The National Football League has a large millionaire population which predictably contributes overwhelmingly to Republicans over Democrats. Yet this week we learned from rightbloggers that the NFL is in fact a wing of the liberal conspiracy.
Early this month Rush Limbaugh and Dave Checketts collaborated on a bid to buy the St. Louis Rams NFL franchise. But after some people in the League -- including Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith -- raised objections to the controversial radio host's involvement, and Colts owner Jim Irsay said he'd vote against any bid involving him, Limbaugh found himself off the team.
It was believed that comments Limbaugh had made about black people generally, and black people in the NFL specifically -- comparing NFL games to confrontations "between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons," for example -- influenced his critics in the League, leading to his ouster.
Bidding on pro sports franchises is usually subject to league review, which does not always go the bidders' way, as when Jim Balsillie unsuccessfully tried to take over the NHL Coyotes
earlier this year. The fairness of such procedures may be disputed, but
it's rare that anyone tries to make a Constitutional issue of them: Sports business, like sports, has rules, and those that don't like them
may go play somewhere else.
But the involvement of Limbaugh -- who quickly blamed his defenestration on Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who had opposed
the bid -- elevated for rightbloggers this bit of inside-football to
Code Red status, and the NFL to fellow travelers whom they proposed to
punish with their ultimate, if unlikely, weapon: a conservative boycott
of pro football ...
The American Spectator got in the game early, exposing one putative Limbaugh quote about slavery as bogus.
"And make no mistake," they added, "Rush today, some other conservative
tomorrow." "In their attempt to brand him a racist," concurred Bluegrass Pundit, "many liberal media sources attributed a quote about slavery to Limbaugh that he clams he never made."
Other rightbloggers found other unsubstantiated quotes. There are, of course, plenty of unfortunate Limbaugh quotes,
like the one mentioned above, that are beyond dispute -- though
Limbaugh fans pleaded in those cases for context: In the aforementioned
explained, Limbaugh was merely saying the players were "acting like
they're throwing gang signs on the field," thus rendering it merely
"insensitive" rather than racist; also, a liberal who reproduced the
quote "left out the word 'the' in the 'the Bloods and the Crips,'"
further proving his fatal bias.
But the presence of some ringers demonstrated to Ace of Spades
that "Rush Derangement Syndrome took over the NFL." "The deeper point
is that the truth is under assault," wrote Commentary, "and that, in the Internet age, anyone can be a target." "All's fair in love for Obama," said neo-neocon, "and war against the Right."
Some went further, praising Limbaugh as a champion of racial equality.
"Limbaugh's embodiment of MLK's dream changed my life," said RedState's
When he learned that Limbaugh had a black sidekick, " I realized that
what so appealed to me about Rush was that he treated all people the
same, no matter the race. ... Rush was the embodiment of the character
content, color-blind dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. that became my
dream in my youth."
Americans for Truth added that Limbaugh allowed black conservatives to guest-host and appear on his show. (Rush's real
enemies, AfT said, were gay people; An "intolerant act of 'gay'
thuggery" by ACT-UP had "certainly contributed to Rush downplaying the
said that Limbaugh had been undone by a "New Klan" in the membership of
which he included Janeane Garofalo and Richard Belzer. "The Klansmen
mobilized for Limbaugh's lynching," he asserted. "... America is
witness to a Democrat Party that has transformed itself from the
bigoted and segregationist organization it once was into a political
party that no longer prohibits house Negroes, tea-baggers and deranged women from joining their Klan."
From here it was only a quick leap to the conclusion that the NFL was a liberal front group.
claimed that the Democratic Party was behind the drive to keep Limbaugh
from buying a football team. "The Democrats are persistent critters,"
she wrote. "They know that if they repeat a lie often enough ... and
just keep hammering away at it, they can create a narrative, and shift
public opinion." This, she said, was "liberal fascism on display once
again, for all to see."
Sarah Palin 2012's Adrienne
also believed that the NFL was taking its orders from the left.
"Limbaugh exposed the NFL for what it is," she wrote, "another haven
for the Left in which they've completely taken over and use to destroy
conservatives --- just like academia, the movies, TV and news media."
