe Barkett of Empire Athletes. ESPN and the NFL Network had cameras there and showed Sams reaction. Sam was on the phone bending over, with his boyfriend hugging him and rubbing his left bicep. When Sam got off the phone, the tears started. He gave his boyfriend a big kiss and a long hug as he cried and his eyes reddened. After, they shared cake — and another kiss. "Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis. Im using every once of this to achieve greatness!!" Sam tweeted with a frenzied typo moments after he was picked, with a picture of himself wearing a Rams cap and a pink polo shirt. The six-foot-two, 255-pound Sam was considered a mid-to-late round pick, far from a sure thing to be drafted. He played defensive end in college, but hes short for that position in the NFL and slower than most outside linebackers, the position hell need to transition to at the professional level. He was taken with the 249th overall pick out of 256. Players from Marist, Maine and Canadas McGill University — Redmen tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif went in the sixth round, 200th overall to Kansas City — were taken ahead of Sam. "In the world of diversity we live in now, Im honoured to be a part of this," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said during an interview on ESPN. The NFL had no comment on Sam being drafted. The impact of Sams selection goes far beyond football. At a time when gay marriage is gaining acceptance among Americans, Sams entry into the NFL is a huge step toward the integration of gay men into professional team sports. Pro sports have in many ways lagged behind the rest of society in acceptance. "Michael Sam wouldnt have been drafted five years ago," said former Viking punter Chris Kluwe, who has accused Minnesota of cutting him in part because of his vocal support for gay rights. In the last year, NBA veteran Jason Collins has come out publicly as gay, and is now playing for the Brooklyn Nets. Collins said before the Nets playoff game against the Heat that he was watching the draft and texted Sam after he was picked. "Its a great day for Michael and his family and for the NFL," Collins said. Publicly, most people in and related to the NFL have been supportive of Sam. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said Sam would be welcome in the league and judged solely on his ability to play. A few wondered whether teams would be reluctant to draft Sam because of all the media attention that would come with it. Fair or not, the NFL — coming off a season in which a bullying scandal involving players on the Miami Dolphins was one of the biggest stories in sports — was looking at a possible public relations hit if Sam was not drafted. He would likely have been signed as a free agent and given a chance to make a team in training camp, but to many it would have looked as if he was being rejected. Now that hes there, it could be seen as an opportunity for the NFL to show that crass locker room culture is not as prevalent as it might have looked to those who followed the embarrassing Dolphins scandal. But all the reaction to Sams news wasnt positive from the league. Miami safety Don Jones posted a one-word tweet, "Horrible" shortly after Sam was drafted. It was later taken down. The teams general manager said he was aware, and was disappointed. Wade Davis, a gay former NFL player who is now the executive director of the gay rights advocacy group "You Can Play," said Sam only needs to do his job to have an impact beyond the field. "Michael Sam doesnt have to be a vocal advocate (for gay rights)," Davis said. "His visibility is his advocacy." Alexander Volkov Jersey . The 10-year deal the league and players agreed to that ended the 2011 lockout gave either side the right to opt out after six years. With the league projecting financial growth, there has been speculation that players will take that option in three years, especially since a new national TV contract will be in place by then. Tyler Johnson Jersey . He managed to save par, and went on to put together his best opening round of the year. Calcavecchia and Wes Short Jr. http://www.lightninghockeystore.us/Cart ... ersey/.com) - Novak Djokovic captured a mens Open Era-record fifth Australian Open title on Sunday by defeating rival Andy Murray in the final in Melbourne. Custom Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys . -- Canadian ski cross star Marielle Thompson accomplished two goals in one race Saturday. Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys . Tortorella told The Vancouver Province hell be cheering for Team Sweden to win gold when they take on the defending Olympic champions on Sunday morning. "I hope Sweden wins, cause I dont think Hammer (Dan Hamhuis) is going to play, judging by whats happened. CHICAGO -- With eight wins in their last 11 games, the Toronto Raptors head into 2014 pointed in the right direction. They believe it can be the start of something big. Jonas Valanciunas scored 15 points and the Toronto Raptors mounted a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Chicago Bulls 85-79 on Tuesday night. He made two big free throws to seal the game in the final minute after Toronto had missed three of four from the line down the stretch. Greivis Vasquez hit a 3-pointer two minutes into the fourth to give Toronto (14-15) its first lead of the second half, and the Raptors didnt look back. Vasquez scored seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter, and also had two assists and a blocked shot in the final quarter as Toronto overcame the tenacious Bulls defence. "Greivis came in and changed the game," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "It was a game of toughness and physicality that you have to have when you play if you are going to be in the playoffs. "That is how we will have to play to get there." Luol Deng led Chicago (12-18) with 16 points in his return to the court after missing five games due to a sore left Achilles tendon. Joakim Noah had a game-high 16 rebounds for the Bulls. Toronto shot 37 per cent through the first three quarters, but turned it up in the fourth making 10 of its 17 shots. Meanwhile, the Bulls went 4-for-24 from the field in the fourth quarter, falling to 1-6 at the United Center after starting the season 6-1. "The fourth quarter has got to be your best quarter," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "You have to have more intensity, your decision have to be quicker. We have to finish strong, we cant just flip the ball up there." Coming off of season-highs with 32 points and 11 assists Saturday against the Knicks, Kyle Lowry had a modest 12 and six against Chicago. The 27-year-old averaged 22.4 points over his last five games coming in, including 14-for-30 from 3-point range despite dealing with trade rumours. Lowry took an early breather after being whistled for a pair of fouls within the first five minutes. He didnt score until seven minutes into tthe second quarter when he knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing.dddddddddddd He connected again from deep on the following possession. "We know we have a chance to do some things and we can take care of business when times get tough," Lowry said. "Pulling out these games is just showing that team camaraderie, the spirit that we have and were all happy for each other. Following his season-high 26-point performance Monday at Memphis, Jimmy Butler poured in 15 for Chicago (12-18). He completed a three-point play to pull the Bulls back within five with two minutes left, but they couldnt complete the comeback. Carlos Boozer missed his first seven shots and didnt find the scoring column until midway through the third quarter. Boozer, Noah and Kirk Hinrich combined to go 4-for-27 from the field. "We had the lead, and we didnt play as tough as we needed to with the lead," Thibodeau said. "We have to take a hard look at that." Deng was limited, playing 33 minutes. He averages just over 38 minutes per game. He acknowledged that he may be limited for a while longer. "I got into the game slowly," he said. "In the fourth quarter, I tried to be a little more aggressive and force it a little bit. I knew coming back, I was going to feel it anyway, but nothing too crazy, nothing too bad. Im happy with how it felt." Taj Gibson was the only player in double-figures when Chicago took a 42-36 lead into halftime. He finished with 12 points - two in the second half. Mike Dunleavy added 13 for Chicago, which had won three of its last four. Toronto has won two of the three meetings this season, the road team coming out on top each time. Notes: Bulls G D.J. Augustin, who was released by the Raptors on December 9, had six points and three assists on 3-of-4 shooting. Augustin shot just 1 for 7 from the floor against his former team on Dec. 14, a 99-77 loss. . Raptors F Amir Johnson was taken out in the second quarter due to a right knee injury, but returned minutes later after going to the locker room for treatment. He finished with nine points and six rebounds. 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