The League

Leonard Shapiro

Leonard Shapiro

Washington Post sports reporter, editor and columnist who has served on the NFL HOF Selection Committee.

Money Trumps Politics


If Rush Limbaugh does manage to own all or a piece of the St. Louis Rams, it stands to reason, of course, that his football team will only run to the right side. Ba-da-boom.

Limbaugh would find plenty of support for his far right views in the NFL's billionaire club. Many league owners are conservative Republicans (even if they don't mind public funding for their stadiums), including Alex Spanos of the Chargers, who has been a frequent donor to the party over the years.

Then again, wouldn't you love to be in the room when Limbaugh and Steelers owner Dan Rooney start talking politics. Rooney was recently confirmed as President Obama's choice as ambassador to Ireland and stumped for him all over Pennsylvania during the primaries and later in the general election.

Limbaugh might not want to get too close to Donovan McNabb's cubicle in the Philadelphia Eagles locker room if he gets his hands on the Rams. In 2003, as a member of ESPN's pre-game show panel, he set off a firestorm of criticism when he said of McNabb, "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 of this team he didn't deserve."

McNabb responded at the time, "it's sad you've got to go to skin color. I thought we were through with that whole deal." A few days later, Limbaugh quite properly resigned from ESPN.

Would NFL owners vote to allow him to join their ranks if he does make a bid to purchase the team? Left or right likely won't matter. Only the size of his bank account will count, though Eagles owner Jeff Lurie will probably stand by his man McNabb and just say no, on pure principle.

By Leonard Shapiro  |  October 7, 2009; 12:44 AM ET  | Category:  Philadelphia Eagles , St. Louis Rams Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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By all means, let Rush spend his cash on something other than Oxycontin. It's time he stimulated the economy too and transferring his money to the pockets of other billionaires is just the ticket.

Besides, the sound bites coming from his pie hole will be priceless. Just priceless.

Posted by: arancia12 | October 7, 2009 9:17 AM

The NFL doesn't mind having a team with a racist name (representing the Nation's Capitol no less), why would it mind having a "borderline" racist owner?

Posted by: rdpinva | October 7, 2009 9:17 AM

Rush is used to tauting the Free Speech line, and he feeds his own free speech to his ditto-heads, and he is beloved. Good for him, espcially since it makes him much $$$. So, as a RAMs owner, if he decides to fiddle with player and coach selection, he will indeed fail, thus turning some ditto-heads RAMs fans into Rush-haters. This is a VERY GOOD thing! The more Rush-haters there are, the better. So...let him buy the RAMs and screw up and alienate people.

Posted by: schaeffz | October 7, 2009 10:40 AM

This is the realm of American BIG money. There are no political fault lines or even any real behavioral boundaries. The entry ticket is pure cash and for that you get to play with a crowd that regularly makes Calligula's court look like a Sunday school.

If Rush has the financial heft to get in on that action, it seems like he is just migrating toward his natural tribe.

And who says that Rush would be a crummy owner? He looks pretty adept at building a business and succeeeding. Football is just another form of the entertainment buissness and Rush has that world in a jug. He is a high stakes hardball league survivor and is no less cutthroat and mercenary than the rest of the owners.

Posted by: roboturkey | October 7, 2009 11:02 AM

Rush is a piece of crap.

Posted by: VegasJim | October 7, 2009 11:16 AM

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