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Waning Days of the NFL: Tagliabue Slaps Goodell, DeMaurice Smith Sues League

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I read the Tagliabue piece, the 22 pages, which he vacated the punishment against the players in this bounty program that the New Orleans Saints had.  But there is a portion of this, of Tagliabue's ruling, which really creams Roger Goodell, the current commissioner.  What Tagliabue does is essentially lecture Goodell on not having the slightest idea how to do what he's doing culturally.  He goes back and he uses Pete Rozelle as an example of how it should have been done.  He goes back to the 1980s and he cites the way Rozelle dealt with steroids. 

He makes the point that what Rozelle did, he told the players back in the eighties (paraphrasing), "Look, we're gonna eliminate steroids from this league. We're wiping 'em out.  You are not gonna be allowed to use 'em.  But there's going to be a one-year grace period on discipline.  We are eliminating steroids this year.  If you're caught, you have a grace period, but next year, if you're caught, we are coming at you with both barrels if we find you violating the new policy."  And Tagliabue makes it clear to Goodell in his 22 page-ruling that that's what Goodell should have done with the bounty.  You should have given them a warning period and a grace year before discipline. 

Here's the problem, though.  Goodell did.  That's why this fascinates me.  This bounty thing goes back to 2009.  Goodell warned the Saints and the whole league that bounty programs were in intolerable in the NFL.  So Tagliabue, basically telling Goodell that, "You really botched this. You don't know the guys you're dealing with here. You don't know the kind of guys the players are. You're dealing with a culture you just don't understand, and you just can't do what you did." 

But he did. He did give 'em ample warning.  Everybody assumes that Tagliabue and Goodell got together before the release of Tagliabue's statement and that Goodell knew what was in it, not approved it 'cause he's supposed to be autonomous, but at least knew.  But I'm wondering if he didn't, if that didn't happen, and Goodell's reading that, I'll bet you he was smoking, to be raked over the coals like this by the former commish.  At least the way I read it, it was pretty brutal. 

So now let's move forward.  We got DeMaurice Smith who runs the players association. He's the union leader for the players.  He was on CBS This Morning, and they were discussing the bounty program and Tagliabue's decision to vacate all of the punishment against the players.  But they left it in place for the coaches.  Coaches don't have a union.  So Sean Payton and all the coaches that were suspended, that stuff stays.  There were four players here.  One player, Scott Fujita, who's now with the Browns, was totally exonerated.  Jonathan Vilma, who was said to be the ringleader on the Saints of all this is suing Goodell for defamation and is gonna go forward with it after this ruling. 

So they're asking DeMaurice Smith here, what does the league do other than apologize -- Charlie Rose asking -- what does the league do other than apologize?  Former commissioner Tagliabue said, "Let's lift the suspension on the players," but he didn't say to do that with respect to the coach.

SMITH:  There's a difference between where the players were and where the coaches are.  The difference is the players have a union.  At a time when unions are under attack, this is what unions do.  So we fight, and we believe that there are times when our players are wrongly treated, that we will fight for their fairness and we will fight for fundamental fairness.

RUSH:  Right.  DeMaurice is an Obama guy.  I just want you to know this.  He's an Obama guy, he's been there for a long time.  In fact, I suspected when DeMaurice was made the players union head honcho that he was there as an Obama emissary to solve this thing, that Obama would get the credit for it.  That didn't turn out to be the case, and I was wrong about that.  Well, somewhat, not entirely wrong, but I was not a hundred percent right about that.  So you would think that a guy who represents football players want to do whatever he could to assure the financial future of the league, right?  But he's making it clear here that he's joining all of these union fights elsewhere, states, teachers, right-to-work, and he's making it clear here that he wants to exact some revenge for years of NFL mistreatment and unfairness toward the players.  Here's the rest of what he said.

SMITH:  Today we're gonna be filing another lawsuit against the National Football League and against some member teams because those teams are making our players sign waivers of liability before they get medical treatment and before they get some shots.  And I believe that a medical professional making a player sign a waiver before you provide that player with medical treatment is not only something that is wrong ethically, but at a time when the league professes to care about player health and safety, do you think that's consistent with player health and safety?

RUSH:  Well, now, there's a reason for this, too, folks.  One of the treatments in the National Football League is Toradol.  It is a pain reliever, nonnarcotic.  By the way, you ever noticed in all the drug testing in the NFL, there is an exemption for narcotic pain relievers?  Because the players need it.  They test for cocaine. They test for marijuana, but they don't test for, say, Vicodin or Percocet.  Those are prescription, but they're still needed.  But Toradol is a pain reliever, it's injected, but it's not narcotic.  The problem with Toradol -- I only know this because I have had it prescribed, and my doctors have told me, "Do not use this for longer than a week.  In fact, if I write you a prescription for longer than five days, most responsible pharmacists won't fill it because it literally wrecks the liver." 

