FanDuel - WFBC

October 01, 2003

Did anybody catch Rush Limbaugh calling Donovan McNabb "overrated" and claim that the hype surrounding him is because of the media's "desire for Black quarterbacks and coaches to do well"? Here's a rejoinder to Rush's shooting off of his mouth.

posted by vito90 to football at 09:07 AM - 82 comments

I have to offer a comment here. There's nothing inherently wrong in rooting for a Black quarterback or coach to succeed. There's nothing wrong with rooting for a Japanese player to succeed in the MLB. There's nothing wrong with rooting for a white player to succeed in the NBA. There's nothing wrong with rooting for an American to do well in the European football league.

posted by vito90 at 09:12 AM on October 01

Why, again, is Limbaugh on a pre-game show? And are we to assume that these shows will continue to descend into idiocy, leading eventually to casts made up entirely of strippers and talk-radio hosts? I guess I don't understand why anyone cares what Limbaugh thinks about McNabb. We don't ask Chris Berman about Bush's economic policy (thank God), we should stop asking AM talk-radio hosts and smarmy stand-ups what they think about the Eagles.

posted by joycey at 09:24 AM on October 01

The Philly media has been all over this story, and I see today that Sports Illustrated is running a story headlined Is Rush racist?. No surprise here, but I don't see much defense for claiming that McNabb's race prevents the media from admitting that he's never been that good. Limbaugh's full remarks:

I think the sum total of what you're all saying is that Donovan McNabb is regressing, he's going backwards. And ... I'm sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They're interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well; I think there is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn't deserve. The defense carried this team ... I think he got a lot of credit for the defensive side of the ball winning games for this team.
Anyone who looks at McNabb's numbers can see instantly that Limbaugh's "not that good" assessment is bogus. You don't throw more than 60 touchdowns in three years without being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Claiming that he's praised by the media as some kind of affirmative action is ridiculous and offensive.

posted by rcade at 09:28 AM on October 01

the link pretty much nailed it on the head..... i didn't know rush was on espn (it's a tough life without cable....errr.....maybe not).....but that's what he's there for: entertainment. frankly, i don't think anyone with a sane view of mcnabb could possibly agree with rush's assessment. like the link says, mcnabb's record speaks for itself and i don't see anyone in the press saying mcnabb's the next coming of joe montana (now that is an example of the media overrating a qb) off topic: on another note, television sports color commentary is getting way out of hand. when you put former players and pundits on a set or calling a game the trend seems to be who can say the most outrageous thing or who could bring the most insightful soundbyte to a play or player. rarely do they concentrate on calling the game. exhibit a: steve lyons (is that his name) last night was praising sosa for trying to stretch a single into a double on a bad baserunning mistake late in the game. lyons was saying it was a great play on sosa's part. no steve.....the object of the game is to not get out. there's nothing good about making an out on what was initially a single. there was nothing to praise about the play other than sheffield's nice throw. but these color guys thinks they can show us something that we didn't see or didn't know about the game......and most of the time, as is the case here, they just are way off.

posted by oliver_crunk at 09:45 AM on October 01

It isn't how he routinely refuses to make the big mistakes - going into this season, his interception percentage was third-lowest in NFL history. It isn't that in the most important quarterback stat - touchdown-to-interception ratio - McNabb was fourth all-time in the league. It isn't that his physical toughness is unchallenged, or that his teammates have followed him from the day he showed up in 1999. How the hell can anyone argue with that?

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:49 AM on October 01

oliver crunk...was it also Steve Lyons who praised Kerry Wood's baserunning ability when he scored from second on a flare single? Lyon's talked about how Wood realized the ball was going to drop and took off. He didn't mention that there were two outs, and even T-Ball players know to take off on the crack of the bat with two outs...

posted by vito90 at 10:11 AM on October 01

Are we actually giving creedence to anything that balloon head spews? I can see his comment was spawned from the running 'black QB' discussion we've all heard bits of over the years, but he obviously hasn't been following McNabb's stats. oliver, I see what your saying. Pro sports' focus and desire for individual stars has spawned this phenomenon. I didn't see the Sosa play, but I'm willing to bet if the error was made by a call-up from the farm team, there would be no hesitation to criticize. Sugar coating to the extreme. Just like how no one calling the game cares to notice Mario Lemeiux's incapacity to back-check.

posted by garfield at 10:11 AM on October 01

Rush's comment speaks for itself. In some way I'm glad that he's commenting on sports because it lays bare the utter ridiculousness of what he's saying. In other words, Rush is making a jackass out of himself for the whole world to see.

posted by Mike McD at 10:27 AM on October 01

vito- funny that you mention that play.....i was watching the game on mute and listening to some tom waits. i was sparred i guess....i don't think i could have taken 9 innings of that guy.....hard to believe he wore a major league uniform. fox coverage of baseball from the camera angles to the announcing is just plain terrible....the worst....ever....and i didn't turn the volume up until the 7th or 8th when i suprised to hear more cubs fans in truner than brave fans.

posted by oliver_crunk at 10:29 AM on October 01

Those Atlanta (non)fans are unbelievable...game 1 of the playoffs and the Cub fans are louder than the Braves fans.

