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See, I Told You So: Obama Hastens the End of Football

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I've had a couple people also e-mail me, friends of mine who said they thought that I was way out on a limb, maybe gone too far when I predicted months ago that the National Football League as we know it is over, it's only a matter of time.  They said, "Rush, you're talking about the most popular, the most profitable professional sport in America where television earns its lion's share of revenue and ratings.  This time, Rush, I think you've overshot the mark."  Now they're sending me notes saying, "My gosh, I should never, ever doubt you," because the president's out there, and in this same interview, let me read what he said to you. 

"I think a lot of parents feel like Barack Obama.  'I'm a big football fan, but I have to tell you, if I had a son," like Trayvon "I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football.'"  The president of the United States weighing in on this.  The president, this is not insignificant.  The president now suggesting this game is too dangerous for America's children, certainly for his son, Trayvon, if he had one. And he said, "And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence."

Violence!  Not contact.  Not hard hitting.  Violence.  Yes. 

The president said, "And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence. In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much," and thereby signaled the line of attack.  It's the same line of attack that was used for global warming, to guilt you, your guilty conscience, you're destroying the planet.  That's why you gotta support bigger government, higher taxes, buy small little battery-powered cars and all the rest of it. 

So now, they're gonna start working on this, you watch a football game and you're gonna have a guilty conscience.  You know why?  Because you're gonna be sitting there watching football and you're gonna be loving it.  But what are you loving?  Maiming, injury, concussion, life changing injuries to the point that the players you're watching today might be committing suicide in a few short years, and it's all being done for your blood lust, it's all being done for your bloodthirstiness. 

Well, we all know you have a guilty conscious about it, so we're gonna make this game safer. The president of the United States is saying this. If you doubted me, please don't ever doubt me. For the president to weigh in on this -- exactly as I predicted the left would attack the game -- means that it is already a fait accompli. I don't even know if the NFL is ready for this. I still don't know if they are aware of what's headed their way. (interruption) Well, I was gonna say, "I wonder how he'd feel about his son serving in Afghanistan."

"What about his daughters? Would he send his daughters to Afghanistan? Would he feel comfortable with his daughters in Iraq? He wants to send your women and children off to combat. Put this in perspective. Imagine if a coach... Let's say one of the Harbaughs. Let's say Jim Harbaugh. Jim Harbaugh is the brawler of these two. Say Jim Harbaugh, at one of his press conferences this week, says that what he wants in the future is women on the 53-man roster. He wants women playing the game. He wants a female offensive line, kicker whatever.

What do you think the reaction would be?

People would say, "What are you talking about? Women couldn't handle that! It would change the game forever. You couldn't do it." But women in combat? Fine, perfectly understandable and reasonable. It makes every bit of sense in the world! So while Obama doesn't want his son, Trayvon, to play football as it's currently played, he'll be happy to send your daughters off to combat. (interruption) No, this is not saying something extreme. I'm getting flash notes here: "You're goading Obama. It's not good. You need to dial it back, Rush. You need to try to make yourself invisible."

I did try to make myself invisible. It doesn't work. (interruption) Yes, yes, I know immigration is a fait accompli. That's all coming up on the program today. Just sit tight. 'Cause a lot is coming up here today, folks. Bernard Pollard. Bernard Pollard of the Baltimore Ravens, he's a safety. He's one of the hardest-hitting safeties in the National Football League. Bernard Pollard is who took out Brady out for the season with a hit to the knee in the opener two or three years ago at Gillette Stadium. He was with the Kansas City "Cheaps" at that point.

He's now a safety for the Ravens. He's playing in his first Super Bowl game this Sunday. "According to Clark Judge of CBSSports.com, Pollard doesn't paint a very promising picture for the long-term future of the league.
Pollard sees a conundrum..." For those of you in Rio Linda, a "conundrum" is a multifaceted dilemma. A dilemma has two options; a conundrum has more than two. "Pollard sees a conundrum coming between the league losing fans by over-legislating the physicality of the sport," i.e., Obama removing the guilty conscience aspect by making the game less exciting.

Those are Obama's own words: We're gonna make the game less exciting, but we're gonna free your conscience. Pollard says the league is going to lose fans doing that, "in the name of player safety and the players continuing to get bigger, faster and stronger. 'Thirty years from now,' Pollard said, 'I don't think it will be in existence.'" Now you got a player saying it, folks, and I just want to remind you: I, your host, El Rushbo, was first. I don't know why Pollard's so optimistic. Thirty years? It isn't gonna take 30 years. This has been fast tracked now, with Obama weighing in on this. It's been fast tracked.

