RUSH: I was sitting there minding my own business last night, bothering no one. I had the football game on, the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles, but I’m also at the computer. So the game’s on my right. I knew it was going to be a low-scoring and boring game. I just knew it, but it was a football game, so I had it on. But I have the sound down because, as I’ve mentioned to you, it’s just noise to me. So I have the closed-captioning on, and I’m working, and I got a couple e-mails. ‘Hey, they’re talking about you on ESPN.”I wonder what about?’ I said to myself, given that the Eagles are playing. In fact, let’s start at number one. Let’s go there. This is what was said during the Redskins and Iggles game last night. This is play-by-play man Mike Tirico talking about Donovan McNabb.
TIRICO: Go to the other controversies, Freddie Mitchell, kind of criticizing Donovan for being more of a management guy than a player’s guy in the locker room. Then, of course, you have the Rush Limbaugh incident, when Rush Limbaugh was on Sunday NFL Countdown at ESPN and brought up the whole black quarterback issue with McNabb and everybody wanting a black quarterback to succeed.
RUSH: Right. They just can’t let go of this. Do you know this is five years ago now? I think it was 2002. I mean, it’s been a long, long time and they just can’t let go of it, and I’m going to tell you something, folks. The one thing about this incident that I really have noted and I’m not happy about — and it’s a very sad thing: This incident has made Donovan McNabb a perfect victim, and that is just very sad. There was no need for him to become a victim. The media has aided and abetted this victim status, and that’s what that little bite there from Tirico is all about. Whenever there’s a game and he’s not doing well, ‘Let’s go back and talk about the Limbaugh incident. Let’s talk about the Freddie Mitchell incident. Let’s talk about Terrell Owens,’ and so forth and so on. He’s just become this giant victim now. That’s really sad for me to see. They had Charles Barkley in the booth last night, and Barkley had this exchange with Mike Tirico.
BARKLEY: I have been critical of the Eagles fans and Philadelphia. Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb have been fantastic for Philadelphia, and I got much love of Peyton Manning, but up until last year, Donovan McNabb had actually been more successful than Peyton Manning — and they don’t treat Donovan like that here, and I have a problem with that because he has been fantastic.
TIRICO: Bill Carollo, the referee, is going inside the voter’s booth to look now at the replay.
BARKLEY: Let’s hope he not a Republican.
RUSH: Yeah. Now, of course politics is back on ESPN. I guess it’s okay now, even though I didn’t even get into politics with this original comment. So I received this e-mail early this morning when I got up to prepare for the program today. Here’s the headline: ‘McNabb Tells HBO That Race is an Issue at Quarterback Position.’ Uhhhh, okay. Uh, what was it I originally said? What I originally said was that I thought McNabb was a little overrated, and that the defense of the Eagles was not getting the credit they deserved for the Eagles’s performance, because the media — a bunch of social liberals in the sports media, like everywhere else in the media — have a desire for black quarterbacks to do well. From that, a five-year firestorm has erupted that has created a victim out of Donovan McNabb, and now he’s on HBO tonight on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel talking about how race is an issue at quarterback. James Brown is the interviewer. He asks McNabb about how people perceive him as a quarterback, alluding to the lack of African-Americans at the position, because some people thought they weren’t smart enough.
‘There’s not that many African-American quarterbacks, so we have to do a little bit extra. Because the percentage of us playing this position, which people didn’t want us to play … is low, so we do a little extra. I pass for 300 yards, our team wins by seven, ‘Ah, he could’ve made this throw, they would have scored if he did this.”
Brown says, ‘Doesn’t every quarterback go through that?’
McNabb says, ‘Not everybody,’
So he’s playing the victim card here, and it’s a sad thing to see. Performance is colorblind, folks. Ask Tiger Woods! Tiger Woods is universally adored and admired because he’s an incredible talent. It’s the same thing with Michael Jordan and the same thing with Hank Aaron. You can go on down the list. I tell you, if I were a white quarterback in the NFL, or if I were Hispanic — and Jeff Garcia is — I’d get sick and tired of this whining about race that McNabb has now been lured into by the Drive-By Media. He’s rich, and he’s a very celebrated guy, but he’s a victim. You don’t hear Tiger Woods talk about this because he performs.
RUSH: Now, last night, the Philadelphia Eagles played the Washington Redskins. There were two black quarterbacks on the field, Donovan McNabb for the Eagles and Jason Campbell for the Washington Redskins. The Redskins won the game last night. Now, Jason Campbell — much less celebrated, much less wealthy — performed much better. Perhaps the sports media in Philadelphia, and maybe even McNabb, can tell us who on the football field last night caused the Eagles to lose because they have a black quarterback. Who can tell us? Well, remember, now: McNabb’s going on HBO tonight saying that race is a factor at quarterback position in the NFL — vindicating my only point ever made about this, by the way. So, he’s gotta try harder because he’s a black quarterback. Somebody, maybe, can tell me who on the football field last night caused McNabb and the Eagles to lose because of race. They can’t let it go! They just cannot let this thing go. As I say, I hate seeing it. There’s no reason for victimhood here, and that’s what this has become. All right, here’s the new Justice Brothers commercial. As you know, they’re a special advertiser of ours. We sell them commercial time within the program content.