posted by cg1001a at 10:37 AM on October 01

forget the expos, contract (or move or whatever) the Braves. If you have a team that successful (or on the cusp of significant success) for so long but can't be arsed to fill the stadium then something is wrong. But anyway, what was the over/under on how many weeks it would take Rush to say something that would make some waves?

posted by gspm at 11:57 AM on October 01

Rush is making a jackass out of himself for the whole world to see. and espn is getting exactly what they paid for...chuckling dittoheads and pissed-off joes...all of whom will tune in to see what the asshole farts next.

posted by danostuporstar at 11:59 AM on October 01

Give the Right enough time and they will reveal their agenda and prove they are wrong. If this situation was reversed Rush would be the first to say that the other side is shamelessly playing the race card; Rush is nothing more load mouth racist. I'll give him one thing: he represents the people who listen to his radio show very well.

posted by Bag Man at 12:14 PM on October 01

I don't think outrageous stupidity is the goldmine for ESPN that people think it is. Morton Downey Jr., Michael Savage, and Dr. Laura all made it their life's work to say stupid things on their TV shows, and they all laid an egg and were quickly off the air. I don't expect Limbaugh to last a single season.

posted by rcade at 12:16 PM on October 01

Rush should hurry up and die...

posted by StarFucker at 12:21 PM on October 01

I'm surprised no one is defending Rush - doesn't he have a huge following? I will say this though... I have no doubt in my mind that there are people who work for the NFL, who long to see black quaterbacks succeed. This league has built its fortune of the backs of black players (and white ones too - but they offered them jobs after retirement) but until fairly recently had a caveman attitude toward the hiring of black coaches and management (is there a black GM in the league?). The media has called them on this issue on more than one occassion. I'm sure it's pleasing that the McNabbs and McNairs are doing well to these people because they think it shows that they are in fact not racially biased toward the quarterback position - when clearly the opposite is true. But for the most part, Rush is focusing on a debate and issue that has not been relevant for some time. This misguided attack on 'reverse' racism, or whatever the hell the Right wants to call it, is all the more revealing of his ingrained bigotry. I say, keep him on the air as long as possible. We need to know where these people are and what they talk about in their newsletters. ESPN needs to have its ass kicked too - its a circus over there these days.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:45 PM on October 01

"An apology would do no good because he obviously thought about it before he said it." so mcnabb ain't fazed....good for him..... there's plenty of good soundbytes in the article too....including: "I'm not pointing at anyone, but someone should have said it," McNabb said. "I wouldn't have cared if it was the cameraman." Before McNabb's news conference, an ESPN spokesman said he didn't think the comments were racially biased. "He was comparing McNabb's performance on the field to his reputation in the media," spokesman Dave Nagle said. He said Limbaugh doesn't do interviews. "ESPN hired Limbaugh for his passion and his ability to express opinion and spark debate as a football fan," Nagle said. "In just one month, he has certainly delivered."

posted by oliver_crunk at 01:16 PM on October 01

Hey, I'm just glad he's not on College Gameday, now that would be a tragedy.

posted by patrickje at 01:23 PM on October 01

More to the point is the following paragraph from the story on ESPN.com, which also has Oliver's quote: ESPN spokesman Dave Nagle said Tuesday that with Limbaugh on the show this season, ratings for "Sunday NFL Countdown" are up 10 percent overall, and 26 percent among the 18-to-34 male demographic. Sunday's show drew its biggest audience in the regular season since November 1996. So, ratings are up and you know that's all the execs care about. Limbaugh can stay, go, or die but I still won't be watching that sad excuse for a pre-game show. I mean look at Al Campanis (sp?), the guy who used to be the Dodgers' VP, and what happened to him after his poorly worded interview on Nightline. So many years later, hard to believe there are still people intelligent enough to get themselves such a sweet gig but not smart enough to avoid similar piles of dog poo (regardless of their actual beliefs).

posted by billsaysthis at 01:26 PM on October 01

I'd just like to point out that Rush reitterated what he meant later on in the segment; he mentioned that he thought Donovan's success was a product of a fantastic Phili defence and that the defence won him more games than he did. The other 3 jumped in, but I kinda agreed with him on that point. The race card was probably unnecessary, however, we'll see if he was right about the overrated part via this year's results (Phili's defence is nowhere near as good as it was last year).

posted by therev at 01:48 PM on October 01

I also find it quite odd how many people give sportscasters a hard time, such as my dad did to Steve Lyons last night during the Cubs-Braves game. He forgot how many outs there were; big deal. I'd love to hear anyone who has watched a significant number of games at home claim they've never done the same thing a few times. Get over it. These guys are human, just like you and me.

posted by therev at 01:50 PM on October 01

I don't think it's a matter of whether or not Steve Lyons forgot the number of outs during the game. I did it playing softball this summer and cost my team a run. It happens to everyone. But guys like Lyons, Joe Morgan, et al are taking jobs away from people who can actually speak the English language and get their thoughts out. The "jockocracy" Howard Cosell hated so much is alive and well in these dunderheads. Therev, the next time you watch a game, I want you to tell me how many times the color commentator (if he is a former player) tells you something you wouldn't have surmised on your own. If it's more than five per game, the guy's worth his weight in gold. But if consistently says the obvious, or worse (a la Lyons), makes statements that are blatantly wrong/stupid/both, there's another guy out there who could be missing those calls who at least can get out an entire sentence without tripping himself.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:00 PM on October 01

