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RUSH: Tony in Tampa, you’re next on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hi.

CALLER: Hey, hey, Rush. How you doing?

RUSH: Very well, thank you.

CALLER: I watched Army/Navy over the weekend. They might have thrown three flags the entire game. Uninterrupted football from beginning to end. I want to talk about the NFL [Players Association], Rush. This guy who is the heavy NFL PA, you know yourself he’s a stone-cold, straight up Obamatron. They are talking about a strike, striking next year so there won’t be a season next year.

RUSH: Ah! Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah! Now, I want to ask you about this. You’re talking about DeMaurice Smith — or, ‘Deh-Maurice’ to be proper. DeMaurice Smith. Where are you getting this strike business?

CALLER: Isn’t that the…? Isn’t that the scuttlebutt that’s going down, that they’re going through negotiations; they might strike.

RUSH: Well now, see, the reason I ask you is very interesting. Not too many people have picked up on this is why I want to ask. Everybody’s talking lockout as in the players being locked out by the owners. But the players on every team have voted, if necessary, to decertify the union. If that holds up, there won’t be anybody to lock out. The owners won’t be able to lock out anybody if they follow through and decertify. In other words, end the union then there’s nobody to lock out. Therefore the only way there would be a work stoppage is indeed if the players strike. Now, is that what you meant or did you just mean lockout and got the terms reversed?

CALLER: No. That’s exactly what I meant.

RUSH: All right. Well, then you are on the cutting edge. You are keeping up with this because very few people are aware that at the end of the day the only way this can happen is if there is a strike if they decertify. There won’t be anything for the owners to lock out.

CALLER: That’s right, Rush. The Obamatron, in the midst of 10% unemployment and his president getting us a Cuban-style economy, wants to strike.

RUSH: Here’s where I differ with you. I think — no, I don’t think; I know, in part because of my own episode. I know that the owners were supposed to have shown the signs of caving by now. The reason they were supposed to have shown the signs of caving by now is precisely what you said at the beginning of your call. This guy is an Obama guy. And this guy, DeMaurice Smith, has been threatening to get the Congressional Black Caucus involved (65% of the players in the league are black). He has been threatening to get the White House involved. In other words, get government power at the highest levels involved on behalf of the players. This was supposed to have put a little pressure and some fear into the owners, and it hasn’t worked.

CALLER: Right, right. What you’re saying, Rush, basically is force the owners to back down.

RUSH: That’s what they were hoping. They were going to force it, without anybody actually doing anything. They wanted the fear of Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus, the government at large being aligned with the players to force the owners to cave. In other words, use all the usual stuff about racism, diversity, all of this stuff. Rich white guy, owners. None of this was said, but it was hoped that DeMaurice Smith being a players guy and with him throwing out going to the House of Representatives, going to the Congressional Black Caucus, this was supposed to scare the owners. As of now, it hasn’t. The owners have not given an inch. So I think… Well, it’s my wild guess now. I’m beyond what I know. I’m just guessing now, but I think the players association finds itself in a position they didn’t think they would be in.

CALLER: The usual game is being played, Rush: Racial politics, class warfare. And I think —

RUSH: In a sense, yes.

CALLER: I think this Obamatron is going to go to the mat on this. I think he’s going to force the owner’s hand with the backing of the Black Caucus and Obama, and he’s going to try and shove it down their throats by way of class warfare, racial politics.

RUSH: Well, it’s entirely possible. I mean, you know, Congress can decide the college football rankings, the BCS. People have asked the Congress to get involved in determining whether or not the Bowl Championship Series is ‘fair.’ I’m not so sure here, Tony, because Obama is not really occupying the strongest of positions these days. Obama is really not putting the fear into too many people. I know he still can, but this was supposed to have borne some fruit by now, and it hasn’t. And the only way, the only way… See, the players, if they’re locked out, have sympathy. Fans, it’s easy to get mad at 33 rich guy owners. But if the players strike in the midst of an economy like this where they are earning millions, there goes the sympathy.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, one thing I just want to say before I leave — no, two things if you don’t mind, please. First off, the best football in the country is played in the Southeastern Conference is old style, Dick Butkus-, Mean Joe Greene-, Deacon Jones-type football, man. Old school, it’s beautiful. No flags. They hardly throw any flags. It’s hard-hitting football. Number two, and with all due respect because you are the leading voice of freedom in this country: It was the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers that gave Obama, in ’09 when they beat the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game, the game ball.


