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Postby jebatzel » Sun Oct 05, 2003 1:15 pm

Ratings for the show had never been higher though

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ESPN unwittingly turned Limbaugh into a victim

Postby jebatzel » Mon Oct 06, 2003 2:11 pm

http://www.jsonline.com/packer/news/oct03/174452.asp

"
Last Updated: Oct. 3, 2003
SportsDay



Bob Wolfley
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The world is neither a better nor a worse place because Rush Limbaugh resigned or was fired from ESPN's Sunday pregame football talk show.

These kinds of shows do not issue encyclicals, draft human rights declarations, find cures for diseases or connect to anything remotely attached to important cultural discourse.

They critique nuance of the on-side kick.

But given the incredible play Limbaugh's departure from this show has drawn, you might think he was the star of some really, really important show on TV, like "Joe Millionaire."

ESPN, by forcing Limbaugh out, succeeded in creating a circumstance for him one might think would be impossible.

ESPN has turned Limbaugh into a victim.

It took a guy with unparalleled clout in communications, a guy richer than any of the guys who hired him, and made him a free speech martyr.

On that basis alone, ESPN and "Sunday NFL Countdown" deserve an Emmy. Maybe even an ESPY.

What he said about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was not racist. A little stupid, maybe a lot of stupid, but not anywhere close to being worthy of comment by posturing candidates for president.

McNabb hasn't been overrated from the start. Two NFC championship games and three Pro Bowls for a player on a one-man-band offense is not overrated.

But Limbaugh was stating an opinion, which was precisely the reason ESPN hired him in the first place.

So what if Limbaugh is wrong there?

If you were to fire every studio analyst for something stupid or ill-conceived said on these shows, all of these guys would have been fired by now.

Here's what got Limbaugh waived four weeks into the season by ESPN President George Bodenheimer: "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL," Limbaugh said Sunday. "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 for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

To these ears and eyes, that doesn't come close to being racist. Doesn't come close to Al Campanis, Jimmy the Greek or Ben Wright levels of objectionable.

Ill-conceived hogwash, yes.

In weak moments, I confess to spending some time with members of the sports media. I've never once heard anyone say, "Pssst. Hey, buddy, take it easy on McNabb. The league needs to have more black quarterbacks do well."

Just where you would go to get evidence to support that view about "the media" is hard to understand. But Limbaugh has never been mistaken for Marshall McLuhan when it comes to wise commentary about communications.

None of Limbaugh's colleagues on the show - Chris Berman, Steve Young, Michael Irvin or Tom Jackson - challenged Limbaugh on that part of his comments when he made them. To their ears, what he said was so outrageous, so horrible, they ignored it.

Jackson and Young did challenge him on the notion of McNabb being overrated.

So this allegedly charged racist commentary was so obvious to everyone, everyone who first heard it ignored it. It was so obvious, no one wrote about it or commented about it the next day.

The firestorm that resulted in Limbaugh's departure wasn't ignited until a few Philadelphia reporters visited the topic Tuesday in published reports or commentaries.

Then a few of the presidential candidates dropped their gloves and that was it for Limbaugh.

At that point, one can easily imagine the NFL got involved and put in a call to ESPN.

When presidential candidates check in with condemnations of something said on a pregame NFL show, the lords of the sport are not going to be pleased. All of these lords have cell phones.

Limbaugh "resigned" late Wednesday night after not backing off his comment during his radio show earlier in the day.

In his prepared statement, Limbaugh suggested that there might be another layer here. Perhaps he lost the support of Berman or Jackson, who have been the faces and voices of "Countdown" all these years.

"This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret," Limbaugh said.

In any case, Limbaugh was banished from his part-time job.

He has been stripped of the stage to talk about pro football, unless he chooses to do so on his radio show.

But ESPN has helped him segue into another role: victim. And unlike the case he tried to build about McNabb, this one is good.

As for the allegations about his obtaining and using prescription pain pills, he's on his own there."


Call SportsWaves at (414) 223-5531 or send e-mail to mailto:bwolfley@journalsentinel.com

interesting points.

JB
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Postby Guest » Mon Oct 06, 2003 3:02 pm

The guys on ESPN NFL Countdown acted like a bunch of cowards yesterday. Period.
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Postby zombiez » Mon Oct 06, 2003 3:07 pm

Agreed GP ;-D
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Re: ESPN unwittingly turned Limbaugh into a victim

Postby dgroundhog_ffc » Mon Oct 06, 2003 3:27 pm

jebatzel wrote:http://www.jsonline.com/packer/news/oct03/174452.asp

"
Last Updated: Oct. 3, 2003
SportsDay



Bob Wolfley
E-MAIL | ARCHIVE



The world is neither a better nor a worse place because Rush Limbaugh resigned or was fired from ESPN's Sunday pregame football talk show.

These kinds of shows do not issue encyclicals, draft human rights declarations, find cures for diseases or connect to anything remotely attached to important cultural discourse.

They critique nuance of the on-side kick.

But given the incredible play Limbaugh's departure from this show has drawn, you might think he was the star of some really, really important show on TV, like "Joe Millionaire."

ESPN, by forcing Limbaugh out, succeeded in creating a circumstance for him one might think would be impossible.

ESPN has turned Limbaugh into a victim.

It took a guy with unparalleled clout in communications, a guy richer than any of the guys who hired him, and made him a free speech martyr.

On that basis alone, ESPN and "Sunday NFL Countdown" deserve an Emmy. Maybe even an ESPY.