Playing the race card was completely unnecessary. We finally get to a point where most of the idiotic notions about black quarterbacks are a thing of the past (not cerebral, unwilling to stay in the pocket long enough, blah blah), and Limbaugh uses his fourth week on the air to bring that shit back.

posted by rcade at 02:14 PM on October 01

I thought that the "race card" was when you blamed racism for something, or brought it into an unrelated discussion. It sounds like Limbaugh was just saying (thinly veiled) racist shit. That being said, I've gotta agree with vito's comment. I root for black quarterbacks, not because as individuals I hope that they do better than white quarterbacks or something, but because I like to think of all the great black quarterbacks that never were (and ended up being too-slow safeties or whatever) because of the "white-up-the-middle" philosophy that really was a dominant meme in football for decades, and it is awesome to see that injustice quantifiably mitigated. If a quarterback sucks, I won't root for him, but Donvaon McNabb does not suck. Let's see Limbaugh's favorite quarterback go to the Pro Bowl with no running game and wide receivers like Charles Johnson or James Thrash. You know who the new underdog is? Black quarterbacks who are slow. How many times have you heard Warren Moon, Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich instinctively called "athletic" by someone for whom black=scrambler?

posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 02:53 PM on October 01

welcome Iggy.

posted by garfield at 03:31 PM on October 01

I'd like to elaborate on my initial comment. The benefit of having Rush comment on sports is that unlike the real world where clear cut situations are ellusive, the sports world is quite black and white. Therefore, Rush's comments can be proved or disproved. When Rush says unqualified blacks get jobs because of affirmative action ... well it's hard to prove one way or the other. But when Rush says Donovan McNabb is"overrated" because of the media's "desire for Black quarterbacks and coaches to do well" then you can test his claim against the facts. We can point out the statistics that wfrazerjr provided above. We can point out that in the NFL it's the fans, players, and coaches who elected McNabb to three straight Pro Bowls, not the media. We can point out that McNabb was the 2nd pick in the 1999 draft and GM's don't risk their jobs on players (remember Philly fans wanted Ricky Williams) because of a 'little social concern', they take the best player. We can point out that McNabb accounted for an astonishing 74.6% of the Eagles total net yards in 2000. No, Rush has it backwards. In the NFL, contrary to getting the benefit of the doubt, black quarterbacks have had to kick in the door to get where they are. And I don't think Rush will get away with this. I think someone will challenge him and he'll have to defend his moronic statement and he can only look stupid in the process because he is wrong.

posted by Mike McD at 03:36 PM on October 01

oliver_crunk...sorry, you got it before me! My bad...

posted by Bag Man at 03:38 PM on October 01

Tell ESPN what you think here.

posted by aacheson at 04:26 PM on October 01

This just in: Isiah Thomas just said that if Donovan McNabb was white, he'd be just another quarterback... Not really, but I hope you get the point...

posted by Conquistador at 04:34 PM on October 01

McNabb is overrated. The Eagles have done as well in the regular season with their second and third stringers. This could also be a result of good coaching by Andy Reid. Why is he overrated? The PC media, Rush? You can't be serious. If anything it's because the NFL historically has held up the QBs of winning teams, maybe more than they deserved. Nevertheless, McNabb does put highlight reel plays up, which plays into that heroism that we've always associated with NFL QBs of the past. In today's salary cap NFL where mediocre QBs are getting Super Bowl rings in recent years(Dilfer, Brady, Brad Johnson, Warner?) we yearn to look for that hero playmaking QB, even though it's becoming an anachronism, especially when coaches now call all the plays. (except for Manning) It doesn't matter what skin color they are, it just matters to most fans if they're reasonably successful and make flashy plays. (prime example would be Jake Plummer during his lone playoff year with Arziona who would always get his team in the hole with bad interceptions and then lead his team to comeback) Did Irvin or Jackson have a retort? I would've countered to Rush with the example of the show pony that is Jason Sehorn, who used to play the cornerback position that is pretty much all black players in the NFL. He was way overrated and got a lot of notice because he was an anomaly. So much so that he got into the Pro Bowl, even though he wasn't anywhere near deserving. He's not the only overrated white players in the NFL: Allstott and Urlacher are overpraised because they are "throw-back" players.

posted by GoDizzGo at 04:43 PM on October 01

godizzgo- that sehorn stuff is so true.....the local media was batty over that guy. he was expendable though....had to make room for shockey.

posted by oliver_crunk at 05:16 PM on October 01

Except that Urlacher led the league in tackles last season.

posted by mbd1 at 05:52 PM on October 01

This just in: Isiah Thomas just said that if Donovan McNabb was white, he'd be just another quarterback... And it was amazing how little was said of it. Larry Bird just another player, and Thomas actually said it with a straight face. I didn't notice anyone boycotting the Pistons games, however. On topic, Rush gave espn just what they wanted. He offended those ready to be offended, and gave voice to his rabid fans. Espn will get higher ratings as everyone waits for another offensive remark, and when things get too hot in the kitchen they'll fire him and come off as the 'good guy' for shutting him up. All the while ignoring the fact that they hired him and knew exactly what they'd get. Everyone playing their part so perfectly its almost beautiful in its simplicity. The world is a stage...

