There has been much discussion in the last couple of days about a potential Rush Limbaugh part-ownership of the Rams. Charley Casserly reported on Sunday’s NFL Today on CBS that Limbaugh and Dave Checketts had made an offer for the team, and Limbaugh subsequently confirmed the offer to KMOX.
Limbaugh is a polarizing figure in America. He has 20 million listeners a week, and he certainly doesn’t straddle the political fence. He’s brilliant at pushing hot buttons and either firing up his base or inciting those who dislike him. Here in St. Louis, Cape Girardeau native Limbaugh gets exceptional ratings, so he does have support from his home state.
While he’s a polarizing figure, he’s also a football fan that regards St. Louis as one of the best sports towns in the country. Limbaugh…who has said that buying a NFL franchise would be a business move…knows that if St. Louis has a quality product to support, they will do so in droves. Dave Checketts, who has spearheaded the renaissance of the Blues, knows the same thing. Compete, and they will come.
Checketts, a Mormon from Salt Lake City, is very likely conservative. We know that Cardinal owner Bill DeWitt is a good friend of and supporter of George W. Bush, so we know what side of the aisle he stands on. But do we dislike those conservative owners? I actually like both of them, and think they’ve done a great job of providing me winning sports teams.
Rush is a vocal conservative. That’s his job. He tells you where he stands. He fudges on the facts at times. He considers himself an entertainer…albeit, as noted…a polarizing one. As a conservative, it seems likely that he would fit into the NFL owners club. And if he can afford a pro sports franchise, he certainly wouldn’t be alone as a conservative.
Yes, Limbaugh is a hypocrite. He’s a known prescription drug abuser who has been married several times. He doesn’t do things that many conservatives preach that he do. But, once again, what do we know about other owners? Our previous NFL owner was married seven times. Our owner before that got a DWI. Were those the things that affected our judgement of Georgia Frontiere and Bill Bidwill, or was it wins and losses?
Ultimately, when I judge an owner, I’m going to judge him on the product that he delivers to me. I can honestly tell you that, when watching an Albert Pujols home run fly out of Busch Stadium, I’ve never thought “well, yeah, but the team is owned by a guy who supported Bush.” I’ve never watched Keith Tkachuk score a goal but then think, “yeah, but the team is owned by a conservative Mormon.”
I am more than able to separate the political and religious leanings of the owners of my team if that team is A) still in St. Louis and B) competitive. If Limbaugh gets the Rams and they lose because of his approach, I can rip him for that. But if the team wins, he can be a local hero.
Democrats, led by Tom Eagleton, Freeman Bosley, Dick Gebhardt and Buzz Westfall, brought the Rams to St. Louis. When they did so, I told them if I had the chance to vote for them, I would for the rest of time because they served my interest. And I did vote for Buzz, and thoroughly enjoyed my relationship with Senator Eagleton.
As long as you listen to 101 ESPN most of the time, you can listen to Rush, or Hannity or Al Franken or Keith Olbermann. I’ll leave getting worked up over who’s fault things are to someone else.
MY party isn’t Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. My party is sports. Whether it’s the Dems that helped bring the team here or Rush Limbaugh, if the Rams are the ST. LOUIS Rams, I’m going to support the people serving my interests. What side of the political aisle they’re on, I don’t care.
P.S. As long as it’s not that Russian guy that is buying the Nets.