The NFL commissioner added his two cents to the discussion by saying, "the commentator's (Limbaugh's) 'divisive' comments would not be tolerated from any NFL insider." In case you've forgotten, Limbaugh's earlier foray with the NFL, was as a commentator on ESPN broadcasts of games a few years back. That stint ended abruptly, after Rush being Rush, couldn't resist saying (paraphrasing) that Donavan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles) wasn't really that good, it was just that the media wanted to promote a successful black QB. *sidebar...I think histories proven Rush wrong on this point.
Obviously Mr. Limbaugh cannot be happy about this turn of events and did his best to try to paint himself in more human terms (than his on-air persona) by appearing on a nationally televised interview on NBC's Today show earlier this week (Despite the fact...ironically...that he challenged their sister network, MSNBC, not to do any stories on him for 30 days). But it was too little to late and frankly pretty much the same narcissistic, ego centered, self aggrandizing pablum we've come to expect from Limbaugh (but more on that shortly).
From my perspective, here's the problem with "performers" like Limbaugh and his brethren Shawn Hannity and Glenn Beck. Like Howard Stern before them (The King of the Shock Jocks) they have carefully crafted an on-air persona that are targeted toward a particular type of viewer. The type that praises them (and in some cases deifies them) for expressing similar political, social and religious viewpoints. The same case can obviously be made for someone like Keith Olberman, so this is not a phenomenon strictly of those who lean right in our society. But the issue with Limbaugh (and his disciples) is that they many times present opinions that sound quite hateful and racist to those outside of their fanatical fans (RE: Barack the magic negro song).
Limbaugh presents himself and as being a "voice of the people", because part of hourly self-promotion is that he'll tell you about the millions of daily listeners he has. But in the big picture, even if he had a two million national listeners daily, that only represents one half of one percent of our population...and that's not taking into account that a good percentage of those tuning in are doing so just to hear what outlandish, hateful or idiotic thing he's going to say next (in other words, not followers). So it's more accurate to say that Limbaugh is the voice of a "particular segment of the people", those who identify with his message and DON'T see any racism or hate speech when they hear it...just common sense (as they perceive it).
So putting this in context... the NFL, which is considered the gold standard among professional sports leagues, doesn't want to have someone like Limbaugh in a position of becoming a spokesman for a team and/or the league itself, because the amount of potential fans his comments could alienate far (FAR) exceeds those he could bring to the table (because demographically, they're most likely already fans of the NFL to begin with). It's strictly a business decision, because frankly, there probably are some closet Rush fans among the owners, but just like our general population, they are most likely in a tiny minority of all those people involved with the league.
Limbaugh will most likely rail against this for weeks, maybe even months, on his radio show since he doesn't like to lose and rarely (if ever) will admit he is wrong about anything or anyone. But that character trait is precisely why I think that Rush Limbaugh is merely an act...a character which he's created that he now can no longer control. The "I'm always right and everyone else is wrong persona" which he's cultivated has raised him to demi-god status among his followers, but has also put him in the position that he basically cannot participate in any other endeavor which requires the more subtle talents of compromise, negotiation and sensitivity to the needs of other people or groups...who may not share or even disdain his political and societal views. To do so would undermine the character of "Rush"and endanger his radio empire...because he might be exposed as being nothing more than a performer playing a role, rather than the zealous-messiah. In other words, like Dr. Frankenstein, he's become trapped by the monster of his own creation!
Mark my words, there will one day come a time when Limbaugh will walk away from his mega-million annual radio salary and call it quits. When that day comes, we will finally get to pull back the curtain and see the true man behind the persona of "Rush", because he will be ready to go on to other things, other challenges...and it will be best for him to leave the character behind. You know, kind of like what Paul Reubens had to do with "Pee Wee Herman", if he wanted to extend his acting career!
As if on cue, on Thursday (10/15) Limbaugh did exactly what I predicted in the original post, and used his radio show to lash out and blame everyone for this turn of events besides himself. And in true "Rush" form he even managed to implicate President Obama in his failed bid to become an NFL owner. Yea...like the Pres. is sitting around the whitehouse scheming ways to prevent a talk radio host from potential business opportunities. Can you say, delutional? How 'bout, denial
R. J. Luedke