posted by justgary at 05:57 PM on October 01

Hmmm... I guess I'll step up and sort of defend Mr. Limbaugh. I don't think what he said was racist. Was it in poor taste? Yes. Was he wrong? Probably so. But racist? If he had said that McNabb was a bad QB because of his race, that would've been racist. Look, I think it is true that in such a black-dominated sport where blacks used to be shut out of becoming QBs, and continually get shut out of head coaching positions, people definitely really want black QBs and coaches to succeed more often. Does it get to the point where people heap more praise on a black QB? Probably not, but I don't think it's racist to think that people might overlook McNabb's deficiencies because of his race.... GoDizGo: Yep, Sehorn is a perfect example of the reverse situation.

posted by gyc at 06:06 PM on October 01

If he had said that McNabb was a bad QB because of his race, that would've been racist.
Let me get this straight. It's not racist to claim that McNabb is only considered a good QB because we want blacks to succeed. That's saying in different words: McNabb is a bad QB and we only call him good because he's black.
Still racist. If you want to avoid sounding like a racist don't use the words black or white to describe the player.
For example: I don't believe McNabb is that great a QB. I think he's a product of hype. Period. Thats how most people describe Shockey isn't it?
As in: I don't think Shockey is the best TE. I think its all the hype his mouth brings. See?
And yes, Jason Sehorn is a role player.

posted by lilnemo at 06:30 PM on October 01

Let me get this straight. It's not racist to claim that McNabb is only considered a good QB because we want blacks to succeed. That's saying in different words: McNabb is a bad QB and we only call him good because he's black. I guess we'll just have to disagree. If, for example, someone said that Yao Ming was considered good only because we want Asians to succeed in the NBA, I, a Chinese-American, would not consider that racist.

posted by gyc at 06:53 PM on October 01

Nemo, how bout this: Saku Koivu is overrated, and that's product of our desire to see a guy who's come back from a serious medical condition succeed. In Koivu's case, I think it's probably true. McNabb I don't think so, but sometimes our wishes to see people overcome adversity can make us overrate them. I know half of my respect for Anson Carter is a result of the fact that as a black player in the NHL, he's both something of an anomaly and someone who has had to deal with all sorts of shit on his way to the big leagues. Sometimes this sort of thing happens - we all want the underdog to win. Yes, Rush is a racist. Also, what he said was wrong, factually. But I'm not so sure that what he said about McNabb in this instance was racist. Just incorrect.

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:55 PM on October 01

Should have previewed that. GYC pretty much said what I was trying to say.

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:57 PM on October 01

Alstott? Overrated? You're gonna have to sell me on that some more. Jason 'photo op' Sehorn, I completely agree with. Spofi: Sehorn don't fool us!

posted by garfield at 08:17 PM on October 01

ESPN has back-tracked from its early statement and is now apologizing: "Although Mr. Limbaugh today stated that his comments had 'no racist intent whatsoever,' we have communicated to Mr. Limbaugh that his comments were insensitive and inappropriate. Throughout his career, he has been consistent in his criticism of the media's coverage of a myriad of issues." I think he's gone before Sunday.

posted by rcade at 10:33 PM on October 01

I just deleted a double post that has some more comments on Limbaugh (and a weird new allegation on the Drudge Report).

posted by rcade at 10:35 PM on October 01

Rush Limbaugh just resigned from ESPN.

posted by rcade at 11:06 PM on October 01

Now people can quit boycotting and move on to other issues like world hunger. Football is safe again.

posted by justgary at 11:14 PM on October 01

Just saw it and was searching for the updated FPP and wound up here. Wow, that shit happened fast, yo. You might say, it happened in quite a "rush". ooh

posted by vito90 at 11:14 PM on October 01

Okay, who had week four in the pool?

posted by kloeprich at 12:08 AM on October 02

"All this has become the tempest that it is because I must have been right about something," Limbaugh said. "If I wasn't right, there wouldn't be this cacophony of outrage that has sprung up in the sports writer community." golly, pissing people off by making inflammatory comments automatically makes you right? i've got to try this.

posted by kjh at 12:28 AM on October 02

Just reported on the Howard Stern Show (it's a news show, the FCC says so) "Rush Busted in Drug Sting" I can't wait for details.

posted by garfield at 06:25 AM on October 02

score

posted by danostuporstar at 08:05 AM on October 02

Garf, that was in the deleted post that Rcade was talking about above.

posted by Samsonov14 at 08:46 AM on October 02

From the ESPN article reporting his resignation: "All this has become the tempest that it is because I must have been right about something," Limbaugh said. "If I wasn't right, there wouldn't be this cacophony of outrage that has sprung up in the sports writer community." What a dickhole.

posted by Samsonov14 at 08:51 AM on October 02

I guess that's why I missed it.

