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St. Louis Rams Playing to the Right? (Updated)

October 11, 2009 Downtown, Popular Culture, STL Region 15 Comments

You’ve probably all heard the latest Rams news.  From the LA Times on 10/6/09:

It appears conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh wants to be an NFL team owner.

In a statement released today, Limbaugh said he’s partnering with St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts in a bid to buy the St. Louis Rams. Limbaugh didn’t go into details, but said he and Checketts “have made a bid to buy the Rams and are continuing the process.”

Such a move would most certainly keep the Rams in St. Louis, good news to many.

Would the controversial Limbaugh make fans question their loyalty to the team?  Would the conservative radio host ask for taxpayer help to build a new stadium when the Rams have an out on their current lease at the Edward Jones Dome?    Or would he argue for a free market solution – he and the other owners building their own facility? Would they be happy keeping the team in a politically blue city?

Los Angeles is still without a team, and a loophole in the Rams’ lease allows them to move as early as 2014 if the Edward Jones Dome is not deemed among the top quarter of all NFL stadiums. Though just 14 years old, the dome is fast becoming one of the league’s older venues, and getting it into the top quarter seems unlikely. (Source: AP)

The poll this week, in the right sidebar, asks for your reaction to the possibility of Limbaugh as a Rams owner. Read the answers carefully before answering:

  • I don’t like Limbaugh but I would continue supporting the Rams.
  • I don’t like Limbaugh, used to support the Rams, but will stop if he becomes an owner.
  • I don’t like Limbaugh and this would make it easier to stay away from the Rams.
  • I don’t care who owns the team as long as it remains in St. Louis.
  • I don’t have an opinion on Limbaugh buying the Rams.
  • I like Limbaugh but not the Rams/football.
  • I like Limbaugh so I might start supporting the Rams.
  • I like Limbaugh and the Rams, great match.

I tried to cover all the options with the answers listed above.

The comments to the LA Times story covered all views from left to right:

I hope Rush does but the Ram’s, that will give me another reason to hate them both.

This is interesting, because he will have a team that runs all the time – no passing. He will want to see how many yards his team can Rush each game.

I’ll become a Ram fan…God Bless Rush…The Ram will be a winning team for ever…can’t wait.

We don’t know if the Limbaugh/Checketts bid is for 60% or 100% of the team.  It is important to note they have only recently made their bid known — the sale is not a done deal.  One thing is certain, it will be interesting to watch issues around the Rams ownership and facility.

Update 10/15/09 – Yesterday Rush Limbaugh was dropped from the group seeking to buy the Rams.  News at ESPN.

– Steve Patterson

  • G-Man

    Think of the discount the team could get on pain medication!

  • Aragornman

    I don’t like Limbaugh, but I think your poll is clearly biased against a favorable response to his owning the Rams. 1) You have a photo of him blowing tons of smoke from a cigar, which partly obscures his head and seems to me to present him in a rather unfavorable light. 2) The “I don’t like” options are all listed first. The results of your last couple polls have been difficult to take seriously. I recommend running them by someone who disagrees with you first, in order to test for bias.


    [slp --- I enter the answers in order to make sure I cover all the possible options. I forgot to turn on the "randomize" function --- I have done so now (@7:25am). He looks like an ass in all the pics I found. I think the reader is smart enough to not be swayed by a pic or order of the answers. If someone dislikes Limbaugh but I put the like options first they wouldn't pick on of those.]

  • samizdat

    Don’t really give a flying f*** about the Rams, and every word which comes out of Limbaugh’s mouth is an insult to rational human thought. Not to mention he’s also a drug-addicted hypocrite: “I’m hooked on Oxycontin, but all of you other drug users and you scum addicts should be in jail.”

  • Jimmy Z

    Is his money green? Does he care about winning? Will he keep the team here? Case closed!

    Most NFL owners are conservatives and most have huge egos. I could care less about any of their politics, as long as they’re willing to pay to put on a good show at their own (not the taxpyers’) expense . . .


    [slp -- I find it interesting how often these conservative owners put their tin cup out asking for help.]

  • Bob

    One answer I was was on the poll: “I love Checketts and what he has done with the Blues and wish he would have avoided this controversy and kept Limbaugh out of it.”

    I would love to see Checketts get a controlling stake of the Rams, but at what cost?

