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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/07/2009

    Rush Limbaugh wants to own the St. Louis Rams. Well, good for him. His money is green and plentiful and his politics are conservative, which means he'll pretty much fit right in with the rest of the gang within the NFL ownership's corridors of power.

    They probably don't care about his politics. In fact, if you checked most of their campaign contributions, you'd find that most of them probably are staunch supporters of the guy who has been called "the unofficial voice of the Republican Party." With a wink and a smile, they will surely welcome him to their club, because ultimately all they care about is whether or not his check will bounce, and we all know that's highly unlikely.

    They will all look the other way when it comes to Limbaugh forgetting his polarizing racial politics, conveniently ignoring (perhaps even quietly agreeing with) all the mean-spirited divisive bile that comes along with his ample financial clout just like many of you surely will, too. They will look the other way because of his wealth and influence. You will look the other way because to some of you, he is your politically incorrect hero, and the rest might be willing to ignore all of that just as long as he can put enough money on the table to help keep your football team in St. Louis.

    I don't have that luxury.

    Though I think it is his right to take a shot at becoming part of a new Rams ownership group, Limbaugh's American Dream is a potential nightmare waiting to happen for the Rams, the city and the National Football League.

    "Look, let me put it to you this way: The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it."

    Those are Limbaugh's words. So are these:

    "I mean, let's face it, we didn't have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: Slavery built the South. I'm not saying we should bring it back. I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."

    I know how those words play out in Idiot America. They are embraced as gospel. But inside the locker rooms of the NFL, where the overwhelming majority of the players are descendants of slaves, Limbaugh's ignorant ramblings resonate with entirely different emotions.

    His money might be green, but his words are colored with hate and intolerance. Bringing Limbaugh back into the NFL family will ultimately be met with the same disastrous effects from the last time it was tried.

    Remember the failed experiment with the ESPN NFL pregame show?

    Remember the seething anger and pained expression on the face of ESPN analyst Tom Jackson when he tried to express his feelings about what Limbaugh had said in the aftermath of the notorious Donovan McNabb disaster?

    Remember the uncomfortable backtracking that had to be done when Limbaugh spouted off on his predictable anti-affirmative action screed and took McNabb down into the cesspool with him?

    That's why I keep scratching my head and wondering why so many people foolishly believe that at some point Limbaugh's mouth won't cause another embarrassing situation for the Rams and the league. This isn't about conservative politics. If that's all you could say about him, it certainly doesn't disqualify him to be a potential NFL owner. In fact, that makes him highly qualified to join the club. He would fit right in with the rest of the exclusive boys club of ultra-wealthy, ultra-conservative white men who rule the ownership suites of most professional sports leagues.

    But even if he fit in with his politics, let's hope he doesn't fit in with his polarizing, racist demagoguery. And yes, that is exactly what it is, no matter how many of his blindly loyal supporters want to put the "politically incorrect" party dress on it.

    "The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."

    Again, those are his words. I wonder how Roger Goodell, the no-nonsense NFL commissioner whose primary personal directive is to "protect the (NFL) shield," will cope with an owner as potentially combustible as Limbaugh. If Goodell has issues with the embarrassing antics of some of his players, what will he do when Limbaugh inevitably crosses the line of good conduct?

    Did you notice that I didn't say "if"?

    I didn't say "if" because anyone who is even marginally familiar with Limbaugh's act knows it's only a matter of time before he says something that is at the very least embarrassing but will most likely top out at downright hateful.

    So Rush Limbaugh wants to own the Rams. Well good for him. That's his right as an American. But I just wonder if the NFL has learned its lesson from the last little dance with him. Dancing with Limbaugh is like dancing with a snake. Eventually, the snake will bite you. That's his nature.

    You just might want to consider this while everyone is conveniently forgetting (or perhaps even quietly agreeing with) all the polarizing racial politics that comes along with Limbaugh:

    In this modern age of the NFL, where free agents have the right to pick where they play, how many will turn their nose up at the Rams once they get a whiff of Limbaugh's "Bloods vs. Crips" sensibilities?


  2. #2
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    As a moderator I will say that please don't comment on his political views. This is a football forum, not a forum that talks politics. This is just one man's version of Limbaugh. Don't take it as the be all / end all version of Limbaugh.

    I am taking this type of stance when it comes to Limbaugh and the Rams: he hasn't been granted the chance to buy it yet so to me he's a non-issue for now. Him and Checketts may not be the ownership grouped picked to buy the Rams. It may be another group, there is more than one group that submitted a bid to buy the Rams. I'm just trying to say that until Limbaugh is given the pink slip to the Rams......all this is a non-issue to me.

  3. #3
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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    But just think of all the Mega Ditto Rams hats in the stands !!!

    Maineram -
    and out of the ashes rise ...The Breakfast Club !

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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    So the NFL should prohibit anyone with controversial views from investing in a team?

    Right.

    And who gets to decide where that line should be drawn? You, Burwell?

    That's not how the system works. I'm certain the NFL has a list of criteria it is looking for in deciding whether to back a potential ownership group.

    I'm equally certain that "political proclivities" is not on the list.

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    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    For the life of me I can't remember where I heard this, but I believe I heard that Limbaugh is not the "biggest" money in their proposal. It makes me curious as to who the "silent partners" are in this offer.

