The League

Roman Oben
Retired Football Player

Roman Oben

Played 12 years as a tackle in the NFL

From Bad to Worse

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I thought it could not be worse for the St. Louis Rams than being 0-4; I was wrong. Yesterday I read Rush Limbaugh is joining St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts as part of a group bidding to purchase the Rams.

I'm not sure what's lower: Rush Limbaugh's approval rating in the African American community or JaMarcus Russel's passer rating. But in a league of professional athletes who are mostly African American and come from humble backgrounds, a Limbaugh-owned Rams team would neither elicit the warmest reception by the players in the locker room, nor would it attract the free agent who is weighing options on his NFL future.

Anyone who has made a living bashing political leaders and their policies by vicious and unethical personal attacks, accused actor Michael J Fox of "exaggerating the effects of Parkinson's disease," made racially-charged comments about Donovan McNabb's ability as a black quarterback and hypocritically called for harsher punishment for minorities charged with low level drug crimes while himself being criminally addicted to oxycontin for many years, does not represent the honor, integrity and dignity for which the NFL shield is supposed to represent.

Character is a constant point of emphasis for NFL and team officials when it comes to the players; potential owners should be held to the same level of scrutiny and accountability.

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By Roman Oben  |  October 7, 2009; 11:49 AM ET  | Category:  Philadelphia Eagles , St. Louis Rams Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Accountability?

Rush would have probably held Leonard Little accountable for his actions when he killed someone while driving drunk.

NFL players can't handle accountability.

Politician's have trouble with accountability too.

Posted by: ravioliman6666 | October 7, 2009 12:36 PM

Accountability?
yeah -
NEVER trust a junkie...
fool...

Posted by: tindal0s | October 7, 2009 8:55 PM

Thank you, Mr. Oben. Your argument is most welcome.

Posted by: babaoreiley05 | October 7, 2009 8:58 PM

Why would the NFL allow a drug addict to become an owner? Even if we could overlook his racist statements or his mean-spirited comments about Michael J. Fox, minorities and any else who he disagrees with, we can't ignore that he is a drug addict. Will the NFL have to suspend him from attending the first 6 games for his prior drug use? If the NFL is about character then LImbaugh will not be allowed in the league. No chance.

Posted by: amberlisa | October 7, 2009 8:59 PM

Wow! one of the reasons I love being an American is because we can have good and sometimes mean spirited debates over issues such as these. I can't imagine that anyone would want to work for Rush Limbaugh, especially young black men, knowing his stance on the black community and better yet his rooting for the failure of OUR-America's black president. Having said that, its time for black people to stop complaining about the cards they are dealt and start dealing. Buy an NFL team, raise the capital and then you can choose the type of owner(s) you ultimately work for. I know the argument sounds elementary, but its really that simple. I'm old enough to remember when all record labels and movie studios were owned by Jews and other non blacks, and the black commmunity was severely under represented and misrepresented. Now you have the JayZ's, Puffy's, Russell Simmons' and Tyler Perrys of the world. Black folks need to quit complaining about who they do and don't want to work for and become your own boss!

Posted by: articulate1 | October 7, 2009 9:34 PM

Mr. Oben you are a racist.

Posted by: avb17 | October 7, 2009 9:36 PM

Also, Mr. Oben, I truly find your blogs interesting and quite thought provoking. Keep doing what you're doing!

Posted by: articulate1 | October 7, 2009 9:42 PM

Mr. Oben raises excellent points that undoubtedly echo the sentiments felt by many current NFL players, including many who are not African-American. The poster calling himself "Articulate1" misses the point here. In point of fact, there are MANY eligible individuals in this country today with more than sufficient capital to purchase an NFL franchise, the current market value of which likely
exceeds a billion dollars. Indeed, although he does manifestly well by most normal standards, Mr. Limbaugh's level of wealth may NOT be sufficient to close on this kind of purchase within the leverage parameters that League bylaws impose. The key point, however, is that Mr. Limbaugh, through, for example, his calculated disparagement of Donovan McNabb and his egregiously smirking promulgation of his excrable "Magic Negro" meme, has earned the deep animus of a substantial plurality of Americans. The question, thus, becomes: why would the NFL, which zealously protects its public image and vigorously punishes players whose off-field lapses in behavior threaten to tarnish it, invite into its exclusive fraternity of ownership someone whom perhaps half of America affirmatively despises--especially at a time when it faces the most contentious labor negotiations it has experienced in the past 25 years. There are more than enough very rich guys out there not burdened with Mr. Limbaugh's highly toxic baggage, including many with legitimate Missouri connections, for the NFL to say to El Rushbo, "Thanks, but no thanks." After all, what would Commissioner Goodell say if Larry Flynt, who also made a ton of money peddling content pandering to his customers' most purient weaknesses, expressed a desire to bring an NFL franchise to the Los Angeles market.

Posted by: ejleyden | October 7, 2009 11:09 PM

Mr. Oben, are you trying to use your little post to garner favor with the dying main stream media? you are certainly using their dead narrative of Rush Limbaugh. Do you know the context of the Michael J. Fox comments? Before he made such a statement about him, Mr. Fox himself admitted that he occasionally does not take his meds in order to exaggerate the effects of his horrible disease when in a certain setting (testifying before congress)
For you other commenters pulling in the Magic Negro bit, read the background of that, there was an article written in the LA Times entitled Barack the Magic Negro that was published long before the Limbaugh parody.
Mr. Oben stick to your main job doing pre-season radio coverage for the new york giants...

Posted by: C_Nnyg | October 8, 2009 12:11 AM

It would definitely send the wrong message about the NFL to have a political figure as profound as Rush Limbaugh owning an NFL franchise. This is America and we have the greatness of liberty and freedom, but it would be most DUMB for this to be approved by the owners. If Chip Rosenbloom has any integrity about how he wants to leave his legacy, he will not sell to the LImbaugh/Checketts group..EVER!

