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Coachspeak

Sorry about this, Twitter America. But I am not going to go to Reactionary Land on this whole Tony Dungy flap.

If you missed it, Dungy was quoted by the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune as saying he wouldn't have taken openly gay linebacker Michael Sam in the draft, because he "wouldn't want to deal with all of it." Said "it's not going to go totally smooth," and that "things will happen."

A firestorm promptly ensued, because, well, firestorms are what we do now. Not only does social media lend itself to them (and the landscape of America is more and more shaped by social media), but we have become for a variety of reasons a quick-to-anger nation -- a nation whose dominant and chronic meme is an outrage that lies very close to the surface and is only occasionally valid.

Well. Count me out of all that.

Count me out, because I don't for a nanosecond believe that Tony Dungy has a bigoted bone in his body. I don't think he cares a hoot about Michael Sam's sexual orientation, or that Sam should somehow be denied an opportunity to prove his worth on the football field because of it.

I just think the man's a football coach.

I think he looks at Sam and sees, yes, a distraction, and football coaches are death on distraction. They are blindered creatures of focus and habit, and they absolutely hate anything that intrudes upon that focus and habit. And if you're a media type with a question about anything that doesn't involve Xs-and-Os and who's-your-backup-weakside-corner, you're intruding.

And so his reaction to Sam is purely a coach's reaction, not that of an uncouth and ill-educated bigot. I don't think that describes Dungy at his core, and I don't think it ever has.

So there.

Ben Smith's blog.

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