Pain relief is a brain thing, and this Toradol is something revolutionary.  It works.  But it's not mind altering in any way, but as a result, it's not a long-term thing.  And this is what the league wants these players to sign waivers for, for that particular drug and a couple of others.  Because this stuff, if it's used excessively, it can cause kidney damage and this kind of thing. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  I want to try to use this Toradol example as an illustration of why I think the NFL is in trouble and why the NFL, as you and I know it, is finished.  Not immediately, maybe not in my lifetime, but it's happening much faster than I thought.  We played this clip from Bob Costas yesterday.  Bob Costas, the conscience of liberalism, the conscience of no risks. I mean, here's a game that alters the mind. I guarantee you what's coming is, "How can we permit this?"  And there will be a move to guilt-trip spectators for enjoying this game that's so brutal and could result in paralysis, severe spinal injury, maimed-for-life type injuries. Bloodthirsty fans. 

"This is not who we are as a culture," they will say. No matter if the players want to take the risks and play, it won't matter.  They don't know what they're doing, just like you and I don't.  We don't know what's good for us.  They don't, either.  Liberal command-and-controllers know what's good for everybody.  Like the mayor of New York:  You can't eat trans-fat. You can't drink sodas bigger than 16 ounces.  Well, pretty soon it's gonna be easy to say it's stupid to play this game.  You're putting your life at risk, and we're not gonna allow it anymore.  We're heading in that direction and more and more people are picking this up. 

And you wait, there's a racial component to this, too, that hasn't been used, and it will.  Seventy-five percent of the players are African-American, thus 75% of these catastrophic injuries, the risk, all that being borne by minorities.  And who's enjoying it?  Bloodthirsty spectators.  Why, it's gonna be portrayed as a quasi-return to slavery.  It won't matter how much the players are making.  It's the only way they can earn a living, these poor guys, they're having to risk life and limb to play this game, to entertain bloodthirsty Americans?  We haven't made any ground at all.  I can hear it all coming now.  I know it's gonna happen.  You may think I'm nutso crazy listening to me here, but I know the left and I know how they guilt-trip people into accepting what they want. 

They guilt trip you into thinking you're destroying the planet to get you to wear some ribbon or buy some stupid little car or to agree to have your taxes raised or to agree to let the government run more and more because you on your own are destroying the planet.  I know how they work. 

Now, let's look at this Toradol drug.  DeMaurice Smith just said on CBS This Morning that they're gonna go to the end of the earth here. He said, "I believe that a medical professional making a player sign a waiver before you provide that player with medical treatment is not only something that is wrong ethically ... but it's not consistent with player health and safety." The drug in question, again, is Toradol.  It's a pain reliever, nonnarcotic.  Go Google it, see for yourself what the side effects of the drug are.  The drug wreaks havoc on the liver, the kidneys, and the gastrointestinal system.  Most doctors will not prescribe it for longer than five days at a time.  My doctors have told me that a responsible pharmacist will not refill one without calling the doctor because it's that risky. 

Well, the players want to use it for much longer than five days, because it works.  It allows them to keep working. It allows them to not lose their jobs due to pain, due to injury.  Narcotic pain relievers slow down reaction time, zone you out, they don't like that.  But this stuff doesn't have any side effect like that.  So the league, already being sued by how many thousands of ex-players for brain injuries, doesn't want a repeat of that, so they are asking the players union to get the players to sign a waiver on this drug, because of the side effects.  And the players are refusing.  What the players want is to be able to use the drug and then be able to sue the league if the drug causes them problems later in life. 

Now, we're talking about the most popular sport in the country.  And the reason I think that this sport, as we know it, it's days are numbered, just look at this discussion here. The player's think in order to be able to play this so-called game, they need a drug that could rip their kidneys and liver apart.  Do you think the left is gonna sit idly by and allow that circumstance to exist?  That circumstance is so easily exploitable on the guilt-trip side.  How dare we as a society enjoy such a barbaric game where the players need a drug that will potentially disable them later in life in order to play it.  I can just hear it now.  In fact, we are hearing it, and we're gonna be hearing it in even greater numbers. 

You sports fans, keep a sharp eye for this.  This one's made to order.  How dare we as a culture even call it a game?  Why, this is nothing but the Roman Colosseum and the gladiators and the Christians and the lions.  For crying out loud, man, look at what these players need, a drug that could kill them later in life in order to play it.  You wait.  Well, if you overuse this drug -- Google it, folks, don't take my word for it.  Google it.  T-o-r-a-d-o-l, Toradol.  Go ask your doctor. He'll tell you, five days is all you can be on this stuff, 'cause it does work, with no side effects at all, no mind altering, no nothing.  It's miraculous in that regard, but there's a price to pay for that. 

