But Rush's big mouth is apparently getting in the way of a smooth power grab of the poorly-managed team. DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players union released a statement on Saturday, opposing Limbaugh's bid, saying "I've spoken to the Commissioner [Roger Goodell] and I understand that this ownership consideration is in the early stages. But sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred." (Read about it here.)
Rush has a history with the NFL, of course. Back in 2003, he was a color commentator for the ESPN show, Sunday NFL Countdown. Being the gasbag that he is, Rush stepped right into it when he made the following remarks about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb, who is African-American:
I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve… --Fat Rush, 2003Many found Rush's injection of race into the discussion to be offensive. After all, the NFL became racially integrated in 1946, a generation before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (at least with respect to players --with coaches and owners, not so much). ESPN summarily showed Rush the door soon after he made these comments.
Rush Limbaugh is a petty, vindictive man in my judgment. And I suspect that this bid to buy an NFL franchise is a way for him to flip the bird at ESPN and at people who find him offensive. Whatever, Rush.
Two of the four black NFL players that entered the NFL in 1946 were Kenny Washington and Woody Stobe, who ironically, played for the Los Angeles Rams. I used to be a big Ram fan myself. The Rams were my team, mostly due to the fact that my dad's one-time football coach at Oregon State, Tommy Prothro, was the head coach of the Rams from 1971 through 1973. But I long ago gave up on the NFL, mostly because of the ridiculous catalog of rules that governed the game. By the time the Rams had achieved their only Superbowl victory in 1999, I had already lost interest.
Nonetheless, I hope Limbaugh's bid fails. I know that such a failure would gall him. And that alone is enough for me. But if the NFL rejects the bid, there is a possibility that it just might get through to some of the Ditto-heads that lap up Limbaugh's spew like cats at the milk pail: Rush Limbaugh is really not anyone to admire.