The standard shtick for quite some time has been that no one will ever be able to stop Rush Limbaugh from being Rush Limbaugh. Every time Keith Olbermann or his compatriots at MSNBC rants about what Rush's recently dumped onto the airwaves, I imagine that somewhere a very fat man's laugh is echoing off the dimly lit black velvet paintings in a dungeon-like Florida neuvo-castle surrounded by the ill-gotten gains of illegal, clandestine hunting trips across the globe. The popular myth was that even MSNBC can't slow Rush's mouth down. So it is quite surprising that Wednesday one organization that's not exactly known for its progressive political agenda managed to do so utterly and completely.
Rush got run over by the NFL, Joe-Theismann-snapped-like-a-twig-by-LT style. And in so doing, the rest of us should take away the knowledge that Rush has strayed even farther out onto the fringe that he'd always been teetering on.
Few people recognize just how extensively Rush has been connected with the business of professional sports, and especially the NFL, for years. Rush started his career working a low-level promotions gig for the Kansas City Royals. And I'd bet a full bottle of Oxycontin that I got off a new prescription for my housekeeper that Rush keeps a well-hidden hard-on for the Chiefs on the down low. The most spectacular flame-out in Rush's NFL flirtation was his failed time as a commentator for Sunday NFL Countdown, where he uttered his famously ignorant Donovan McNabb riff. The fact that he got the chance to hoist himself on that quasi-elite patard to begin with was surprising. But Rush certainly recognized from his earliest days that if you could have a hand in the call of the game, it was the next best thing to owning a part of the action. Bringing Rush's personality on board was a big risk that the NFL of earlier this decade was willing to take. But ABC then and ESPN now have taken plenty of stupid risks on announcers that have left a collective bad taste in the mouths of most fans. I'm mean c'mon — Dennis Miller AND Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, just to name two of MNF's esteemed graduates? 'Nuff said.