It metabolizes in the liver, and it causes, you know, like alcohol.  Alcohol basically cooks the liver.  That's what cirrhosis is.  You drink too much, it cooks the liver, it's what's happening.  This stuff, same stuff, same effect, nonmedical explanation here, but it's the same kind of effect on the liver, and potentially kidneys.  The players want to use it.  It's their jobs.  If they get hurt and can't play, the second team guy goes in, they lose the job, may never get it back.  Where else are they gonna get paid this kind of money?  They don't want to come out of the lineup.  They want to take this drug.  It's like, you hear them, "I don't care, I'll risk a concussion. I'll risk not being able to talk in 30 years. I'll risk not being able to walk in 30 years, I want to play." 

You hear them say this, and the liberal do-gooders among us, "We can't permit this.  They don't know what they're doing, why, they don't know what's in their best interests, but we do. And furthermore we are watching this and we're profiting from it. There are people profiting from human beings in America putting their lives on the line like this?"  I can see where this is going.  Well, DeMaurice Smith (paraphrasing), "I am not sure that the players have had it explained to them the potency of this drug.  This is not something you take a whole season.  You don't take this stuff every day, every week.  This is not something you can take for a whole career and then stop." 

I mean, some people, it's like not everybody gets cirrhosis of the liver. Not everybody gets cancer. But the risk factor with this drug, and I'm only aware of this because my doctors have told me this, that's the only reason I know about it.  But DeMaurice Smith, what the league wants, what the players want is to be able to take it, they don't want to have to sign the waiver.  The league wants them to sign a waiver because of the risk.  What DeMaurice Smith is saying, "No, no, no, we're not signing any waiver, and not only that, we want to be able to sue you for whatever damage the drug does to us after we've retired." 

That's what the argument is.  And my point here is this kind of an argument is going to be used to say this game is way too barbaric and inhumane. I mean, if it's gotten to this point, this is what it takes for people to be able to stay in the game and play it, why are we playing the game?  We need to retool it. We need to go back to square one and take the violence out of it so that there's no pain, so that there's no risk. You wait, I know these people like I know every square inch of my glorious naked body.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: No. I only know what I think I know about Toradol because of two things: What's been explained to me about it by doctors and what I have thus read on medical websites. But, who knows what's true anymore? I mean, really. I used to have fun in the fifth grade. Actually, all through school. I would raise my hand and I'd ask the teacher, "How do we know that what we know is right?" It befuddled every teacher.

"Well, we've had proof of it."

"Yeah, but how do we know? How do we know all this stuff?"

What if we were to find, for example, that Toradol is available over the counter in other countries? Wikipedia says Toradol's available over the counter in Mexico. (interruption) Well, I know a lot of things are available in Mexico, Snerdley. Not just Mexico. Latin America. Toradol is available over-the-counter. If that's true, then there's gonna be a source for it anyway. But it's injected and it's oral, and injection is the biggie.

I don't know that you can get it injectable over the counter, but regardless. I'm only telling you what I read. I can't vouch for this. I've never seen anybody with the aftereffects that are being described about it. I don't want to be quoted. I'm not a medical authority and I'm not trying to be. I'm just telling you what's happening here with this particular drug in the League and what the latest fight with the union is about with and how that's gonna lead to the do-gooders among us saying, "How can we allow this kind of risk to take place in 2013 America? It's just inhumane."

I would wager money on it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is Bill in Pittsburgh. I'm glad you waited, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network.

CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush. I'm a very, very long-time listener and a first-time caller. You touched upon a subject earlier about Toradol. As a citizen, I was in an accident maybe 16 years ago. I was telling your screener. It was late in the evening, and by the next morning I was literally unable to stand up straight at all. So I called my sister, who at the time was a physician, and I explained my problem.

She said, "Go over to the emergency room and they'll take care of you when you get there," and I said, "Okay." So I had somebody drive me over. A neighbor drove me over to a Pittsburgh hospital. As I walked in, the emergency room was literally wall-to-wall people, and the nurse took me into a separate room and asked what all occurred. I told her I was in an accident. I told her what happened. I told her it was late in the evening and I called my sister and she told me to show up here.

She said, "Drop your trousers."

I couldn't straighten up. I was literally up to my waist and then straight out, parallel to the floor. I dropped my trousers and held onto the table, and she gave me a shot. I saw it coming. It was a nice-size needle -- I'm not afraid of needles -- and before she even said anything to me, I was able to bend down and pull my trousers up. In seconds I was literally -- literally -- out of pain. I asked, "What did you give me?" She said, "I gave you a shot of Toradol." I said, "Is this something that if it continues to hurt, do I come in for another shot?" She goes, "Maybe one more shot. After that, we would have to seek different third party okay because you can't have too much of this stuff." She did tell me it was damaging to, you know, certain parts.

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: So I just wanted to pass that along.

RUSH: Okay, there we have testimony from an actual patient who was told the same thing by his doctor. The NFL players want to be able to take this during the season without signing a waiver that would indemnify the League. It's gonna be a big fight. Bill, thanks very much. I appreciate that. Keep a sharp eye.

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