Goodbye, Rush

During Oakland’s spectacular win against Boston tonight, ESPN carried the story that Rush Limbaugh has quit NFL Sunday Countdown because of the reaction to his comments about Eagles QB Donovan McNabb. I didn’t hear about this until yesterday, so if anyone is in the same boat, Rush said:

"The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,’’ Limbaugh said. “There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.”

When the usual interest groups started criticizing him, in typically obnoxious fashion, he added “All this has become the tempest that it is because I must have been right about something. If I wasn’t right, there wouldn’t be this cacophony of outrage that has sprung up in the sports writer community.” [Typical Rush: if people start telling you you’re a moron, you MUST be right! :rolleyes:]

Here’s my take:
First of all, who didn’t see this coming? ESPN hired Rush because he’s controversial. They were hoping to trade in on his controversial ways to boost ratings - hardly an unusual tactic. But I have to think that they had to be at least dimly aware that at some point, he was going to go too far and either he’d quit or they’d have to get rid of him. I’m sure they hoped it would last longer than… what, six weeks? But still.

The major controversy, I’m sure, will be “is the comment really racist?” He doesn’t say black QBs are all bad; he doesn’t even say McNabb is bad. He says he’s overrated. (No questioning the Eagles’ defense, but I disagree.) The comment is definitely racial in nature. The problem, to me, is the first sentence: “The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.” By saying this, he implies that the QBs getting a boost from the (mostly white) media that they don’t really deserve. Which further implies the league’s black QBs need the help because they’re not good enough.

I think he deserved to get nailed for that, not just because it IS insulting, but because it doesn’t make sense. Warren Moon is black, and he was EXTREMELY successful. He’s one of the all-time greats, bar none. And Randall Cunningham was one of the NFL’s most exciting and well-known players a decade or more before McNabb. You could also infer from the statement that Michael Vick wouldn’t have got so much press last year if he was white, which I think it also a crock.

To me, Rush probably could have gotten away with this comment if he’d been talking sports on his radio show, where the audience tunes in because they agree with him (or are entertained by him, at least). It would’ve been controversial, but that’s his thing. It surely wouldn’t have cost him his job. His fans are different from the crowd watching ESPN; mixing sports and politics is dangerous. You can say that McNabb was overrated and I’m sure millions of people will agree. Saying he’s overrated because he’s black is just pushing buttons.

One other comment: I say kudos to McNabb, who said “An apology would do no good because he obviously thought about it before he said it.” Not that Rush moved to apologize; I just applaud the principle. Often, when someone makes a statement like this, they get an absurdly large benefit of the doubt. Rush denies his comment was racist, and I’m not going to disagree 100%- but he’s a professional commentator, and this was not a spontaneous remark. He knows what he’s saying and said what he meant to say.

What do you guys (and gals) think?

I don’t know about the merits of this individual case, but assuming it’s true for the sake of arguement, why can’t somebody say it without getting hammered? I guess you just have to be smart enough to know what will cause a flap. I’m surprised Limbaugh hasn’t stepped on his mouth before this. It’s funny how he cries when he’s criticized, but he can say anything about liberals and the Clintons and think it’s okay. I don’t like 'em either, but fair’s fair.

Which further implies the league’s black QBs need the help because they’re not good enough.

How is this different from the Democrats saying that employers have to be forced to meet quotas of black employees because they can’t get good jobs on their own?

Could there possibly be a difference between certain persons not getting jobs they are qualified for, simply because of their skin color, and another, who DID in fact get a high-paying job on his own merits, being called ‘overrated’ by a blowhard? Gee, I don’t know; let me think…

Well, studies like this one show that the death of racial bias in the workplace has been exaggerated.

Well, either way its good to have Rush gone. What does that Fat Head know about football anyway? As much as Regis Filbin? Less? It can’t be experiance; you couldn’t fit his Fat Head into a helmet with grease & a piledriver. A JC Penney pillowcase hood is undoubtedly a much better fit.

He probably knows about as much about football as Dennis Miller does.

That’s precisely it, Lord Ashtar. Remember how so many people were up in arms because Miller was in the broadcast booth? They thought he was out of place there, and he was. Rush was out of place on the Sunday Countdown set. He was a nonfootball guy trying to add his own flavor of controversy, as Miller was.

Also, Miller tried to be funny AND knowledgable about football, and couldn’t quite do it. He flopped, for the most part. Rush tried to be provacative and knowledgable about football, and he couldn’t do it, either. It was painful for the nonpolitico to watch him. I mean, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I had to turn off the set when he was onscreen, because I don’t give a rat’s ass about the opinion of someone who never played the game, never announced it, never analyzed it, and it simply trying to shoehorn his style where it’s neither needed nor wanted.

