The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Storm Coming

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St. Louis Rams fans have reason to be pleased that Rush Limbaugh and Dave Checketts want to buy their NFL franchise. Both have Missouri ties and one would think that this is an extra incentive to keep the team in St. Louis; but this is of course no guarantee. Limbaugh has said this is a "business decision" so it is possible the Rams could return to Los Angeles.

As concerning as this possibility is, also interesting is Rush Limbaugh's complicated history with the NFL. In 2003, Limbaugh "resigned" from ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown after making racially charged comments about Donovan McNabb. More recently, in January 2009, prior to the Steelers/Ravens playoff match, Rush described it this way: "They're up next against the Crips and the Bloods, the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday at 6:30 in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field."

The NFL is not short of controversial owners with big personalities and tragic histories. Al Davis has set a new standard of dysfunction in Oakland and Los Angeles and he eats up head coaches like John Madden eats Turduckens. Art Model can't even fly over Northeast Ohio anymore after becoming the most reviled man in Cleveland history for uprooting the Browns in the middle of the night and shifting the franchise to Baltimore.

If Limbaugh does make the leap to the owner's box, he will have to restrain his famous impulse to say the first thing that comes to mind. While there are several examples of shoot-from-the-hip owners who impose their will on their coaches and teams, there are also shining examples of owners who make good hires, who honor the game, and contribute to the legacy of what many consider America's true national pastime.

Limbaugh is known to be a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and the example set by the Rooney family would be a good one to follow. It will be interesting to see, if this deal goes through, whether Limbaugh assume such a prominent role but still be an ambassador for football.

By Jason Maloni  |  October 7, 2009; 12:11 PM 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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"Art Model can't even fly over Northeast Ohio anymore after becoming the most reviled man in Cleveland history for uprooting the Browns in the middle of the night and shifting the franchise to Baltimore."

... um, Irsay and the Colts would trump the life out of your Model argument. Model made it no secret that the Browns were leaving - Irsay, fearing the State of Maryland would sieze the team left so fast no one knew what happened until they were heading west.

Posted by: Myrddraal | October 7, 2009 2:04 PM

So what you are saying then is that the NFL is openly approving racism?

Posted by: zariah | October 9, 2009 8:32 PM

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 8:52 PM

1961 Washington Redskins

Posted by: RobRoy1 | October 10, 2009 7:19 PM

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