RUSH: John Elway, Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback for the Denver Broncos, in Denver yesterday at a campaign event for Mitt Romney...
ELWAY: Today has been a very good day. Not only because of what happened yesterday, but because I get the opportunity to introduce to you the next president of the United States, Governor Mitt Romney!
RUSH: And you put that with Woody Johnson, the owner of the Jets, who says (paraphrased), "I'd just as soon Romney win as my team, the Jets, win." I don't know if you'll recall, last May I had my Annual Spring Fling. I had a bunch of friends in from all over the country, and it's just a four or five day golf event. Wives show up, and it's political discussion every night.
A bunch of these people were from the world of sports, a couple from television, politics, and so forth. The discussions are fabulous and fantastic. One night I threw open for the table to discuss, the subject of sports figures and being involved in politics or not being. I wanted to find out what people thought. For example, you don't see this much. This man, Elway, is active with the Broncos. He's the club president.
He can affect fans' attitude towards the team with his political views. He's loved and adored in Denver. But the argument is made by Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is a huge Democrat, huge Obamaite, but he wants Republicans to buy Nikes. So he doesn't really go public with it. He does just a couple things for Obama, but he's not an activist. He's not in the forefront leading things.
The question that I put out was because I watch these guys. I watch football games, baseball games, and they take place almost in a cocoon, independent of anything that's going on in the country. In the world of sports, the money is no problem. A lot of the players are very wealthy. Some are not as wealthy as the top, but nobody's experiencing economic hardship in the NFL because of what they earn.
Some lose it, waste it, but it got me to thinking, how many of these people in the NFL -- this was the discussion -- how many of them have political preferences, how many of them are genuinely politically interested and passionate like we all are but don't say anything about it for fear of angering the fan base or harming their endorsement possibilities? How valuable would it be, is it about time we call on some of these people? And it was a fascinating discussion, and the conclusion, the consensus opinion was, "Nah, nah, it's never gonna happen. There's too much to lose by going political. People don't want the controversy, Rush. Most people can't survive the kind of controversy you live with. People in the world of sports don't want any part of it. They've got enough controversy with elements of their own business, the way they're covered, the way they play, they don't want political controversy. Nobody wants what you get. Besides, what's in it for 'em? What could be gained?"
And I said, "Well, what about the country?" For crying out loud, they're Americans, too. They depend on a decent economy for what they earn. They depend on people being able to afford tickets. They depend on people being able to afford TVs. They depend on people being able to patronize NFL sponsors. Why don't they have a vested interest in the economy of the country? The NFL's got a potential problem. What if it becomes a studio show? What if people don't go to the stadiums anymore? What if they're priced out of going in an economy like this or down the road, who knows. And everybody told me, "Rush, you can dream, but the most rabid conservative quarterback in the NFL's not gonna say a word about it and is gonna hope and pray nobody finds out. They don't want the hassle. He knows the media's all liberal. If the media loves the quarterback because he's a great player, and then he goes political, the media will turn on him and that's it, and he doesn't want that. So, Rush, you just better forget it.
I said, "Ah, okay, you make good point." And then look at what's happened here. This is pretty prominent. Elway's a gutsy guy anyway. He's showing up at a Romney rally. Now, owners, that's a different thing, like Dan Rooney is in the Obama tank in Pittsburgh. In fact, there's a news story out, the vast majority of NFL owners are Romneyites or donate to Republicans, vast majority. Few are oriented toward the Democrats. It's one thing for owners, but people who have worn a uniform or do, I had to agree, they're just not gonna want the hassle they're gonna get from the media.
RUSH: Hey, here's a question for you. Elway endorses Romney. Elway is hated in Ohio. Elway was the author of The Drive against the Cleveland Browns, one of the most famous games in NFL history. So is Elway's endorsement of Romney gonna hurt Romney with Browns fans because the Browns are all important in Ohio, and they hate Elway. Well, I'm just throwing it out there. I mean it's the way the media might analyze this. I'm just trying to prepare you for what might come of this. It's the way they connect the dots. (laughing) I know it sounds ridiculous.