In short, both men were doomed from the beginning, because they stood no chance of fitting in. They were outsiders through and through.

ESPN hired Limbaugh for the same reason ABC hired Miller, and of course the networks deserve some blame here. It’s not as if some straight-arrow analyst suddenly spouted off about race issues; this shouldn’t have surprised ESPN.

I am very glad he is gone, but let me make this clear: I’m not glad because of his politics or even his penchant for controversy. I am glad because he had no business giving me insights or opinions on football.

Preferably one with a drawstring …

Limbaugh has a history of making racist comments (his comments about how the NAACP should set up a mock convenience store so blacks can practice robbing the place, for instance). He defends his hate rhetoric by claiming that he’s just misunderstood and that he is only expressing his opinion, blahblahblah. He’s the worst sort of bigot, who cloaks his racism under the banner of righteous indignation.

It’s about time he has been made to pay for his ignorance.

I’m not sure if anyon has ever said this before…, but Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot.

Mostly because it’s irrelevant to the situation at hand. :rolleyes: And not the most accurate comment I’ve ever heard eiter.

i’ve no doubts Rush is a racist but i’m not sure that his remarks can be termed racist on their own merit. One could easily argue that his remarks were aimed at the media.

Rush was flushed not necessarily because what he said is racist but because the network felt that there are enough fans out there who would consider it racist and be offended and stop tuning in. It’s more a matter of the public’s perception and a little thing called “ratings”.

Are you implying that NFL teams are hiring quarterbacks on an affirmative action basis? It’s been my opinion they hire based on talent or expected talent and probably couldn’t care less if the guy is black, white, blue or green. As long as the guy wins games and packs the stadium the franchise is pleased as can be.

Donovan McNabb would not be the first quarterback to come in with high hopes from the club and the fans only to fall short. He also wouldn’t be the first quarterback to seem better than he is due to his supporting cast (quarterbacks also get unduly blamed for failures when the supporting cast sucks too so this only seems fair). This has absolutely zero to do with the color of his skin. Plenty of white guys have been in that boat. It has everything to do with the nature of being a quarterback and nothing to do with race whatsoever.

Man, this is almost as shocking as that Michael Savage guy making homophobic comments on MSNBC. I’m shocked, shocked!

While, I am not a huge Rush fan, and don’t listen to his show much any more, I do believe he has said some stupid and racist things however I don’t believe this comment was racist. In fact I believe it holds a lot of truth and that is what makes everyone uncomfortable. IMO this is another case of the offenderati looking for any excuse to jump on someone who was not politically correct.

For a moment I thought that you meant Rush the band. Damn. At least Limbaugh’s stupidity was entertaining, while theirs is simply yawn-inducing.

Did ESPN really expect Limbaugh to remain unbiased in his comments? If he had prefaced his remarks with “In my opinion,” would they have been tolerated?

Does this mean that Steven McNair and the Tennessee Titans aren’t really kicking ass after all?

I’m not sure if I can agree with this. Rush’s accusation is that the media wants all black quarterbacks to do well and so will hype them up above their abilities if necessary to get them attention. However that doesn’t mean that Rush doesn’t always feel that the hype a black QB may get isn’t deserved. When he said “The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well” that doesn’t have to mean that he thinks that no black QBs have done well, just that he may think that the media will hype up a black QB even if he hasn’t done well.

To me the key word in Rush’s statement is “has”. While your interpretation that Rush feels black QBs have not done as well as the media would have us believe is possible, “has” could also imply that Rush believes that the media has for an extended period of time hyped up all black QBs whether they deserve it or not.

Also, while “a black quarterback” may seem to imply that no black quarterbacks have done well (“a” being singular, and if no one black quarterback has done well then obviously none of them have) it’s not that unusually to use “a” in a general, or even plural, sense without indicating a deficit (a college president stating “I hope that a student of Wherever University does well in life” for example when one of them is currently the CEO of a Fortune 500 company).

FWIW, before I read your comment I was sure Rush’s comment wasn’t racially motivated, but now I can see room for it being so. However, I believe in erring on the side of caution and can’t conclusively conclude that this statement was racist in origin and so am forced to give Rush the benefit of the doubt (although I am pretty sure that Rush is a racist in general).

His opinion was that the media subconsciously wished for black athletes to succeed and that to help achieve this they promoted McNabb more than they would a white athlete.

The implication, of course, is that McNabb would never have been the Eagles QB had he been white. And that is ludicrous. He’s been to three Pro Bowls. He’s taken his team to consecutive NFC championship games. He’s a very successful athlete. As Whack-a-Mole said, NFL owners, players, coaches, and fans don’t give a rat’s ass if the player is purple as long as he’s successful. (With a couple of exceptions, I bet - the athlete cannot have AIDS and cannot be gay.)