    Of course, for that matter, I'm very curious to see who are the wallets in the other 5 proposals.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  6. #6
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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    So the NFL should prohibit anyone with controversial views from investing in a team?

    Right.

    And who gets to decide where that line should be drawn? You, Burwell?
    Im pretty sure racism is controversial no matter who you ask.

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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    So the NFL should prohibit anyone with controversial views from investing in a team?

    Right.

    And who gets to decide where that line should be drawn? You, Burwell?

    That's not how the system works. I'm certain the NFL has a list of criteria it is looking for in deciding whether to back a potential ownership group.

    I'm equally certain that "political proclivities" is not on the list.
    Considering how image-conscious this league has gotten over the last few years, I'm pretty sure "political proclivities" is on the list of automatic disqualifiers. At least if said proclivities consist of incendiary, race-baiting rhetoric.

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    So (taking your hypothesis as true that Rush is a racist), we're all certain that currently there are no NFL owners (part or full) who have racist viewpoints?

    What's that? You don't know?

    Well, doesn't that mean that we need to have a Blue Ribbon commission to determine this? Otherwise, how can you single out one person?

    Why... that would be... dare I say... an act of prejudice, would it not?

  9. #9
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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    I'm just hoping one of the other groups takes the lead and actually buys the team so we can move on and put all this behind us.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    Well said and pretty identical to my own opinion. I'm not going to add to it, tempting as it may be, since that would quickly end up in a political debate - which are wisely banned around these parts.

    I will add one thing though, those here that have been claiming he's not a rascist should go back and read some of those quotes one more time.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    So (taking your hypothesis as true that Rush is a racist), we're all certain that currently there are no NFL owners (part or full) who have racist viewpoints?

    What's that? You don't know?

    Well, doesn't that mean that we need to have a Blue Ribbon commission to determine this? Otherwise, how can you single out one person?

    Why... that would be... dare I say... an act of prejudice, would it not?
    Not really. It would be 'innocent until proven guilty' - something I would assume a lawyer would be familiar with.

    If you have evidence of NFL owners who are rascist by all means bring it forth.

  12. #12
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    Quote Originally Posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
    Not really. It would be 'innocent until proven guilty' - something I would assume a lawyer would be familiar with.

    If you have evidence of NFL owners who are rascist by all means bring it forth.
    The problem with your argument is that Rush is not a "convicted racist" either.

    I frankly am not a fan of Rush's, but I don't think he's a racist. To explain why, allow me to make an analogy.

    Last Sunday, a new episode of Family Guy aired. The plot centered around Lois learning that her mother is Jewish. Through the episode, every Jewish stereotype was portrayed in a (in my opinion, lame) attempt at humor. There was even a scene that was a reenactment of a scene from Shindler's List.

    Now, if you ask me (as a Jewish person), whether I was offended by this episode, my answer would be "yes."

    However, if you asked me whether I think that Seth McFarlane (the creater of Family Guy) is anti-Semitic, my answer would be "no."

    Why?

    Because there are some people who have a goal of shocking people and then saying "ha ha, you can't stop me. I have First Amendment rights!" In other words, they are looking for a reaction, and will ignore every taboo and cross every line necessary to get what they want.

    Is that an admirable quality? Absolutely not.

    But it does not mean that people like that really believe what they are shouting when they scream for attention.

    I don't know what Rush really thinks and feels, so I'm not going to label him.

    If he becomes a part owner, my only concerns are that his checks clear, that he keeps his mouth shut about the running of the team, and lets Checketts handle that side of the business.

    And... as Forrest Gump once said... That's all I have to say about that.

  13. #13
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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    I don't know whether Limbaugh is truly a racist--as a talking head, his job is to stir up controversy--but whether he is or not, the public perception of him could have a very real impact on the team. All things equal, I suspect there are probably NFL players out there who would prefer not to play for Rush, whether because of his politics or because of their interpretation of his comments on race. There might even be those who would take less money not to play on his team.

    Conversely, there might be some players out there who would prefer to play for him, but I think it would be an unfortunate kind of unintended consequence if the team was ever perceived to be "Rush's Team". There could be ramifications not only on the team, but on the fan base. I'd worry that the day would come that people would think of the owner first instead of the franchise's long and storied history when they hear the name "Rams". If Checketts is the main man in that arrangement with Limbaugh as merely a minority shareholder, I would hope we could avoid that.

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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    I read this the other day. It reeks of racism. But Burwell won't be called out for it.

    This line in particular really gets me: "He would fit right in with the rest of the exclusive boys club of ultra-wealthy, ultra-conservative white men who rule the ownership suites of most professional sports leagues"

    Right there he basically calls every white owner in the league racist. How is he any worse than Limbaugh?

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    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    So (taking your hypothesis as true that Rush is a racist), we're all certain that currently there are no NFL owners (part or full) who have racist viewpoints?

    What's that? You don't know?

    Well, doesn't that mean that we need to have a Blue Ribbon commission to determine this? Otherwise, how can you single out one person?

    Why... that would be... dare I say... an act of prejudice, would it not?
    I never said I thought he was personally racist. All I said was that what he says on his show is race-baiting. Such public comments of intolerance, regardless of whether or not the speaker believes them, are still enough to scare off the NFL.

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