As the city of St. Louis continues to deal with the horror of what happened at Dodger Stadium last night, it is faced with an even more ominous potential development: the very real chance that Rush Limbaugh could buy the St. Louis Rams. Actually, skeptical columnists aside, many in the St. Louis area welcome the development, not just because Limbaugh dominates the airwaves in the area (trust us, he does), but also because the city isn't eager to lose their football team, a distinct possibility. It might be good for the city — and, as some have pointed out, Limbaugh's politics are probably right in line with those of most NFL owners — but, as the Daily News points out this morning, the Rams might face some serious backlash from the league's players.
The News quotes two current players, Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka and Jets linebacker Bart Scott, who make it clear that if Limbaugh buys the Rams, they will never, ever play for that team.
"It's an oxymoron that he criticized Donovan McNabb," Scott said. "A lot of us took it as more of a racial-type thing. I can only imagine how his players would feel. I know I wouldn't want to play for him. He's a jerk. He's an —. What he said (about McNabb) was inappropriate and insensitive, totally off-base. He could offer me whatever he wanted, I wouldn't play for him. ... I wouldn't play for Rush Limbaugh. My principles are greater and I can't be bought."
It's probably fair to assume that Scott and Kiwanuka aren't alone. Limbaugh's famous comments on ESPN a few years ago — comments that had him fired from the network — turned him into Public Enemy No. 1 for many African-American players in the league. But it's still rare to see any active player make such clear, principled statements on anything, let alone something so close to the way the league conducts its business.
One unlikely Limbaugh defender? Keith Olbermann, who said Limbaugh should have every right to own a team.
"There're now gonna be character tests for sports owners? There'll only be three of them left. Unless they beat the Vikings Sunday, as of next Thursday it will have been a full year since the Rams won a game. My God, if Limbaugh wants to buy them far be it for me to tell him he's flushing his money down a rat hole."
Stay tuned. There might actually be a reason to pay attention to the St. Louis Rams.