There's no 30 years here. The NFL will be in existence, as we know it, less than 30 years. Pollard said, "I could be wrong. It’s just my opinion, but I think with the direction things are going -- where they [NFL rules makers] want to lighten up, and they’re throwing flags and everything else -- there’s going to come a point where fans are going to get fed up with it." They're not gonna find it exciting; they're not gonna go to watch it. But Obama says (summarized), "Yeah, they will. They'll feel less guilty watching it, and that means they'll enjoy it more." How many of you people feel guilty watching football now? How many guilty consciences are there? Any? They're trying to drum it up. They're trying to drum it up. They're trying to stigmatize the game just like they stigmatized smoking and stigmatized obesity.

They stigmatize any behavior they don't like. The left, they stigmatize it. They get you thinking it's bad, mean, horrible, exploitative, rotten, whatever. They haven't injected race into this yet, but that's gonna be the next thing to drum up this consciousness business. Bernard Pollard says, "The league is trying to move in the right direction [with player safety], but, at the same time, [coaches] want bigger, stronger and faster year in and year out. And that means you're going to keep getting big hits and concussions and blown-out knees. The only thing I'm waiting for -- and, Lord, I hope it doesn't happen -- is a guy dying on the field."

That's Bernard Pollard. He's not the first to say it. Do you know who the first to say it was, at least publicly? Carson Palmer, the quarterback of the Raiders, who once speculated about that possibility because guys are getting so big and so fast. So I'm just passing it on. I saw this stuff over the weekend and it's just incredible. I know these people like every square inch of my glorious (and continually shrinking) naked body. "[T]hose of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much," said the president, after we "make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players..."

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I don't know if you watched the Pro Bowl last night in Hawaii. It was 65-32 or some such thing, the final score. The Pro Bowl is being held up today as example of how the game should be played. It was basically a live scrimmage. It wasn't a walkthrough, but it was probably 80% of normal game speed. That's what's being held up as the example. There was only one injury, and everybody was trying to avoid being hurt. Of course, that makes sense: The Pro Bowl is a meaningless game. There was an injury, however.

J. J. Watt of the Houston Texans ripped the fingernail off his little finger and lost what looked like a pint of blood out there. It was as bloody as it could be, and it was just a little finger. They're holding that game up as the example. So, you know, in addition, folks, to me and Fox News being the only thing standing between Obama and a totally compliant media... Stop and think of that. In his own words, Fox News and I are the only thing standing in the way of a totally compliant media. Well, not only am I standing in the way of that, I may be the only person keeping Obama from transforming the NFL.

Everybody's on Obama's side on that. Everybody. I don't think anybody is out there defending the NFL as is. So I'm it. I'm it. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I forgot to mention something else he said about football and then we're gonna go to the phones.  In addition to saying that he wouldn't let his son, Trayvon, play football now, and saying that we need to make the game safer so that the fans can have a less guilty conscience, the president also said this.  Quote:  "I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the NFL players have a union, they're grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies. You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That’s something that I’d like to see the NCAA think about."

Tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players.  What's the difference?  The game is the game.  Concussion's a concussion whether you got a union or not.  Now, true, the college player's are not compensated but the college player does probably have food stamps and a cell phone, a flat screen, in some cases, scholarships, but it's true, the college players don't have a union.  That's the big difference.  Anyway, he also threw that in.

Here is Brian in La Porte, Indiana, as we start today on the phones.  Thank you, sir, for the call.  Hello.

CALLER:  Thank you.  I appreciate your show and the thing I really enjoy about you is your sincerity and your passion about what you do and that's what I appreciate about what you do.

RUSH:  Thank you very much, sir.  I appreciate that.

CALLER:  My question is, if the president is so worried about the safety of football players, if Trayvon Martin was his son, he wouldn't want to have to think twice about playing football. Well, maybe he should be more worried more about if his daughters or Hillary Clinton's daughter would have been in Benghazi.  I think that maybe he should be more concerned about that than about football.

RUSH:  See, that is an excellent rejoinder.  What it illustrates, what your point illustrates is that this football business is simply a liberal cause.  It has the same liberal objectives as the global warming debate has, or as any other favored liberal cause.  Because you're exactly right.  "I wouldn't let my son play football."  But what about his son going to Benghazi?  What about his daughter going to Afghanistan?

CALLER:  That's exactly right.  As far as football, I think the fans have control of that.  If we feel as fans that the game is too violent, we'll just quit going to the games.  But that hasn't happened, so obviously the majority of the people like the way it's being played.

RUSH:  See, what you are spotlighting is that the fans are the problem.  Of course the fans are bloodthirsty. Of course the fans thrive on the violence. The fans thrive on injuries and the hard hits, and that's why we can't leave it up to the fans.  When the left is in control, we can't leave it up to anybody but them, because nobody involved knows what's best for 'em.  The players don't know what's best for them.  They have to be saved from themselves.  The fans don't know what's best for the game or the players or themselves. The owners, they're just a bunch of mean, rich guys exploiting these players, and they don't care what happens to 'em.  And so somebody has to do something.

