Michael Sam, Jason Collins and other Feb. highlights

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Winter Olympics

Did you know the month of February is the shortest month of the Gregorian calendar? On average it's shorter than lots of other months. My landlord knows this. As does ConEd, Verizon, and etcetera, etcetera, wah wah, so forgive us if we're a few days behind schedule. If you procrastinate enough, eventually you get ahead of schedule.

There were the Olympics, the winter variety. There were plenty of funny GIFs, some dramatic moments, and Cananda making a fool of everyone in a hockey uniform, and now Russia is testing ballistic missiles and allegedly putting troops onto the Ukranian peninsula of Crimea. So, there's February, despite the fact that humans are wicked animals and suffer from a perverse desire to see their neighbor mired in embarrassment and ill-fortune, wasn't so bad. There were actually some rather groundbreaking and touching moments this past month. Perhaps it's the smaller sample size, maybe it's the frustration of a never-ending winter bonding us, or probably you just play the odds long enough and good things will happen.

In the face of attempted barbaric legislation in states like Kansas and Arizona, we had several wonderfully progressive and well-about-god-damn-time moments in sports. First, and you're probably tired of it, the future weird-old-uncle-on-Facebook in you saying, “Well I just don't know why it's news. I don't want to hear where he puts his dinger as long as he gets his ass to those OTAs,” but it is news and it's awesome. Michael Sam, for those without access to current events, came out as gay several weeks ago. The news-y part of his announcement is obviously that he was the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, and will be entering the NFL Draft in a couple months, and thus hopefully becoming the first out professional football player. Sam's announcement gave birth to plenty of confusion for people who can't reconcile a gay man doing anything other than satisfying the limp-wristed, lispy stereotype. There were plenty of beautiful and horrible things written after Sam came out, but let's just re-watch old Dale Hansen one more time and hope the kid gets drafted like almost all the other former SEC Defensive Players of the Year.

Keeping the posi-vibes vibing, the torpid Brooklyn Nets—who entered the season full of hollow championship dreams and rumblings of backroom (way back, as in back in Russia) dealings—have finally found something to cheer about. On February 23rd, Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with his former team, and just this past Monday signed a second 10-day contract. It was an important step for professional athletics, and you know, people in general. Monday also marked Collins' first game for the home crowd, and they greeted his arrival with a standing ovation.

There's also Greg Oden. Mentioned here not for his sexuality, but because we're going to stay on the topic of basketball. Oden, as we all know, has suffered through countless knee injuries, poor management, and way too much scrutiny than anyone under 30 should ever have to deal with, but he's been getting more and more minutes with the Miami Heat this year and actually got his first start in however many years against Chicago. He executed several basketball moves without shattering his knees, and it was awesome. Miami is the villain because we need a villain, but it remains inspiring to see Greg Oden do the things his body initially foretold us it would.

Kevin Durant is again not nice. He's only marginally cooled off since his tear in January; meaning his 35.9 PPG in January dropped to 33.4 for February, and now we are #blessed with another season of the LeBron James versus Kevin Durant narrative. It's easy to not look at the statistics or critically engage with a player's output, so we're going to assume that it's true that both players are playing out of their minds right now; each night going out there eyes deadset on that Maurice Podoloff trophy. It's just more fun, and James did just render Big Al Jefferson's spectacular night of 38 points and 19 rebounds obsolete by dropping 61 points at an efficient 66.7% clip.

The Chicago Bulls are doing their best to eclipse the Phoenix Suns as the “Little Engine That Could” frontrunner. Both teams have been hit with injuries, though perhaps none more upsetting than watching Derrick Rose miss a second straight season. Who knows how long you can sustain success on fumes, but it's made for exciting basketball and gives us reason to post videos of Joakim Noah.

In other news, we still need to blow up the NCAA. And the Knicks are really looking good this season.

Well that is every single important thing that has happened this past month. March is now upon us, and we're mostly still wearing our winter coats and staying in the shower too long. There is light: Opening Day is near, the World Cup is less near. We're still working on our And1 sponsorship. Updates to follow.