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Not-So-Odd Couple: Checketts & Limbaugh

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  • Not-So-Odd Couple: Checketts & Limbaugh

    Not-so-odd couple: Checketts & Limbaugh

    Columnist Jeff Gordon
    By Jeff Gordon

    Dave Checketts and Rush Limbaugh form an interesting tag team in their mutual quest to gain ownership of the St. Louis Rams.

    Checketts is an established deal-maker. He knows how to raise capital and create successful business partnerships.

    He earns high marks for his stewardship of the Blues franchise. His work with that team gained him great credibility in this market.

    He and his people took over a woeful hockey team and painstakingly built a successful organization, brick by brick. They hired the right people and turned them loose. They revived fan support for the franchise by working tirelessly on the marketing and public relations front.

    He and his people developed a plan, stuck with it and delivered on their promise to build a Stanley Cup contender. The Blues got back into the playoffs last season and appear positioned to take a deeper run this postseason.

    Limbaugh has a lot of money, good business sense and useful experience in the sports industry. Back before he became a huge talk-radio star, he worked the front lines for a successful Kansas City Royals franchise.

    In those days, the Royals ran a model operation. The franchise regularly drew 2 million fans (a good number in those days) with a grass roots season-ticket initiative and a successful group sales program.

    Ewing Kauffman was a remarkable owner, even visionary in some respects. His baseball and business staffs were first rate. He hired good people and let them do their jobs.

    Limbaugh had a hand in those glory days. Anybody working in such a successful franchise learns a great deal about succeeding in a tough business.

    As the frontman for an NFL ownership group, though, Limbaugh would face challenges. His aggressive political views could become an issue with segments of the fan base.

    Limbaugh once made comments about Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb that caused a PR firestorm. He proved too controversial to fill a role on NFL telecasts.

    Can you imagine how much fuss he could cause by speaking his mind as an NFL owner?

    Remaining politically incorrect has served Limbaugh well. Love him or hate him, Limbaugh creates compelling radio.

    He has built an enormous following. His fans expect him to speak his mind and hurt some feelings. Limbaugh plays the provocateur role to the hilt.

    This is why Checketts -- or another commanding individual that Checketts would help recruit -- would serve this group well as the frontman.

    With somebody else out front dealing with the media, the general public and the league, Limbaugh could enjoy the many benefits of NFL ownership without having to tone down his act.

    Limbaugh is a Missouri guy. He would want to keep the Rams in St. Louis. Checketts isn’t a Missouri guy, but he quickly gained an appreciation for this sports community.

    Other individuals and groups will bid on the Rams with the long-range hope of moving them elsewhere, to Los Angeles or London or some other city willing to build the team a new stadium and offer massive inducements.

    Chip Rosenbloom would prefer to find a buyer committed to St. Louis, but we can’t expect him to offer a huge “hometown discount” to make that happen. Business is business.

    The bidding is underway. An ownership change is possible by next year.

    So the Checketts/Limbaugh initiative is worthy of your support. Checketts loves sports, likes St. Louis, wants into the NFL and knows how to make deals. Limbaugh offers financial clout, sports experience, great interest in pro football and an affinity for this region.

    This may be seem like an odd couple, but they could be just the people to keep this franchise in place.

  • #2
    Re: Not-So-Odd Couple: Checketts & Limbaugh

    I agree with this 100%.

    WOW. I can't believe I actually agree with Jeff Gordon about something


    • #3
      Re: Not-So-Odd Couple: Checketts & Limbaugh

      Rams Rushing Toward New Ownership?
      October 6th, 2009
      By Tom Van Riper

      Rush Limbaugh - conservative icon, provocateur, loud mouth....NFL owner?

      The right wing pundit confirmed publicly that he's teaming up with longtime sports executive Dave Checketts to make a bid for the St. Louis Rams. Limbaugh has expressed interest in being a part owner of the Rams in the past, but never became part of a bidding process.

      Would Limbaugh, a Missouri native who once worked for the Kansas City Royals, make a good owner? He certainly couldn't do worse than the Rams have fared under Chip Rosenbloom and Stan Kroenke. The Rams are a train wreck right now, with 5-31 record since 2007 and a $931 million valuation that ranks 25th of 31 NFL clubs. That puts any new ownership group in a good spot - with nowhere to go but up.

      Sure, liberal groups would protest and call for boycots, but "at the end of the day, the typical fan will be concerned about the outcome on the field," says Dr. George Belch, founder of the Sports Business MBA program at San Diego State University. How many Philadelphia Eagles fans even noticed the PETA signs as they stormed into Lincoln Field to see Michael Vick? And as for approval from the other NFL owners - it's tough to imagine a group of wealthy businessmen turning down another wealthy businessman for being too conservative.

      Rosenbloom, who inherited 60% of the club from his mother, Georgia Frontiere, has been looking to sell for help with an estate tax bill. NFL cross-ownership rules prohibit Kroenke, the minority partner who owns the NBA Denver Nuggets and NHL Colorado Avalanche, from buying out Rosenbloom's share.

      Business might do better if Limbaugh remained low key for awhile, rather than jump right out front as the face of the franchise. But if he and Checketts succeed with their bid, Rams fans might soon have a reason to get excited again ..


      • #4
        Re: Not-So-Odd Couple: Checketts & Limbaugh

        I think Limbaugh wouldn't be a bad idea. The guy has deep pockets. He seems like a Missouri guy and Checketts owns the blues.

        May I note for you non-hockey fans. The Blues used to be the laughing stock of the NHL, now they are a playoff caliber team.


        • #5
          Re: Not-So-Odd Couple: Checketts & Limbaugh

          Limbaugh is a junkie. His addiction, and all the associated vulnerabilities that come along with that particular demon, are enough to prevent my support for Limbaugh's ownership of the Rams.

          I prefer an owner that is unknown, with as much money as God.
          A defeated look of consternation, dissappointment, or even pain. The name derives from the look one often gets when challenged by a large BM.


          • #6
            Re: Not-So-Odd Couple: Checketts & Limbaugh

            Originally posted by BM_Face View Post
            Limbaugh is a junkie. His addiction, and all the associated vulnerabilities that come along with that particular demon, are enough to prevent my support for Limbaugh's ownership of the Rams.

            I prefer an owner that is unknown, with as much money as God.
            It's true. I saw him on the street corner the other day trying to score an 8-ball. That's not an opinion. That's fact.
            The more things change, the more they stay the same.


            • #7
              Re: Not-So-Odd Couple: Checketts & Limbaugh

              Just remember kids, Rush is right
              Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams


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