  • studs lonigan

    >>slp — I find it interesting how often these conservative owners put their tin cup out asking for help.<<

    It’s called “entitlement” and has become a twisted art form in our land. Certain rich people in this country arrogantly compartmentalize themselves apart from “welfare queens”, “tax and spend liberals” and “the nanny state” when it means getting their snoots in the public trough. Limbag has already shown himself to be a thoroughly brazen hypocrite, so I’m sure he’d be a welcome and stellar addition to the club.

  • Pam

    I would be happy to see him and more importantly Dave Checketts; buy the team, not only to keep the team here (which should be the only thing you need to worry about) but to pump some energy and get fans/casual fan excited about the Rams again, it worked for the Blues… I have no idea what plans they would have in terms of a new venue/a renovated venue, that would be the other major factor. I understand why they need the mutli-use dome, it make sense and it practical, but football needs to be played outside – is a retractable roof feasible?

    In no way does politics play into any of this, for me. After all if we lose this team, I think it is safe to say we will never get an NFL team here again (a huge blow to the city).


    [slp -- I agree the Rams is the last NFL team for St. Louis. If they leave no more pro football here. For myself that is no big deal. For others it matters. I'm from Oklahoma City where we had only minor league baseball while I lived there. That and college football which has more support than the Rams here.]

  • oneurbanite

    I really have know idea what’s best for the Rams and St. Louis being I can’t stand Rush. But I do have an idea for the Dome. Pop the top! Serious… look at how it’s designed. Without the lid you would still have the brick structure, add some modern steel beams, some lighting up top, open all the shops that are currently bricked up out on Broadway, tear out hwy 55/70, and I think you have a winner. And that’s just my two cents. Let a few local architecture and engineering firms have a go and the ideas could be endless.

  • oneurbanite

    I’m sorry, my grammer is lacking. I mean “I really have no idea”.

  • me

    That picture of Limbaugh makes me want to puke.

  • Chris

    I think it would be a mistake for the Rams to accept Rush. His inflamatory comments inflame a majority of the country although he is clearly popular with some.

    While his purchasing the rams might bring stability, it will distract from the team and possibly deflect some players from coming here based on previous statements he has made that may be racially motivated.

  • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Jenniferwhatnot

    I’m a Rams fan and want them to stay in St. Louis. I don’t care who buys them so long as they stay. Rush Limbaugh’s money is green too. I also think this hubbub is ridiculous – people who would stay away from the Rams because of this aren’t fans anyway. St. Louis may be a great sports town for baseball, but most football games the “fans” are leaving during the third quarter and it seems, judging by the general attire and amount of attention paid to what’s happening on the field, more of a social occasion than a football game.

    As far as the taxpayer subsidies go, Rush may be conservative in some ways, but Republicans in general and particularly of late haven’t demonstrated much fealty fiscal restraint or fiscal conservatism at all. So I’d say Rush is a fairly typical Republican businessman and probably would go for subsidy. Another thing is that the team is beholden to an ownership group, and shareholders can bring lawsuits if the business isn’t done properly. If he’s not the sole owner, he may not have a choice re: taking or leaving millions of dollars in subsidy which, no matter your politics, is the smart business decision.

    Finally, I just love this picture of Limbaugh from the NYTimes article. He looks like Tony Soprano. The photo really captures the feeling of “menace, with a touch of smarmy” that sums up what the people who hate him think he’s really like. (As for me, I don’t pretend to know what’s an act and what’s real, I don’t know the man.) But it’s without question a great photo. http://worddrum.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/rh.jpg

  • Jimmy Z

    As for “deflect[ing] some players from coming here based on previous statements he has made that may be racially motivated”, I don’t think so. My take on the vast majority of athletes in pro sports is that a) they want to win, and b) they’re in it for the money. They go where their agents can get the best deal for them, and loyalty and politics play a miniscule part in any decision – they want a Super Bowl ring a lot more than not having to work for an abrasive, egotistical owner! They care a lot more who the coaches are than who any ownership group may be.

    Related – Cubs file for bankruptcy: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/33279688/ns/sports-baseball/

  • http://www.carolerford.com/ Carole R. Ford

    Rush would be good for football. The guy is very knowledgeable and has the money to buy the team. So let him do it!

  • john

    “We’re 26 Republicans who vote Socialist!” Art Modell (owner of the Cleveland Browns), possibly explaining why Rush would fit in perfectly as a NFL owner?
    – –
    The owner of a NFL team entails dealing with players who have used drugs, driven drunk and killed people, fired handguns in night clubs, and consorted with thugs, accused murderers…. and dementia.

    Truly related: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/19/091019fa_fact_gladwell?currentPage=1

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