posted by garfield at 08:52 AM on October 02

I disagree with Rush's football analysis on Donovan. It's certainly an angle I haven't come close to thinking of. Since the Lions won't sniff a Super Bowl any time soon, I rooted for the Eagles in the playoffs last season because of Donovan. But the backlash over Rush's comments is absurd. Democratic Presidential candidates have commented about this? It goes to show how desperate they are. Let me guess, the blogging community, I mean, the sensitivity police will take credit for bringing down Rush. Freedom of speech is selective. Where was the furor when mental midget Dusty Baker made his archaic, asinine comments about how minorities are better suited to play in the heat? I suppose that means Sosa will not play in the next playoff game, since it will be chilly in Chicago. This isn't about Donovan or race. This is about a bunch of people with a corncob-shaped agenda up their ass that despises Rush. I bet these people are dancing in the streets over this. These people's lives must be so disturbingly empty that "victories" like this give them a reason to get up in the morning. I wonder what the country would be like if these people directed their anti-Rush passion toward improving their local community by helping adults learn to read, feeding the hungry, cleaning rivers and streams, and so on? But that would require these clowns to get off their ass and away from their computer and TV for a few hours a month. A hardship. Instead, they would rather sit around and drink a $4 latte and dilute themselves into thinking they have made a difference in the world.

posted by munger at 08:54 AM on October 02

One less Rush in the visible world IS a victory and improving the national community...we're not there yet, but we're working on it. Cleaning rivers and streams? You've gotta be shitting me! Are individuals polluting rivers and streams? No. It's business. As usual. But the cards are stacked against us passionate do-gooders....'Why?' you ask...Because a corporation, which in its essence is a collective to pool resources, is granted the rights of the individual. So I ask you, is a 50 ton gorilla going to lose to activists, whose resources pale in comparison and are not granted the same collective legal protections? Hmmmm. I'm not advocating apathy, but you have to understand the game. You do have a point about the reading and feeding, though. And Dusty, well, though a generalization, his comment has basis in scientific fact....and logically, the contrary does not follow...if it did, we'd have alot more slavs and innuit playing the in northern big league cities...you know, to capitalize on home field advantage.

posted by garfield at 09:33 AM on October 02

improving their local community by helping adults learn to read, feeding the hungry, cleaning rivers and streams sounds like one of them there corncob-shaped liberal agendas to me. was that supposed to be an argument in support of Rush? sincere thanks for trying (we needed that)...but even Limbaugh's minions would laugh at that one. and comparing Dusty Baker's comments to Rush's is tenable to an extent, ...but in the end compares apples to oranges. one is a sports professional commenting on his own players, the other is a media blowhard who knows jack about sports attempting to sell a political opinion by slathering it in (inaccurrate) sports analysis.

posted by danostuporstar at 10:16 AM on October 02

I wonder what the country would be like if these people directed their anti-Rush passion toward improving their local community by helping adults learn to read, feeding the hungry, cleaning rivers and streams, and so on? The air is now cleaner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays on ESPN.

posted by rcade at 10:41 AM on October 02

First of all, I think that McNabb has handled the whole situation very very well. Kudos to him for being a grown-up in a childish situation. Second, I don't think Rush's comments were necessarily racist in a typical way (i.e. He's bad because he's black) just pointless and indicitive of what the main complaint that Black America has about White America.... Namely, as McNabb said, why bring race into it at all? Can't he just be a QB, not a "black QB?" We don't talk about Brett Farvre as a "white QB," he's just a QB. The point is that white America is always putting on a racial label. White America doesn't see black men as men, they see them as black AND men, whereas they see white men strictly as men. I think that is the point in the end-and a problem that is deeply ingrained in the white psyche. The point is, what did bringing up race do? Sure, feel free to discuss if he's an overrated QB, but what's the point of bringing up race? Frankly, I'm glad Rush resigned. I can't believe that ESPN would give someone like him a forum to express his views. I don't have a problem with someone who has different views, but I do have a problem with someone who has made their career on being divisive, mean spirited, insulting, dismissive, and rude. People can disagree without showing the above characteristics.

posted by aacheson at 11:08 AM on October 02

aacheson, I think you might have too rosy a picture of the flipside. In my neighborhood, I'm called 'whitey', in a good way mind you, when I pick up a case of beer. I agree with everything else you say, though. rcade, brill.

posted by garfield at 11:20 AM on October 02

Word up, whitey.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:46 AM on October 02

Rush Limbaugh is still a big fat idiot The creation of the Rush Limbaugh era was a move of astonishing cynicism by ESPN, a race down the low road in search of a buck or two, middle finger extended out the driver's side window at its best customers, hardcore sports fans. Knowing that any publicity is good publicity and that hiring Limbaugh would have tongues wagging, the network hired him knowing he'd add nothing to viewers' enjoyment of the games but plenty to the bottom line as the curious tuned in to see how Rush would try to shape the events on the field to fit his know-nothing political agenda.

posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 01:22 PM on October 02

I wonder what the country would be like if these people directed their anti-Rush passion toward improving their local community by helping adults learn to read, feeding the hungry, cleaning rivers and streams, and so on? I'm really interested that you chose to associate all these commendable activities with the anti-Rush body politic. I thank you - shall I assume the pro-Rush contingent seems to want to avoid doing any of the above if it means raising taxes or handcuffing big business? Oh, and you can feel free to use the word tree-hugger if you like - after all, if you're anti-Rush you MUST be a tree-huggin' environmentalist, right? I'm also baffled by your instance to lay the blame about this issue at the feet of anyone but Mr. Limbaugh - who either is a complete idiot for not seeing the potential ramifications of his comments, or is at the very least insensitive and wildly misinformed. But this isn't Rush's fault? Scapegoats a-poppin'!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:01 PM on October 02

Spofi: Minus one certain pill-poppin', declining to comment Limbaugh, and all the better for it.

posted by garfield at 02:11 PM on October 02

I just wanted to point out we are all hypocritical, opportunistic, and silly. except you, munger.

posted by garfield at 04:24 PM on October 02

Weedy, why did you copy that bit straight from MetaFilter, since it was thoroughly mowed over there by the time you posted it here? Anyway, I certainly think it's rush's blame to take except that the execs at ESPN didn't move quickly enough to properly handle it so they get some asswhoopin' too.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:51 PM on October 02

White America doesn't see black men as men, they see them as black AND men, whereas they see white men strictly as men. I think that is the point in the end-and a problem that is deeply ingrained in the white psyche. The point is, what did bringing up race do? Sure, feel free to discuss if he's an overrated QB, but what's the point of bringing up race? You need to change that from "white american" to american period. Both black people and white people bring race into everything. I could give you example after example, but in reality just go out to any black basketball court (if you're white ) and see if race is brought into it. American is obsessed with race, not just black america. Anyway, I certainly think it's rush's blame to take except that the execs at ESPN didn't move quickly enough to properly handle it so they get some asswhoopin' too. Didn't move quickly enough? They got just what they wanted. Controversy and higher ratings. I still think people are missing the point. Espn KNEW what they were getting and got it. Rush was hired to do exactly what he did. Was anyone shocked by what Rush said? Espn played the public like a fiddle.

posted by justgary at 05:35 PM on October 02

Justgary, Maybe you can elaborate on your comment. I live in Manhattan and I'm a basketball nut. That's led me to a few courts where I am the only white guy. It's a good experience. Yes, when you are the only white guy the black guys will sometimes ignore you (by ignore I mean not pick you/let you play even if it's obvious you're waiting). Sometimes you'll be the last pick (and I'm a pretty good baller). But I will say this, overall black guys will go out of their way to be inclusive and be nice to white guys.

posted by Mike McD at 08:43 PM on October 02

I have to concur with Mike McD. I went to SIU-Carbondale, and while they had a totally kickass new rec center, I decided to go out the grade school behind it and play on predominantly black courts. Unlike Mike, I almost totally sucked, and made a complete ass of myself, until one older man (about 35 and frighteningly similar to Sherman Helmsley) began picking me when he realized I could pass and had no desire to shoot. He played with me for a week straight, until even I made the occasional J. I wasn't looked down on by the blacks I played with because I was white they razzed me because I sucked, but even then, I think they took it easy on me, and I always got an extra little bump when I did something solid.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:18 PM on October 02

Here's what I found interesting if you've seen the actual tape. Michael Irvin and Tom Jackson didn't even react when this was said on the Game Day set. They didn't even flinch, and these are two guys who are not afraid to voice their opinion. And someone pointed this out above, but I find it hilarious that some democratic presidential candidates have added this to their agenda. Liberals in this country suffer from a chronic case of white guilt. But I can tell you that this will all blow over and we'll all still hate each other again in the morning. And reading some of the above, it's clear that a large portion of you love all races, but think Rush is a f#cking idiot. It's still hate jackasses, and isn't worth any less because the guy already has a target on his back. And enough with the feel good stories. If blacks are humans, they hate and love us just as much and are just as flawed. They don't want pity points.

posted by usfbull at 09:41 PM on October 02

spofi: drinkin' some hater-ade.

posted by oliver_crunk at 10:22 PM on October 02

Justgary, Maybe you can elaborate on your comment. I grew up in a black neighborhood. I don't play much anymore but in high school I too was a basketball nut, and I was pretty good. Everytime I played on a new court it was always the same. First ignored. then I 'play pretty good for a white guy', then you get called bird because he's the only white player they seemed to respect. Don't get me wrong, I loved playing on black courts. I was always well received and had great times. But race does come up. Black people are not blind to race nor certain preconceptions that come with such thinking (white guy = can't play basketball) I never minded being told I play pretty well for a 'white guy', (even though telling someone he writes well for a 'black guy' would be taken differently) because I know it was meant to be a compliment, not an insult. I also grew up going to all black parties as well as mixed and white parties. Again, I was very welcome at black parties, more than a black person would have been at an all white party. But references to me being the 'white' guy at the party were not hard to come by. My point being that its not white people who bring up race, its people period that do it. Its human nature. Sure, it would be nice not to see color. But we do. Both sides, not just white america.