CALLER:  I don't think the guy in the White House is the one I want making my choices for me.  I think I can make my own choices.

RUSH:  Oh, agreed.  Agreed.  But I'm just telling you that whether you want to or not, though, the current mind-set is that whether it's football or driving, you don't have the ability to make these decisions for you.  He's gotta do it or his agents or the government, some ruling elite, the smartest of the smartest, the best and the brightest. Because if you leave it up to the owners, they're just gonna exploit these poor guys.  If you leave it up to the fans, they're just gonna want more blood. If you leave it up to the players, they're not smart enough to know what they're risking, so somebody's gotta step in and save everybody from themselves.  That's the mind-set. 

CALLER:  Yep.

RUSH:  The fact is, this, in truth, ought to be something a president of the United States doesn't have time for, in the real world.  I'm glad you called, Brian.  Appreciate it. 

Todd in Divernon, Illinois.  Welcome, sir.  You're next.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hey, Rush, thanks for talking with me today.

RUSH:  You bet.  You bet.

CALLER:  Hey, I know lots and lots of football fans, many, many, and not a one do I know enjoys seeing anyone get hurt on the field.  In fact, the opposite.  How many times have you been to a game, home or away, when a player is down for a moment, as soon as he gets up, he gets a round of applause from the crowd, the live audience, to show that they're happy that he's not injured.

RUSH:  True.

CALLER:  I mean, if they want to start somewhere, let's go to a NASCAR race and watch the fans once there's a big crash, watch them whooping it up and hooting and hollering.  You know, they act like football fans. It's like the gladiators, where, when a guy's down, we're all up with our thumbs pointing down, you know, to take their heads off.  It's the complete opposite.

RUSH:  But you think people like NASCAR or the Indy 500, they secretly, privately want to see those wrecks?

CALLER:  Well, if you've ever sat and tried to watch cars go around a track for two hours, it's about the only exciting thing that I see happening there.  A football game is exciting from beginning to end, and that's what the fans want to see. They just want to see good football.  In fact, to see a guy go out of the game, a lot of times players on the other side don't like to see it 'cause they want to beat their best guys.

RUSH:  Well, maybe.  Maybe.  There's an argument on both sides of that. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  If President Obama's gonna weigh in on football safety, maybe we need to ask Terrell Suggs of the Ravens about how to reduce the deficit. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So if President Obama is gonna weigh in on football safety, maybe somebody -- tomorrow is media day, gonna be overrun with media in the Superdome -- maybe somebody could ask Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs about how to reduce the deficit.  If you really want to get rid of the problems in the NFL, put Obama in charge of it. Put him in charge, make him the commissioner, and in a few months it will be so deep in debt it will have to go out of business, and that way, no more concussions. 

I glossed over this, but I want to share with you one more excerpt from what Obama told the guy at the New Republic when he weighed in on this.  He said, "I'm a big football fan, but I have to tell you, if I had a son," Trayvon, "I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football." We might even have to change the game and "make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players and fans who won't have to examine our consciences quite as much."  That is a stunning thing.  But then there was this.  The president said, "I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the NFL players have a union."  How's that working out for 'em on concussions? 

Anyway, "NFL players have a union, they're grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own."  So here you have the president of the United States basically saying that adult NFL players are not capable of making all the decisions that need to be made, which is exactly my point.  They can make some of these decisions on their own.  College kids are too young, too exploited, don't know what they're doing.  Adult players, they can make some of these decisions on their own.

I'm telling you, don't doubt me.  The way the left looks at it, it's football in this case, but it's anything else.  The owners, they are the ones who know full well what they're doing.  They are exploiting these players.  They don't care if they get hurt.  They don't care if they get concussions.  They don't care if they commit suicide later.  It's, what can you do for me now?  They don't worry about tomorrow.  And the players are a dime a dozen. If a guy gets hurt, put him on injury reserve, bring somebody else in.  Just keep the turnstiles open on Sunday.  It doesn't matter. 

So the owners, you can't trust them to do anything.  That's right.  The players, just heard Obama, they can make some of these decisions, but they're not smart enough.  The players just don't know enough about what's good for them.  They need somebody like Obama or a federal commission, whatever, to oversee the game 'cause the players don't know what they're talking about, they don't know what they're doing, they're not smart enough. And the fans are just showing up at the Roman Colosseum watching the Christians thrown to the lions. They just want the blood lust. They just want the car crash. They want the injuries. They want the violence. They want the hard hitting. They want the oohs and ahs, can't leave it up to them. 

And if you have the courage to admit it, that's the left's attitude about virtually every problem in society.  Jobs, income, car to drive, gasoline usage, you name it, you just can't make some of these decisions on your own. You don't know what's good for you. You don't know what's best for you.  Somebody else has to move in. 

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