RUSH: I’m getting e-mails out the wazoo. ‘Rush, you haven’t talked about the this story going around about you wanting to buy the St. Louis Rams.’ Yes, I have talked about it, but just not on this show. I have talked about it with the St. Louis Business Journal and I talked about it yesterday with KMOX in St. Louis, our affiliate there. But nobody’s called and asked me about it. They did, so I replied. Cookie put together a couple of sound bites here today. This is a portion of a report put together by a reporter at KMOX, Brett Blume from the interview I did on the morning show at KMOX yesterday.
BLUME: But the Cape Girardeau native says it’s not because he’s a big Rams fan or anything, adding that sentimentality and the ownership of a sports franchise don’t mix.
RUSH ARCHIVE: The worst thing that could happen is for a fan to buy the team. And when I say this to people, they say, ‘Well, that’s crazy, it would be fun.’ Look, it’s a billion-dollar business.
BLUME: Limbaugh says NFL ownership is a billionaires club but claims he’s not a member of that club, just in good financial shape.
RUSH ARCHIVE: I don’t owe anybody anything except the monthly bills, and to do this would require a major change.
BLUME: Limbaugh, whose show can be heard 11 to two weekdays on KMOX made his comments as a guest on Total Information AM. Brett Blume, 1120 KMOX News.
RUSH: And this morning on ESPN2, the following was reported.
REPORTER: If the St. Louis Rams are placed on the selling block, count controversial radio host Rush Limbaugh among those interested in buying the team. The Cape Girardeau, Missouri, native admits he’s not in the billionaire club but says he is in good financial shape. The Rams owners say the team isn’t for sale but there is speculation they could be swayed by the right offer.
RUSH: I think they could be swayed by the right offer because the estate tax makes it difficult for the offspring of these owners to hold onto the teams once it changes hands. The estate tax is one of the things that’s causing all the problems with the Pittsburgh Steelers. There are other factors there, too, that I happen to be privy to. This is a deep one. That Steelers thing has been going on for two years, but the estate tax has a fundamental role in it. At 55% you have to sell the asset that you have inherited in order to pay the tax. This is how Wayne Huizenga ended up with the Miami Dolphins. Joe Robbie, his family had to sell the Dolphins after he passed it down, after he died. It’s absurd. It’s simply absurd. You get liberal Democrats out there supporting all this. So I feel bad for Chip Rosenbloom and his sister who own the Rams, but people keep writing, ‘What do you mean it would be bad for a fan to buy the team?’ Folks, it’s a billion-dollar business. NFL teams today, give or take a hundred million, are worth a billion dollars. It’s difficult to lose money in the NFL because of TV money, but some of that, as the future moves forward, there’s some unknowns. There is revenue sharing in the NFL, but it’s not as equal as it used to be. They don’t share all revenue equally. There are markets that have far more advantages than other markets do, and it requires creativity.
But what I meant by it would be a mistake for a fan to buy the team, I’m a fan and I would be part of an ownership group, what I meant was, and I think I said this to the Business Journal reporter in St. Louis. One of the things that you cannot do as a football person or the owner of the team is get sentimentally attached to players, because if you do, you’ll hold onto them past the time they are productive, and you’ll overpay them out of the sentimentality. Look at the New England Patriots. Every year they have a massive roster turnover. Look at the Steelers. The Steelers got rid of Joey Porter, they let Alan Faneca go, perennial all-pro player, both were 30, 31 years old, and they wanted more money and could get more money in the open market than the Steelers were willing to pay them. Bob Kraft and the Patriots are the same way, there’s just no sentimentality. The Packers are going through this with Brett Favre. There’s no reason to bring Favre back to Green Bay right now, from a business standpoint, unless you’re sentimental and you think there’s one good year left in the tank, but the Green Bay Packers’ future has got to be more than next year. So that’s all I meant by this fan comment. You can’t let the sentimentality a fan relationship has with a player impact the business decisions you make on employing various players, plus what they’re paid.