posted by justgary at 10:25 PM on October 02

1) I've heard it said that Rush commentary and ESPN's designs for him as a commentator, as race baiting. I agree and it's pretty easy to see why: in his first Sunday piece on Countdown, when everyone was geeked up to hear the upcoming games, Rush railed against the NFL's diversity policy regarding head coaches. O-tay. It's a day-old-bread issue that had been well-covered on sports talk radio during the off-season, and he did it obviously to score points for his side of the affimative action argument not only on this clunky NFL policy, but on the policy in general. It was kind of odd to have Rush open with this on the first Sunday of the season, and it certainly wouldn't endear him ESPN's black audience, especially when they didn't turn ESPN on to see Face the Nation. But obvously this was okay with the producers of Countdown. Next he calls a Pro Bowl QB overrated, basically because the liberal media has hyped him, and that the Eagles have a good defense. As i've written in a post above, there is something to his argument that McNabb is overrated, but he puts out a strange argument by inserting his global view that there's a liberal sports media shepherding his Pro Bowl status chiefly because he is black. It's kind of like pairing steak dinner with a side of Captain Crunch. They're both something to chew on, but they just don't go together. The unusual part of his argument is seen as veiled racism because for a long time many coaches, (from Pop Warner to pro) management, and boosters have thought that blacks didn't have "certain qualities" that made them a good QB. Now Rush may be saying that McNabb isn't a great QB, but just a good one, but nevertheless it echoes those tacit opinions that held many black Americans from being the field general. Thus the overwhelming reaction. To address responses to my previous post about certain white players being overrated: 2) Urlacher is overrated. He's not quite a Pro Bowler IMO. His pass coverage lacks, and he's been helped a lot by having the talented big load Ted Washington in front of him taking up blockers on the line. Now he doesn't have him, and he's not covering the pass, and playing the run as well. 3) Allstott is overrated. Credit Gruden that he worked on him to stop his fumbling last year, especially in crucial situations. Before that he was a fumbler with poor handling tendencies and his Q rating was helped by Boomer liking him coming out of the draft, doing those "boom boom" sound effects whenever he called one of his highlights. Worst part: He's been voted as a Pro Bowl fullback, when he doesn't even play that blocking fullback position, and he wouldn't make it as a tailback.

posted by GoDizzGo at 10:44 PM on October 02

Anti-Rush, pro-Rush, tree-huggin, liberal. All labels. In my earlier comments, I'm guilty of this too. Do we need them? I don't know why we need the race question on the forms we complete. Consistency in how people are treated for their opinions -- Rush's or Dusty's -- would be nice, but probably not possible. My comments weren't meant to support or oppose Rush. With or without Rush, my life is no different. I question the fanaticism that exists in support of and against Rush. Same for entertainers and athletes. I've got better things to do with my time. "Weedy", I'm blaming who for what? "garfield", cleaning our local rivers means using garbage bags and rubber boots to gather trash that's mainly from individuals. Same for cleaning our beaches and roadsides. These local places I frequent, it's nice to see them clean. Participating in my church's feed-the-hungry program, helping the local bird observatory with their avian research, and volunteering with the Nature Conservancy are not lefty-righty issues. They are local issues that seem good. They don't require tons of time. The best, however, is teaching someone to read. After that, issues like this Rush-thing become insignificant. Don't ignore the local community.

posted by munger at 12:16 AM on October 03

If you read this whole thread all the way through, ignoring the occasional jerkass comments that we all make, you might almost think we're a bunch of smart people with differing points of view. Good for us. Also, I'm drunk.

posted by Samsonov14 at 01:28 AM on October 03

I love it when people throw acts of charity out as a way of telling you to get a life. Even the brightest thousand point of light has enough time left over to care whether Rachel ends up with Ross or Joey on Friends. It's a cheap shot to tell people who care about racism on ESPN that they're fanatics and could be teaching someone to read. How many lactose-intolerant Guatemalan spotted owls could you have saved with the time you spend publishing Stupid Jocks?

posted by rcade at 07:16 AM on October 03

As a lactose-intolerant Guatemalan spotted owl, I must protest. The denigration of overhyped, rodent-eating lower-life forms must stop. But enough about Rush ...

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:41 AM on October 03

Rush Limbaugh Was Right - Donovan McNabb isn't a great quarterback, and the media do overrate him because he is black -- Alan Barra at Slate Applicable to the topic and I guess Barra approaches it from a more statistical standpoint than from the ham handed angle Rush did. Is a Barra backlash coming or is his more rational and explained approach sufficient?

posted by gspm at 10:09 AM on October 03

As Barra says, many people have known that McNabb is not quite as good as his hype, and for him being a black QB has been advantageous. But if you are an NFL commentator, being on the anti-black side of race issues, in a league that is 76% black, is perilous. See Arizona, selection of Super Bowl site.

posted by cg1001a at 11:39 AM on October 03

But why bring race into it at all? Who cares what color he is? That's the whole point that McNabb had a problem with..whether or not Rush meant to be racist, why did he bring race into it? Why bring it up? Can't you just discuss if he's a good QB or not?