What he said about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was not racist. A little stupid, maybe a lot of stupid, but not anywhere close to being worthy of comment by posturing candidates for president.

McNabb hasn't been overrated from the start. Two NFC championship games and three Pro Bowls for a player on a one-man-band offense is not overrated.

But Limbaugh was stating an opinion, which was precisely the reason ESPN hired him in the first place.

So what if Limbaugh is wrong there?

If you were to fire every studio analyst for something stupid or ill-conceived said on these shows, all of these guys would have been fired by now.

Here's what got Limbaugh waived four weeks into the season by ESPN President George Bodenheimer: "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL," Limbaugh said Sunday. "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 for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

To these ears and eyes, that doesn't come close to being racist. Doesn't come close to Al Campanis, Jimmy the Greek or Ben Wright levels of objectionable.

Ill-conceived hogwash, yes.

In weak moments, I confess to spending some time with members of the sports media. I've never once heard anyone say, "Pssst. Hey, buddy, take it easy on McNabb. The league needs to have more black quarterbacks do well."

Just where you would go to get evidence to support that view about "the media" is hard to understand. But Limbaugh has never been mistaken for Marshall McLuhan when it comes to wise commentary about communications.

None of Limbaugh's colleagues on the show - Chris Berman, Steve Young, Michael Irvin or Tom Jackson - challenged Limbaugh on that part of his comments when he made them. To their ears, what he said was so outrageous, so horrible, they ignored it.

Jackson and Young did challenge him on the notion of McNabb being overrated.

So this allegedly charged racist commentary was so obvious to everyone, everyone who first heard it ignored it. It was so obvious, no one wrote about it or commented about it the next day.

The firestorm that resulted in Limbaugh's departure wasn't ignited until a few Philadelphia reporters visited the topic Tuesday in published reports or commentaries.

Then a few of the presidential candidates dropped their gloves and that was it for Limbaugh.

At that point, one can easily imagine the NFL got involved and put in a call to ESPN.

When presidential candidates check in with condemnations of something said on a pregame NFL show, the lords of the sport are not going to be pleased. All of these lords have cell phones.

Limbaugh "resigned" late Wednesday night after not backing off his comment during his radio show earlier in the day.

In his prepared statement, Limbaugh suggested that there might be another layer here. Perhaps he lost the support of Berman or Jackson, who have been the faces and voices of "Countdown" all these years.

"This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret," Limbaugh said.

In any case, Limbaugh was banished from his part-time job.

He has been stripped of the stage to talk about pro football, unless he chooses to do so on his radio show.

But ESPN has helped him segue into another role: victim. And unlike the case he tried to build about McNabb, this one is good.

As for the allegations about his obtaining and using prescription pain pills, he's on his own there."


Call SportsWaves at (414) 223-5531 or send e-mail to mailto:bwolfley@journalsentinel.com

interesting points.

JB


Wolfley must have typed that from behind his pointed white hat.

Milwaukee isn't exactly a bastion for racial equality. He's clearly a Rush lover. I won't call Rush racist - others have....I remember a lampoon of 'I Got Friends in Low Places' by a Rush impersonator changed to 'I Got Friends With White Faces (They Hide Themselves in Pillow Cases)', but he is INSENSITIVE to racial issues. He may not be overtly racist (debateable), but him spouting his racial conspiracy theories on a non-political venue is in poor taste, it shows poor decision making, and when you offend an entire race publicly with as bizarre a scenario as Rush tossed out there you deserve to be fired. ESPN dropped the ball by not firing himn immediately. Allowing Rush to walk on his own terms leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many of it's viewers (of all colors).
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Postby M_Zimm_ffc » Mon Oct 06, 2003 3:41 pm

Everybody needs to let it go. Rush is right about McNabb, but wrong about the reason of him being overrated.
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Postby moochman » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:05 am

M_Zimm wrote:Everybody needs to let it go. Rush is right about McNabb, but wrong about the reason of him being overrated.


My thoughts exactly! McNabb, IMO, has been over-rated because he plays in Philly. McNair has ben a better QB all along and doesn't get the pub. I guess that Tenn. is not east coast, so not hyped as much. Never forget the bias towards the coasts, mostly the east coast.
Rush is a racist and I don't care, he blows anyway. The things that should have been emphasized are:
1. He is 10 years behind the time. Black QBs haven't been an issue in a while.
2. How could he be so media stupid?! Good riddance, Rush, as to your resignation-I second it, or should I say, DITTO!
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Postby Rezen » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:18 am

I lost a lot of respect for Chris Berman and Tom Jackson on Sunday.

They both looked like they were about to cry in their so obviously scripted response to Rush's comments. They deserve an Emmy for their acting job.

As far as Rush's comments are concerned, he was wrong about the REASON McNabb is overrated, but not wrong that he IS overrated IMO. The media doesn't care one bit if a player is white, black, or burnt orange with purple polka dots and string green stripes. They just care whether you get the job done or not, and more importantly, IF YOU FAIL.

Rush DOES make a valid point that the LEAGUE wants black personnel to succeed and is willing to go to extreme measures to ensure success. This can't be disputed; there are several hundred thousand reasons why... just ask Detroit ownership when they hired Mooch.
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Postby TheREALfan » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:36 am

Can any of you just SHUT-UP about Rush already?
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Postby jebatzel » Tue Oct 07, 2003 2:53 pm

The topic bothering you or something?

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