(Playing of Justice Brothers spoof.)
RUSH: You know, folks, I love pouring gasoline on the fire, especially when I am the fire.
RUSH: Here’s Bob in Philadelphia. Bob, welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush.
CALLER: Getting back to Monday Night (politically correct) Football, Mike Tirico and that useless Tony Kornheiser, why were they talking about Andy Reid and his personal problems for 15 minutes? My buddies and I were sitting there saying, ‘Get back to the game!’
RUSH: Come on.
CALLER: That’s all they were doing.
RUSH: Bob, you know the answer to this question.
CALLER: Oh, of course I do!
RUSH: Well, then tell everybody instead of asking it. There are people probably wondering that didn’t see it. Why do you think they spent 15 minutes waxing and waning about Andy Reid’s personal travails?
CALLER: Because he’s… It’s… (nervous laugh) Eh, I won’t say it.
RUSH: There’s a perfectly clear reason for this happening. (sigh) Must everything be left up to me?
CALLER: Well, what is it, Rush? You tell me.
RUSH: I’ll be glad to understand the answer to this, you have to understand the social conscience of liberals.
CALLER: Oh, okay.
RUSH: You might have to understand Andy Reid’s personal problems. If people don’t know, his two sons are in there early twenties, and they both ran afoul of the law last January: drugs and booze and driving while intoxicated and he took a three-month leave of absence to deal with it, and after that, like a week ago, a month ago, one of the kids had the same thing happen again. So it’s a very unfortunate situation. There’s no question about it. Everybody that knows Andy Reid loves the guy.
RUSH: But this was an opportunity for these people in the booth to show their compassion.
RUSH: You have to understand: these guys in the booth work at the pleasure of the National Football League and at ESPN, and ESPN pays a lot of money to get the rights from the National Football League to carry Monday Night Football. Part of the drill in media with the NFL is to put it up on a pedestal and put everybody in it on a pedestal, with some exceptions. I mean, if you’re on the Cincinnati Bengals and you get arrested nine times, you’re not going to have the Monday night crew… Well, I shouldn’t say that. They might try to explain the troubled childhood you had as a means of justifying it. Who knows? This is just idolatry. It is part of lifting the participants, the NFL players and coaches, up on this pedestal: praising them for how they deal with these horrible things and such distractions and so forth. It’s imminently understandable to me.
CALLER: Well, here’s the thing, Rush. I could understand them ‘mentioning’ it. You know, just mentioning it. Boom. It’s over. They’re announcers for a football game!
RUSH: Well, but that game last night was about as exciting as watching grass grow.
CALLER: Well, you’re right back about that, too.
RUSH: You’ve got two dud offenses. What was the score, 20-6? I mean, McNabb couldn’t hit the side of a barn last night. I know he’s playing at 75% on a knee, but anyway, they have to fill time, but these are liberal, highly socially conscious people. They are good people, and they will find the good in everyone — except conservatives. If they happened to know Andy Reid was a conservative, who knows what they would do? They probably would have ignored the whole thing. I don’t know what he is. It doesn’t matter, but that’s the answer in a nutshell. It’s really no more complicated than that.
CALLER: All right, Rush. Thank you.
RUSH: It was 20-12? 20-12. Oh, 20-12, a bunch of field goals, right? Four field goals.
RUSH: Okay. I got it wrong. It was 20-12.
RUSH: But that final score doesn’t tell the whole story. Bob, thanks for the call out there.
RUSH: This business of Charles Barkley saying that the Philadelphia fans have been rude and unfair to McNabb and so forth, they’re that way to everybody. They boo Santa Claus. You ought to go talk to Mike Schmidt, Hall of Fame third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies. McNabb doesn’t know half of it. Schmidt had to play 80 some-odd days in Philadelphia as opposed to eight, and he’s a Hall of Fame third baseman. So sometimes Barkley doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Now, I’m going to go back. I realize some of you may not know what this is all about. We gotta set the table here. I don’t want anybody out of context on this. It was actually 2003, and it was on ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown, and I was on that show for five episodes until this happened. Tom Jackson, they’re talking about McNabb. There were two segments on McNabb that day. Tom Jackson said, ‘I don’t think that benching McNabb is an option that they see right now. He’ll have to lose a lot of football games before he’s put on the bench. I’d like to look again at the supporting cast. McNabb is struggling. I’d be amazed if they don’t come out today, run that football with whoever you have, Buckhalter, Duce Staley, run that football, give this guy a break at quarterback.’ See, the whole tone here, he was not playing, he had a lousy start to the season, so everybody was wondering, ‘What’s wrong with McNabb?’ And nobody knew. So then Chris Berman threw it to me.