posted by aacheson at 04:26 PM on October 03

Rush Limbaugh just offered an opinion. That was his job, what ESPN hired him to do. None of the panelists took offense to his opinion, and in fact Michael Irvin (one of the black guys on the panel) said "Rush has a point." I thought so, too. Here's what he said: "I don't think he's been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They're interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there's a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he really didn't deserve. The defense carried this team." I noticed that all the stories, including the rejoinder that this thread is based on, takes the liberty of deleting all of the "I think"s from the quote, thereby tainting it as having been said as fact rather than opinion. As Shaq would say, that's media trickery. Meow. This "social concern", the NFL's minority mandate concerning the hiring of new coaches is no secret, and, like coaching, quarterbacking has been traditionally dominated by white men. This is changing in today's NFL, but there hasn't been a Superbowl-winning black quarterback since Doug Williams in '88, though Steve McNair came close a few years back. But I digress. "I don't think he's been that good from the get-go." Let's look at the facts. Last season, McNabb got hurt after going 7-3 as the starter. If I remember correctly, he finished half a game on a broken ankle. Amazing. Then the Eagles went 5-1 without him with a third stringer at the helm. The defense did carry the team the second half of the season. McNabb came back for the playoffs and lost. The Eagles were a good team, and McNabb had a decent season, but his role as the playmaker and the cornerstone of the team was suspect given the team's continued performance without him, his loss in the playoffs and his subsequent struggles opening the season at 1-2. This season, the hype was all about Michael Vick. Vick, the greatest quarterback sensation in decades, he was going to take Atlanta to the Superbowl. I believed Vick's hype. I was excited to watch him this season, as last year he just kept getting better and better. The guy has a rocket for an arm and he's accurate, not to mention his running game. That was before he broke his fibula, of course. (And we can all witness how well the Atlanta Falcons play without their quarterback to lead them. If Vick comes back and leads the team to the playoffs, we'll know his hype was well deserved.) After Vick went down, the big question was who now was the guy to watch? And the answer was McNabb. Or Culpepper. Two other quarterbacks who were scramblers, able to hurt defenses through the air or on the ground, two other guys who had the potential to be playmakers. Two guys who were sometimes exciting to watch. Two guys who were also black quarterbacks. All true enough, but these guys simply aren't Michael Vick. McNabb and Culpepper are great quarterbacks, but they were painted to be the best in the league, and it's just not true. Yet they were hyped up to be just that by an overzealous media looking for a Vick to take Vick's place. The problem is McNabb has accuracy issues. He always has. He'll miss a receiver by a country mile for no reason. Culpepper threw more interceptions last year than any other QB. Period. Last week, we all watched Gus Frerotte light it up as the Vikings improved to 4-0. Is Culpepper the the best QB in the league, or does he fill a role on a great team that's playing exceptional football this season? What would happen to the Eagles if Koy Detmer took over for McNabb? Interesting questions that can spark interesting discussions. Was the media "desirous that a black quarterback do well?" I think that's taking it a little far, but you have to admit, the trend of overhyping black quarterbacks has become commonplace enough to warrant a skeptical raised eyebrow or two. I think Rush's intent was to take a stab at the Minority Mandate applied to coaching and apply it to the other traditionally "white" position of football, the quarterback, while also bringing to light the fact that every year, black quarterbacks are overhyped in the preseason while white quarterbacks are virtually ignored. This trend could be for a variety of reasons, but the most obvious of these is that black quarterbacks are simply more fun to watch. A white quarterback will take a three step drop and throw the ball, or he'll get sacked, or he'll scramble out of the pocket and gain a couple yards before running out of bounds or sliding feet first before anyone can hit him. A black quarterback will take a three step drop, juke an End, duck away from a Tackle, outrun a linebacker and pump fake before tucking the ball away, juking another linebacker and gaining a first down before lowering his helmet and running over a safety. Which is more fun to watch? As a reporter, who are you going to write about and say is the best quarterback in the league? I'm generalizing, but maybe you see my point. But this, of course, is Rush Limbaugh. ESPN hired him to be controversial, he delivers, and then people get all bent out of shape about it. ESPN panics and lets him go, and everyone cheers like we should applaud the punishing of controversial opinionated people and support their being forced to resign over speaking their opinions out loud. Fascism, yippee! People only want America to stand for freedom of speech if what's being said sounds good to them. Right or wrong, the man should be allowed to speak his opinion, politically correct or not.

posted by David Dark at 06:20 AM on October 05

But why bring race into it at all? Who cares what color he is? It would be nice, but its simply not the real world (at least not yet). With huge pushes to get more black quarterbacks, coaches, owners, you can't suddenly get ride of 'color' when those pushes become successful. When the first black owned franchise wins a superbowl, I promise you it will be noted (over and over again). (if one hasn't already, I can't think of one)

posted by justgary at 12:27 AM on October 06

ESPN handled the situation satisfactorily yesterday, as one commentator noted James Brown as saying, and I paraphrase, "I thought we were beyond this, and its a shame to take a step back." And to further prove Rush's idiocy, do a little mental survey of the starting quarterbacks in the league. The 'propping up' of players has nothing to do with race....it has to do with the game.

posted by garfield at 07:38 AM on October 06

Late as hell, but seeing how I just read it, I think I would like David Dark to participate in discussions more often.

posted by vito90 at 01:29 PM on October 21

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