Paula Deen says she's "like that black football player" Michael Sam.

Wait ... I thought he was that gay football player. Now I'm confused.

Even on the comeback trail, Deen recently proved she still has the ability to stretch her foot all the way to her mouth.

The celebrity chef had a big falling out with the commercial world nine months back, after admitting she used the N-word and news leaked that she planned a 19th Century southern-themed wedding featuring black workers to play slave maids and butlers.

Deen says in the People magazine coming out Friday that "I'm fighting to get my name back. I feel like 'embattled' or 'disgraced' will always follow my name. It's like that black football player who recently came out," Deen said, referring to NFL prospect Michael Sam. "He said, 'I just want to be known as a football player. I don't want to be known as a gay football player.' I know exactly what he's saying."

This would be hilarious, if it wasn't so sad.

Since we're here, Deen also said, "If it wasn't for my fans' love, I'd be home breathing into a paper bag."

She should try that when she feels like comparing herself to gay athletes.


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She said at her lowest, she took comfort in the kitchen. "I made eight cakes in six days," Dean told People. The crazed baking prompted her husband of nearly 10 years, Michael Groover, 58, to tell her, "Honey, I don't know if I'm going to survive this," she recalled.

Right. Baking is her problem.

"I used to have dreams that I lost everything," Deen said." And when it finally happens, you think, 'I'm still alive.'"

As for what's she's learned, she says, "Michael told me, 'You've learned how badly words can hurt and how powerful they are.' I have been hurt by them, and I unintentionally hurt others. But I don't want that to define who I am."

No chance of that. Really.

Contact Tony Hicks at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/insertfoot.