Archive for the ‘Patriots’ Tag

Gays, NFL, Dogs Prevent Suicide

This is a really nice article containing a few of my favorite things: football, gays and dogs

Former NFL lineman Ryan O’Callaghan comes out in moving profile

Ryan O'Callaghan

Ryan O’Callaghan played for both the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. Jeff Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former NFL lineman Ryan O’Callaghan, who played for the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, has come out of the closet in a moving interview for Outsports.

O’Callaghan, who spent five years in the NFL, never expected to have a post-football life. He was deeply closeted, unable to imagine living as an openly gay man. Instead of coming out or continuing to live with the pain of life in the closet, he planned to commit suicide after he retired from the game.

“I wrote a letter,” he said. “I was close.”

“If it wasn’t for some good friends, a couple of good dogs, I’d be gone,” he added. “I’m just glad there were people that were looking out for me, pushing me in the right direction to actually get help.”

He also struggled with drug addiction.

“I was abusing painkillers, no question,” he said. “It helped with the pain of the injuries, and with the pain of being gay. I just didn’t worry about being gay when I took the Vicodin. I just didn’t worry.”

Ryan O'CallaghanRyan

Ryan O’Callaghan with his dogs.

He credits a small group of people within the Chiefs organization with helping lead him to a better place, including the team’s general manager, Scott Pioli. He reassured O’Callaghan that he still had Pioli’s support, who shared that he had many gay people in his life and had previously counseled other gay NFL players.

Related: These NFL teams just became the first to sponsor a pride celebration

O’Callaghan said he hopes his coming out will show others that it is safe for them to do so as well, including some more recognizable names.

A handful of NFL players have come out after retirement, including running back Dave Kopay, cornerback Wade Davis, defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo, guard Roy Simmons, offensive tackle Kwame Harris, and running back Ray McDonald.

Defensive end Michael Sam was drafted into the NFL, by the St. Louis Rams, as an openly gay man, but was cut before the season began.

O’Callaghan recalled growing up in Redding, California, in an environment where gay people were not readily accepted.

“If you’re a gay kid and you hear someone you love say ‘fag,’ it makes you think that in their eyes you’re just a fag too,” he said. “That got to me a lot.”

But when he went home to come out to his family, he was pleasantly surprised.

“All the people I was most concerned about were fine. It was so much easier and better than I ever imagined,” he recalled.

He said he thinks the NFL is ready for an openly gay player.

“I think teams are ready. Guys just have to understand he’s gay. It doesn’t mean he wants to date you, he just wants to be your teammate,” he said. “It’s not a big deal, it’s really not.”

Related: NFL documentary profiles closeted gay player

He added that he hopes his story will lead to “someone else much higher profile coming out.”

He said he is in a much better place since coming out.

“I’m having a great time. I love life now, I absolutely love life now.”

He went to school at California and played for four years in the NFL. His career is captured here: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/O/OCalRy20.htm

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NFL Shockers: Patriots Are Done!!!!

No more number 1 teams in the NFL Playoffs.

Rex Ryan backs up his talk.

NY/NJ Jets win their second biggest game in their history.

I am happy to see Tom Brady no more.

No more Payton Manning and now no more Tom Brady.

The Patriots needed Spygate to beat the Rams in the Super Bowl. The Patriots are cheaters!

Jason Whitlock bring this to the table:

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.

The Jets won the culture war.

After a week’s worth of heated trash talk that exposed the disdain between the Jets and the Patriots, Rex Ryan’s pack of alleged bad boys humbled Bill Belichick’s pack of alleged choirboys 28-21.

 

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Get caught up on all the action from the divisional-round games.

Not since 1988’s “Catholics vs. Convicts” clash at Notre Dame Stadium has football staged the kind of cultural confrontation we witnessed Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Jets-Pats was more than a typical NFL divisional playoff contest. To some degree, it was a battle for the heart and soul of the league.

“It’s all about a system with (the Patriots),” a Jets executive told me in the postgame locker room. “With us, it’s all about the players.”

Rex Ryan’s New York Jets are America’s No. 1 reality TV show. They’re loud, talented, in your face and occasionally wildly irresponsible (Sex Ryan’s foot-fetish videos, Antonio Cromartie’s baby-mama fetish, etc.). In the buttoned-up, Roger Goodell-disciplined NFL, the Jets come off like the NBA’s Miami Heat.

If you had to compare Bill Belichick’s Patriots to a basketball team, only the WASPy, boys-next-door Duke Blue Devils fit the description.

 

In winning three Super Bowls early in the new millennium and consistently fielding outstanding regular-season squads, Belichick perfected the art of choosing overall team character, locker-room chemistry and adherence to rules of media secrecy over loading up on individual talent.

In places such as Kansas City and Atlanta — where former Belichick-trained executives have power — the “Patriots Way” has a pronounced influence. In other cities, the Belichick influence is more subtle.

The Patriots Way is rejected in New York by Rex Ryan. The Jets say what they want, do what they want and they’re completely unafraid to call bull(crap) on Belichick and the Patriots.

To the Jets, the Patriots Way is Spygate and hypocrisy. The Patriots cheat and they’re phony. They’re Eddie Haskell. The locker room America bought as filled with All-American, high-character good guys is really filled with Wes Welkers, the New England receiver who made the game’s most critical error days before kickoff when he littered a pregame interview with foot jokes about Rex Ryan and his wife.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” LaDainian Tomlinson told me. “She’s off limits. You don’t talk about that man’s wife. (Welker) better be glad he didn’t say anything about my wife.

“This is how I feel: When it happens to them, it’s classless. When they do it, it’s a different story.”

Welker, who was benched by Belichick for New England’s first series, crossed a line. It’s one thing for the media and fans to joke about Ryan’s personal life. The players and coaches are peers. They shouldn’t participate in anything that embarrasses one of their peer’s family members.

 

CONTACT JASON WHITLOCK

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Welker handed the Jets the emotional advantage.

“I felt that it motivated a lot of guys,” said Mark Brunell, New York’s veteran backup quarterback. “It was inappropriate.”

New York fullback Tony Richardson, another longtime veteran, added, “That was personal. Guys will take shots at other guys. But that was personal. There was no reason to bring his family into it. Rex has a son in 10th grade.”

The lone stupidity challenge to Welker’s blunder was Belichick’s strategic blunder late in the second quarter.

Trailing 7-3 with 74 seconds left in the half and facing fourth and 4 at the New England 38, Belichick called for a fake punt. Defensive back Patrick Chung dropped the direct snap and the Jets tackled him for a 1-yard loss.

The Jets capitalized, scoring a quick TD to take a commanding 11-point lead.

The fake was ignorant. There was no reason to force anything at that point. The Pats were getting the second-half kickoff. New England panicked. The alleged “smartest” team in football played a dumb football game.

They fell for Rex’s and Cromartie’s trash-talk bait, and when New York’s superior defensive personnel and flawless game plan stopped Tom Brady and Co. from gliding up and down the field, the Patriots turned amateur with their strategy.

Down 10 points in the fourth quarter, Brady chewed up nearly eight minutes of clock with a 14-play, 48-yard drive that featured seven running plays and the Pats sauntering in and out of the huddle as though there would be a fifth quarter.

CBS cameras appeared to catch Belichick complaining about his team’s offensive play-calling.

It’s now fair to question everything about the Patriots.

They haven’t won a Super Bowl since Spygate. Judging by Jay Glazer’s FOX Sports pregame story, Belichick and the Patriots were building special-teams, sideline-tripping walls long before the Jets.

Yeah, the Jets won the culture war.