There are a few really heartening things about the Michael Sam story, and Bill C has already said most of them. Mizzou handled this beautifully, the Mizzou football team did all of the right things, and Columbia in general proved what most people already know about communities: that if you don't treat people like total strangers, and you're just dealing with people every day in a humane fashion, you tend to get pretty humane results. (Any other thoughts on the NFL, or shitass cowardly NFL scouts, are here.)
What we love about it that might not have been mentioned yet:
1. Football players embraced him. The great bullies of every high school drama, the ones who can literally be played as a character called "Ogre" without pause, and even went along to gay bars with him. We'd really, really like to have the transcripts of the discussions on these trips, because they would be hilarious in the most awkward and kind way, and also probably mention the sometimes insane drink specials at college gay clubs. ("Dude, I'm uncomfortable, but FAT TIRE FOR TWO BUCKS ON DRAFT AND IS THIS RIHANNA? I LOVE RIHANNA. YOU LOVE RIHANNA. EVERYONE LOVES RIHANNA!!!")
2. That for Michael Sam, Columbia was a place where he could discover who he was. Mizzou is disputed territory at best, so we can't speak to it from experience. But in the rest of the SEC small university towns like Athens, Gainesville, Tuscaloosa, and yes, even Oxford were places where our gay friends could come out, be themselves, and understand for the first time that they were part of a community, and were going to be alright. It's a nice sideline for those who follow college sports to know that they get to live in these places for at least a chunk of the year, and that they continue to be places where that can happen.
3. It's also fantastic to know that this hopefully won't be news eventually, and that an openly gay player on a team can exist with maybe only the inconvenience of being "everyone's gay quiz buddy" whenever a question comes up. That's gonna happen. (Again: we want these awkward transcripts, and we want them now.)
4. That's all, and M-I-freakin'-Z to Michael Sam.