Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rush Limbaugh and the Rams

Good ol’ boy Rush is making waves by claiming he’s interested in buying a piece of the NFL St. Louis Rams franchise.

The usual cast of characters, such as Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson, are jumping up and down over this and a few black players have declared they won’t play for him. At least two impromptu polls that I’ve seen on the internet appear to favor letting Limbaugh be an NFL owner by about 2-1.

The owner of the Colts has given the idea a flat out “no” and the owner of the Falcons doesn’t sound very sympathetic either. The other owners have either been quiet or have deferred to the NFL. Commissioner Goodell has indicated that he found Limbaugh’s “divisive comments” a concern.

I’m not going to provide any racist Rush Limbaugh quotes since it’s hard to tell what’s accurate and what’s urban legend. Think about how pathetic that is for a moment considering some of the quotes flying around attributed to Limbaugh. He didn’t say he missed James Earl Ray, the murderer of Martin Luther King, but the fact that lots of rational people accept that as a possible quote speaks volumes.

I don’t think Limbaugh would be good for the NFL. I think he really is a bigoted son of a bitch that would like nothing better than to roll back the zeitgeist to about 1958 putting gays back in the closet and blacks back in their place.

I’m white and I wouldn’t play for him either.

I don’t think Limbaugh is serious. I think this is a very big, and apparently successful, publicity stunt. I also think the chances of it happening if he was serious are about zero. I think Goodell and the owners are too savvy to take this kind of risk with the gold mine that is the NFL.

Now let’s talk about the overwhelming support in the unscientific polls supporting Limbaugh. I see three possible explanations for this. (1) Conservatives are more likely than liberals to worry about the NFL during the week, (2) the overwhelming majority of NFL fans are right wing conservatives and (3) it’s just the good old American sense of fair play.

I hope its (3), but it could easily be (2). Hey, I’m not blind, I look around at the crowd at Giants games and it’s very heavily white, older and clearly middle to upper middle class. Who else could afford it? A day at Giants Stadium is a $300 expedition for me and it will be better than $400 at the new stadium assuming I go with the mezzanine seats.

How do I figure that? Well, I go with my two daughters so tickets = 3x$85 = $255, parking = $20, snack when we get to the game = $15 and dinner after the game = $50. So that’s $255 + $20 + $15 + $50 = $340. And that doesn’t count gas and coffee on the way to the game. Next year the tickets go up to $125 that makes it a $460 excursion.

Like I said before, who else can afford it?

So the demographic is heavily white, older, upper middle class or the immediate offspring of same. That’s a demographic that would tend to lean toward a conservative outlook so perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me that a majority would support Rush as a team owner.

The man is entitled to his opinion and he’s entitled to express that opinion. But I’m also allowed to express my opinion that I think his opinion stinks. I’m also entitled to refuse to want to play for the bastard and to oppose him as a team owner because I think it would be bad for the league and the sport.

One of the funniest things I ever saw was Brett Favre posing for a photo with two of his very black wide receivers and suddenly saying “Look, an Oreo cookie.”

I think Limbaugh would hurt that kind of playful disregard for race and that would be a very bad thing.

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