I wasn't near Tweetdeck when the Rams drafted Michael Sam. I was out of the house, prepping and taking pictures of my brother and his class for high school prom.
There were ten of us at a home where we were all scheduled to gather and then leave for the high school for group photos. We waited a his girlfriend's house, taking photos here and there of the corsages and the dresses. Phones were making calls to friends and general chitchat of the neighbors and the dog filled the room. On the TV -- which had my attention -- was Trey Wingo. It was about 4:30 p.m. and an undrafted Michael was the topic. Accompanying Wingo on the screen was a poll; it read something along the lines of "Will Michael Sam be drafted?"
It was at that point my brother I made eye contact and siloed into our own discussion of Michael Sam. It was brief.
"Do you think Michael Sam will be drafted?" he asked. I responded with a "yeah," and litte more fodder. It wasn't really the time to talk draft.
He had been thinking of how cool it would be the Rams drafted Sam, as had I. We were both hopeful.
We arrived to the high school around 5:00 p.m. The parking lot and the front of the high school was as you'd expect on a night for high school seniors. Questionable dresses and the occasion white suite dotted the landscape of black suites and dresses. Parents and relatives, many with smartphones to capture the most memorable night of their sons and daughters, were taking the best portrait-oriented photos they could. I had my smartphone out, too, but I was reading the SMS updates from Rotoworld_FB and Jim Thomas. Scanning through the texts, I noticed that, finally, the Rams had drafted a quarterback, Garrett Gilberts. Mitchell Van Dyke and Christian Bryant went to the Rams, too.
"Sam still hasn't been drafted," I told my brother. Again, it still wasn't the time to talk about the draft.
It was nearly 30 minutes of standing around and maybe 5 minutes of organized group photos before we finally left for Tower Grove Park.
We were anxious to get to Tower Grove. The day was fading quickly and, quite frankly, were all drained by hunger. We darted out of the car when we arrived to find the other parties.
I became a little sidetracked. If you've ever been to Tower Grove Park you'd understand why -- It's beautiful. Tall, aged trees grace the park, and, where we were, the fountains and stone structures steal the show. Several minutes passed by before I realized where I should be: with my brother and his classmates.
We met up. I directed where Jared and Taylor should stand and face for the most optimal composition. Again, it was probably 5 minutes of organized group photos before they went about their own business.
Perhaps three minutes went by after that shoot before I looked at my phone and saw the Twitter SMS update from Jim Thomas: "It's Michael Sam to Rams!"
I immediately exclaimed to the my brother "the Rams drafted Sam!"
His face lit up. My face lit up. It was awesome. Nothing much was said. Our emotions said it all.
Throughtout the rest of the evening, I encountered similar reactions to the Rams/Michael Sam news from friends, family and strangers alike.
As we downed our hunger with tacos and fajitas at Diablitos Cantinia, I overheard the conversation at the table to right of me. It included local weatherman Glenn Zimmerman and perhaps other Fox 2 staff members. One many flipped out his phone and read an update to the table about Michael Sam and the Rams. But the table, at least those apart of the conversation, were ecstatic.
My mom, who isn't much of a football fan and knows little else about Michael Sam, was happy about what she read (presumably via Twitter).
My boss, who is the least knowledgable football 'fan' I know -- and this one struck me -- is now a converted Rams fan.
I was out during the draft announcement. When I flipped on Tweetdeck to tweet the "skinny on UDFAs," as Wyndee put it, my real-time columns filled with news of Michael Sam, much to the liking of my boss' reaction.
I'm not going to deny the jokes and negative sentiments. But, honestly, they were muted by the support, congratulations, joy and praise for the Rams and Michael Sam.
Congratulations to Michael Sam. It's a victory for LOVE.— John Legend (@johnlegend) May 10, 2014
I just got goosebumps and a little teary. #GoRams— Kara Henderson Snead (@KaraHenderson) May 10, 2014
Good for the Rams.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) May 10, 2014
Rams pick Michael Sam. I am very freaking proud to be a St. Louis Rams fan right now.— Ethan Novak (@EthanNovak) May 10, 2014
Rams are a cool team.— Alex Flanagan (@Alex_Flanagan) May 10, 2014
Radio City Music Hall chanting, "Michael Sam! Michael Sam! Michael Sam!"— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 10, 2014
Incredibly proud to support a team that took a chance on history like this #Rams— Brennan Smith (@BrennanJSmith) May 10, 2014
Proud to be a #rams fan— Brandon Birkhead (@brandonbirkhead) May 10, 2014
I started @TurfShowTimes in 2006. This is the happiest moment I've felt since then. I'm so happy for the Rams and Michael Sam.— ryan van bibber (@justRVB) May 10, 2014
Seriously, this feels better than when the Rams won the Super Bowl. Now, go win a damn Super Bowl.— ryan van bibber (@justRVB) May 10, 2014
Laurinaitis on Sam in Feb: "if he’s a ... Ram and he comes to work and proves himself through camp and OTAs ... then I’ll have his back."— Nate Latsch (@NateLatsch) May 10, 2014
Fisher:"We live in an age of diversity." Spoke to Stan Kroenke two picks before the Rams made the choice. Unanimous support from entire org.— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) May 11, 2014
Staring a several real-time twitter columns and I’m seeing way more "I might need to start rooting for the Rams now" than not. Re: Sam.— Daniel Doelling (@Daniel_Doelling) May 11, 2014
Michael Sam is pissed off for greatness!!!— Michael Sam (@MikeSamFootball) May 11, 2014
The Rams embracing Michael Sam; the players embracing Michael Sam; the fans, the media and the President embracing Michael Sam... it's a happy, beautiful thing.