Posted by: ddor1 | October 8, 2009 1:55 AM

I guess the fact Oben is a county head of the democrat party has nothing to do with this huh?

Posted by: mykpfsu | October 8, 2009 9:38 AM

Hey, nice blog post, Mr. Oben. You repeated all of the talking points from other columnists around the country and passed them off as your own. Not plagiarism, necessarily, but just proves you can't think for yourself.

I find it laughable that you're worried about Limbaugh's drug abuse, but there's no doubt you probably had plenty of drug abusers in your own locker room during your career, and you probably never said a word. And I'm sure you probably laughed right along as the cavemen you played with said things that were just as crude as what Limbaugh has said.

Hypocrisy at its best. Hope the Post isn't paying you for this joke of a post.

Posted by: knoxfan | October 8, 2009 10:25 AM

I wonder what kind of rant that Rush would go into on his show about "pride" and "arrogance" if anyone connected with President Obama or another prominent democrat were to express the same type of interest in taking an ownership position in an NFL franchise?

It's also interesting to observe how some people on "one side of the aisle" jump right into name-calling and personal degradation as their "argument" while others (usually on "the other side of the aisle") try to explain how the details of the situation influence their position.

Quite depressing that this is often what happens in place of reasoned discussion in America today.

Posted by: postreader48 | October 8, 2009 10:49 AM

It's so funny to watch the ignorant, bigoted right-wingers crawl out from under their rocks to defend their talk radio gods when someone speaks the truth about one of them. Thanks for speaking your mind on the matter, Roman.

Posted by: CompulsiveCollector | October 8, 2009 2:43 PM

There are some real pathetic posters on this blog who are getting their panties in a bunch because of Limbaugh trying to purchase a team. Who cares... oh and everyone who is talking about how Rush is somehow racist needs to realize that the policies he supports would greatly help minorities much more than the ones supported by our current president.

Posted by: jjrepublican | October 8, 2009 7:53 PM

J.JREPUBLICAN

I hate to stoop to the level of members of you party, but "YOU LIE"

Posted by: jgarrisn | October 9, 2009 1:02 PM

Is this the sixties, fifties or fourties? How did AMERICA allow Jim Crow to flourish again?
When did this happen?
If the NFL commish does not sqaush this attempt quickly, he is being hypocritical about his policy of good behaviour for NFL personnel.
Drugs, racism, divisive comments.
Rush would have received a lifetime ban by the Roger G. by now and you would let him own?

Posted by: zariah | October 9, 2009 8:44 PM

C_NNYG: This is how Rush's lies become fact: people such as yourself hear them and pass them on.

The facts are: Michael J Fox is sometimes OVER medicated, not unmedicated, just so he can actually talk at all. Even Rush himself had to admit the truth and apologize for his ignorance.
See http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/26/eveningnews/main2128188.shtml Fox told Couric, "At this point now, if I didn't take medication I wouldn't be able to speak."

It would be a PR disaster for the NFL to allow Rush in the door in an ownership role. It will never happen.

Posted by: stretchrun | October 12, 2009 5:54 PM

The latest statistic I heard is that 2/3 of the NFL players are of African descent. The Rams are pathetic enough already without having the stigma of a known racist as part owner. There will always be players willing to take the money, but the chances of getting a class act like Donovan McNabb to sign are nil. Allowing Limbaugh to be a part owner would be bad for the NFL, and catastrophic for the Rams.

Posted by: blbixler | October 13, 2009 5:26 PM

Whoever is making comments about Drug use needs to take a step back, breathe, and then ponder this. We have had and currently have Presidents who admitted drug use, the NFL has had and currently has far too many players who have been caught with or convicted of using illegal drugs. To say one man's addiction to a pain killer which also has afflicted some of the most recognizable stars in the NFL would preclude him from owning a NFL franchise is about as close to hypocrisy as one can get. As far as his comments this is a country that gives it's citizens freedom of speech. I happen to believe donuts and designer coffees are unhealthy and fattening, does that mean I should be banned from from purchasing a Dunkin Donuts franchise?

Posted by: curious111 | October 14, 2009 2:41 PM

Of course, Mr. Oben conveniently leaves out that aside from being a concerned former Rams football player, he's also Chairman of the local Democractic Party in Kinnelon, NJ. I'm sure that has nothing to do with his opposition to Mr. Limbaugh.

Posted by: RamsFan1 | October 14, 2009 2:47 PM

I find it very hypocritical of Mr. Oben to 'preach' about Rush Limbaugh and what a bad person he is when I doubt he has ever listened to him for even one minute. Mr. Oben's comments about Rush are flat out wrong and are right out of the Democratic playbook. Since Mr. Oben has such strong opinions and moral convictions, I am searching for any articles he has written about any other NFL players that have embarrassed the NFL in the past. Michael Vick comes to mind. Certainly Mr. Oben must have found Mr. Vick's conduct unacceptable Funny, though, I haven't been able to find one op-ed piece written by him. I must keep searching because I am sure he must have written something about that dirtbag.

Posted by: andygnh | October 15, 2009 4:27 AM

Hello Roman... Im just curious if you have researched the other propectives that have placed a bid for the Rams?
I imagine Roger Goddell and Co. does this and then there is a vote among the owners of the other teams? If so when will take place?
I probably will end up googling the info but time does not allow me to at this time.
I just came here to check you out, since your tweeted me on twitter.
i put LT into my lineup tonight and Phillip Rivers also...so it GO CHARGERS !! take care, Lesa

Posted by: MzLipsticker | October 19, 2009 2:10 PM

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