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Nashville's Gay Rugby Team Gets Wet, Muddy, and Shirtless for New Calendar: PHOTOS

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2015 is 'bearing' down on us in a big way now that the Nashville Grizzlies gay rugby calendar has arrived!

One of the team's members, Thomas H., writes us:

"The Nashville Grizzlies RFC is a USA Rugby Division III club. We are a socially and ethnically diverse group of guys ages 19-53 learning a great sport, getting some good exercise and giving back to our community. Established in 2006, the Grizzlies have had the opportunity to play teams all over the nation and abroad. Every two years we travel to the Bingham Cup, named in honor of Mark Bingham who died on United Airlines Flight 93 during the September 11, 2001 attacks. We played in the 2014 Bingham Cup in Sydney, Australia, where we won the Hoagland Vase, named in honor of Mark’s mother. We are currently in the process of bidding for the 2016 Bingham Cup and are excited about the chance to bring an international gay rugby tournament to the South.

This year, we are raising to money to ensure that gay rugby is as affordable as possible to all of our players, regardless of their means. Part of our efforts include our annual calendar fundraiser. This year, local photographer Chris Malone lent his talents for us to have a very artistic and creative calendar.

The calendars are available at the team's shop, but you can see a few more sexy preview shots, as well as a photo of the team in Sydney, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ellen Predicts World Series With Hot Male Dancers: VIDEO

Ellen Hunk-a-thon

Well this is an entertaining bit of prognostication. On her show Monday, Ellen announced her "super-scientific way" to determine the winner of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals: a "hunk-a-thon" between two shirtless studs, one in a Giants cap the other in a Royals. She set 'em loose on the audience, and whichever dancer came back with the most money in his shorts will be the winner of the World Series. The money, incidentally, was donated to fund cancer research.

So which team will be the winners? Watch and find out AFTER THE JUMP...

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Michael Sam Cut From Dallas Cowboys' Practice Squad

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Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL, has been cut from the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad, ESPN reports:

The Dallas Cowboys have waived defensive end Michael Sam from their practice squad and signed linebacker Troy Davis...

Coach Jason Garrett and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli praised Sam's work in practice.

"Comes to work every day and practices hard," Garrett said last week. "One of 10 practice roster guys that we have, so he's working on his skills, trying to develop, but also doing a lot of other things. Playing offense, defense, playing the kicking game, that's what a lot of those guys do."

The Cowboys (6-1) have just seven sacks this season, but they never seriously considered calling up Sam to the active roster. 

Sam signed with the Cowboys' practice squad after being cut from the St. Louis Rams during their final round of cuts prior to the season officially getting underway. Sam today tweeted out,

I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates, and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.


ABC Picks Up Sitcom Based on Gay Soccer Player Robbie Rogers

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Earlier this week, it was announced ABC closed a deal for a new sitcom called "Men In Shorts," based on the life of Robbie Rogers (pictured), openly gay U.S. soccer player, who became the first openly gay man in a North American pro sports league.

The showrunner for the project is Claudia Lonow; producers are Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Jordon Nardino of "Desperate Housewives" will be a writer, along with Lonow. All four will serve as executive producers.

Deadline reports on the project, and it sounds like the story will incorporate Rogers' real life experience; it's described as being about "a young pro soccer player who takes one small step out of the closet and one giant leap into the spotlight."


Thomas Roberts Talks To Gay Former MLB Player Billy Bean About His Return to Baseball: VIDEO

Bean

Former professional baseball player Billy Bean, who retired in 1995 before he could come out, recently spoke with Morning Joe's Thomas Roberts about his return to the sport - now as the MLB's first Ambassador of Inclusion.  

In his new role, Bean will develop educational training initiatives to combat homophobia and will help the league prepare for the reality of having a future gay player. To date, there are no openly gay MLB athletes. 

Check out the segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Arizona Professional Distance Runner Matt Llano Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO

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Matt Llano, a professional distance runner in Flagstaff, Arizona has opened up about being gay in a new video for his team - Northern Arizona Elite.

In the video, Llano chronicles his early fears about being "different," his coming out to his parents (who are hugely supportive), and the reaction he's received from other runners and athletes who have been inspired by his openness. 

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Outsports adds "Llano ran for the University of Richmond in college, where he was an All-American in cross-country. In 2012 he finished 10th in the U.S. 15k championship; In 2014 he finished fifth in the U.S. half-marathon championship."

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