"It would seem that the NFL has become just another left wing acronym,"
was incensed that the NFL had approved Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie
for NFL ownership, as she had sung sexually explicit lyrics.
found in this a Spartacus moment: "Tonight, Rush is us. And we are him.
Tonight Rush became the metaphor for all of us ... every man woman and
child in this great nation of ours. ... Tonight the left proved that they
will stop at nothing to end our dreams." He specifically named among
those whose dreams the left sought to end "Small business owners,"
"Medical Doctors," and "Oppressed people wanting freedom around the
Obama, naturally, got dragged into it. "Do you think President
Obama would say during a nationally televised press conference that the
NFL 'acted stupidly' in its reaction to false statements attributed to
noticed that Smith of the players' union had worked for Eric Holder
before he became Attorney General (a fact listed in Smith's official biography),
and served on the Obama transition team, which for AT proved that
"Obama tentacles seem to penetrate into nearly every corner of the
nation." The Freedom Fighter's Journal denounced "THE OBAMA DIRECTED PURGE OF RUSH LIMBAUGH FROM THE NFL." "Make no mistake, this was a political hit," said LeatherneckM31. "If football is so thoroughly politicized under this gang," said Instapundit, "why expect that liver transplants will be different?"
Others suggested liberal supervillain George Soros would take Limbaugh's place in the Checketts consortium -- which is disputed, but the need to fact-check is much less urgent when it does not involve quotes by Rush Limbaugh.
Inevitably, a boycott of the treasonous NFL was demanded.
"I will not watch ONE MINUTE of NFL games or coverage this season -- including the Super Bowl," claimed Teflon of MoltenThought. "And I challenge you to join me." He had a taker in Tracy Walters:
"Today is football Sunday. We will be watching old movies or the Game
Show Network." "I have decided to personally boycott football for the
rest of the season," cried Saber Point.
"I'm absolutely sure that conservatives make up the lion share of money
that comes to the NFL through television rights, merchandising and
attendance," asserted Macsmind.
"...today I walked every bit of NFL gear out to the dumpster and tossed
it. ... I'm calling for conservative bloggers everywhere to follow suit."
"It's 10:15 Sunday, and my TV is off the NFL for the first time ever on a Sunday," said Clark County Politics.
"Watching it now is the same thing as watching a play put on by the
Klan. It's as distasteful and angering as watching an American nazi
admitted that "giving up the games, even for a week or two, is a
considerable sacrifice," especially if "you just bought a big-screen
high-definition TV or satellite package." Nonetheless he bravely "put
my Giants cap up in the garage ... until there is some atonement, the
NFL, one of the great brands in sports and media, will be tainted in my
allowed, "WATCH THE GAMES IF YOU MUST, BUT BOYCOTT PRODUCTS ENDORSED BY
THE NFL AND THEIR PLAYERS!" (He also told his readers to boycott Avon,
as they had announced an endorsement deal with the hated Fergie.)
"Don't spend the huge price tag to go to a game," said Carl's Things That I Notice. "Stay home a watch it at home." That's hitting them where they live.
"Perhaps a boycott is in order of all of those folks who sponsor the NFL," said Voice of Reason. Considering those sponsors include Burger King, Snickers, Frito-Lay, Doritos, and Gatorade, we don't see this going very far with rightbloggers.
"I don't think a successful boycott is likely," admitted Wigderson Library and Pub, "but someday the NFL may wonder when it started to lose a significant portion of its fan base," somehow.
Still, many were confident of victory. "The sleeping giant has awakened," claimed Say Anything. "Countless men addicted to the NFL are walking away from pro football this week," said Neil Braithwaite. "Countless" may be just the word, for in days to come we may expect rightbloggers, with their customary, counter-intuitive metrics, to call their boycott a great success no matter what the numbers are. Any NFL team's weak attendance numbers
can certainly be repurposed to show that fans are staying home in
defense of Rush Limbaugh; it won't have to convince anyone except the
faithful, and they are eager to be convinced.
Liberals for their part may wonder why, if they are now running the
National Football League, it still has a team called the Redskins.
Roy Edroso's Rightbloggers: Exploring the right Wing Blogosphere appears courtesy of our sister paper in New York City, Village Voice.