RUSH ARCHIVE: I’ve been listening to all of you guys, actually, and I think the sum total of what you’re all saying is that Donovan McNabb is regressing, he is going backwards —
TOM JACKSON: Mmm-hmm. (Nodding)
RUSH: — and my… I’m sorry to say this, I don’t think he’s been that good from the get-go. I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern on the NFL. I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.
TOM JACKSON: Mmm-hmm. (Nodding)
MICHAEL IRVIN: (Nodding)
RUSH: We’re interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t really deserve. The defense carried this team, I think, and he got credit for it.
TOM JACKSON: But Rush — But Rush somebody went to those championship games.
RUSH: They went.
TOM JACKSON: Somebody went to those Pro Bowls. Somebody made those plays that I saw running down the field, doing it with his legs, doing it with his arm. He has been a very effective quarterback for this football team over the last two or three years —
RUSH: Yeah, but you take —
TOM JACKSON: — and they didn’t have any more talent then than they do now.
RUSH: Oh yes they did: on defense. On defense, they did.
MICHAEL IRVIN: (Nodding)
TOM JACKSON: (Nodding) Oh, on defense they did. I’m talking on the offense side of the ball.
RUSH: Well, that’s what I’m saying. I think he got a lot of credit for the defensive side of the ball-winning games for this team.
STEVE YOUNG: But I’ll tell you what. I’ll say it even more strongly, Tom. When they’re winning, nobody makes more plays —
TOM JACKSON: Right. Than Donovan McNabb.
STEVE YOUNG: — with his arm than Donovan McNabb. That guy is one of the best in the league at making plays, but making plays does not win championships. Running the offense does. So at some point —
TOM JACKSON: Gotta run the offense.
STEVE YOUNG: — I think that Koy Detmer looks like a better option because he’ll go in there, drop back, and throw the ball correctly.
CHRIS BERMAN: Isn’t it odd that last year with the broken leg — I know it was Arizona — but the one game he was in the pie, he looked great.
STEVE YOUNG: He had to run that offense.
TOM JACKSON: So, Rush, once you make that investment though — once you make that investment in him, that’s a done deal.
RUSH: I’m saying it’s a good investment. Don’t misunderstand. I just don’t think he’s as good as everybody said he has been.
MICHAEL IRVIN: Rush has a point.
RUSH: That was Michael Irvin there at the end: ‘Rush has a point.’ It was Steve Young talking about McNabb not managing the offense well, and maybe Koy Detmer ought to be given the ball. This happened on a Sunday. The firestorm didn’t happen ’til Tuesday, when the Philadelphia print media, I think every columnist wrote about it. Nothing was said later on ESPN that day or on their Monday pregame show. It never came up, I was told, in any of the production meetings for those shows. Then on Tuesday, it’s in the Philadelphia sports media, and it just hit. On Wednesday, I got a call from ESPN. They said, ‘It’s either you or Tommy. Tommy says if you come back, he’s not.’ Tom Jackson. ‘Well, this is not worth that.’ So I fled the coop.
Then McNabb had his press conference that day, and he said, ‘Why do people bring race into this? I’m a quarterback in the NFL.’ And now ever since he got to the Super Bowl, he’s been a black quarterback. Ever since the Eagles made the Super Bowl, he’s been a black quarterback. He’s going to be on HBO tonight talking about the trials and tribulations of being a black quarterback. It has taken four years, but the point that I originally made finally is now being acknowledged and confirmed. And it wasn’t racist and it wasn’t even critical of McNabb for race. It was a comment that was just targeting the media, because sports media is like every other media: they’re a bunch of leftists; they’re liberals; they have this superiority about them; their great social conscience, and all that. So it is what it is, folks.
Here’s Chris, a cell call from South Dakota. Nice to know they have cell networks there. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I was just wondering when ESPN is going to have a white running back on to talk about the trials and tribulations of being in their position.
RUSH: Well… (Laughing.) The trials and tribulations of the white running back.
RUSH: Explain that for the people in the audience that may not quite understand.
CALLER: Well, I guess it’s a rhetorical question, because I don’t know of any white running backs in the NFL, ever.
RUSH: Well, 60% of the players in the NFL are black now, which is fine. Go get the best players. Don’t anybody misread anything here, folks. You gotta understand this. If 100 percent of the players in the National Football League were black, the sports media would still treat them as though they just escaped bondage and, in fact, are still in it because they would move the line: ‘Okay how many general managers are black?’ They’d find a problem there. ‘How many owners are black?’ They’d find a problem there. The NFL could be a hundred percent black, and the liberal sports media would still find a way to treat these guys as though they’re in bondage and down for the civil rights struggle and so forth and so on.