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Rush Limbaugh, football owner
October 13, 2009 - Steve Murch
I'm not a Rush Limbaugh fan. I won't get into the politics of it, but he and I wouldn't see eye to eye. Though like everyone, there is some common belief. We all have some shared beliefs, just different ways to achieve them.
However, that being said I believe Limbaugh has as much right to put in a bid for the St. Louis Rams as you and I. Probably more since I can't afford it and most of you probably can't either. Put the politics aside for just a moment. This is America, the land of opportunity.
The NFL, like every company in the country that has franchises, makes its potential owners (franchisees) meet certain criteria. If they potential owner meets said criteria it's on to the next step. In the NFL, that next step is likely a vote by the other owners. To backtrack just a bit, there is no guarantee that the Limbaugh group's bid will be the best bid – but let's work under the premise that it is. The other owners – essentially Limbaugh's potential partners since the NFL is one very expensive fraternity or club – then decide whether to accept him or not. Up to now, it's the money, not the rest of who he and his partners are.
Now is when his politics will kick in to play. This will play itself out in the vetting process. We've let him bid on the Rams, now is when his political views and more importantly his life views (he has made disparaging comments about blacks in general and Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's Disease to name two) come into play. This is where the current NFL owners will have to weigh the pros and cons of Limbaugh and company. And remember, he isn't the only person in this group trying to purchase the team; he is simply one of the investors.
The NFL owners now have to decide whether the possible boycotts and other conflicts will be worth it. It's hard to imagine that any athletes will want to play for him, given his comments on blacks. While 75 percent of the league is black, the other 25 percent have played along side these athletes throughout their own careers so it's unlikely they would play for Limbaugh either. It's also hard to imagine many coaches jumping at the opportunity to play for a team where the athletes aren't excited to play. Or won't come there once they're free agents.
There will be those who will coach/play/attend the games because they love the game or want a chance. However, if the top coaches and athletes don't go to St. Louis because of its ownership, how many fans will turn out for an inferior team? Fans vote with empty seats.
It's all a risk, just like any investment. Maybe none of that would transpire if the Limbaugh group eventually wins the bid and buys the team. Maybe it's just the loudmouths opposed to the possible new owners getting all the attention right now. Maybe even they will disappear if the sale goes through. Which is exactly why Rush Limbaugh should be allowed to bid to own the St. Louis Rams – we have to let the process play itself out. Call it a very expense game of who blinks first.
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