CALLER: It was the coaches.


CALLER: It was those two stool pigeons.

RUSH: Yeah. Look, yeah, and it was also the head coach who thanked Jesse Jackson because he’s a supporter of the Steelers and so forth. I know all that.

CALLER: The Steelers are the regime’s team, Rush, and you are the leading voice for freedom.

RUSH: (laughing)

CALLER: Hey, check it out, Rush! It wouldn’t be me, man. Would not be me!

RUSH: (laughing)

CALLER: Under no circumstances —

RUSH: Tony! (laughing)

CALLER: — would it be me.

RUSH: Tony, I thought you were on my side on this.

CALLER: Not on that!

RUSH: (laughing)

CALLER: Not on that, man!

RUSH: I had nothing to do with that!

CALLER: I didn’t say you did, but you —

RUSH: All right.

CALLER: I didn’t say you did, Rush, but —

RUSH: Look.

CALLER: But you could make a conscious choice. It was the coaching staff.

RUSH: Wait a second! I made my conscious choice long before the regime.

CALLER: I understand that! But the circumstances have changed dramatically!

RUSH: What am I supposed to do? Abandon…?

CALLER: (shouting) Rush, what you’re supposed to do is pick another team! Shut… Uh, uh, stuff ’em under the bus! Hope they choke! That’s what you’re supposed to do! They are the regime’s team. They are the Pittsburgh Obamas!

RUSH: Uh, Pittsburgh Obamas? Well, you know, I can’t, I really can’t dispute this, although I want to exempt the coaching staff here. This was —

CALLER: The Rooneys didn’t give ’em the game ball, Rush! Owners don’t give out game balls! Coaches do.

RUSH: Yeah, but who’s the owner and who did the owner raise funds for and support?

CALLER: He raised funds for… He campaigned, those two ‘jadrools,’ the Rooneys, campaigned for Obama in Pennsylvania.

RUSH: Uh… (groans)

CALLER: And then when they won the AFC Championship Game against the Ravens, Mike Tomlin and the coaching staff —

RUSH: I know.

CALLER: — gave them the game ball!

RUSH: I was there.


RUSH: I am fully aware.

CALLER: Check it out, Rush! That even makes it worse!

RUSH: I don’t have to check it out.

CALLER: You were there!

RUSH: I was —

CALLER: You were on the premises, and you’re STILL pulling for these characters!

RUSH: I was there. (laughing) You got me. There are some things I can’t discuss here on this program, but I — (laughing)

CALLER: You were on the premises, Rush!

RUSH: I was on the premises. I was.

CALLER: You saw it with your two beady eyeballllls! That should be enough, man. The end of them! I’ll pitch somebody else. I won’t watch football.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: But I’ll be damned if I’m going to pull for those suckers!

RUSH: Who is it…? Tony? Tony, dial it down here. Who is it that plays the game?

CALLER: The players. But the heart and soul of any football team is the coaching staff: Vince Lombardi, Chuck Noel, do you understand? Uh, uh, let me see. Ara Parseghian when he was coaching Notre Dame. Lou Holtz when he was coaching Notre Dame. Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant when he was coaching Alabama. The heart and soul of any football team is the coaching staff.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: And it was the coaches that gave Obama…the game balllll. The regime’s team!

RUSH: (laughing)

CALLER: The leading voice —

RUSH: I know this.

CALLER: — for freedom in this country —

RUSH: I know.

CALLER: — pulls for the regime team.

RUSH: And when the Steelers visited the regime’s headquarters, the team gave Obama a jersey.


RUSH: They even gave Obama a Jersey during the campaign. I cringed.

CALLER: Hey, that’s it, baby!

RUSH: He said so.

CALLER: Like I told you, I’m a die-hard Jet fan, Giant fan. If they had done one tenth of what the Steelers did, I would hope they choke every game…they played.

RUSH: Oh, now you don’t want to go there.

CALLER: Oh, I do want to go there, Rush!

RUSH: You don’t.

CALLER: That’s exactly where I want to go. That’s why I said it, man.

RUSH: Are you trying to tell me you are unaware of some of the very odd, left-wing things the Jets owner has done? Even though he’s a big Republican. Are you unaware of some of the stuff the Jets owner has done?

CALLER: Rush? Rush, the coaching staff of the New York Jets —

RUSH: The coaching staff.

CALLER: — never gave —

RUSH: The coaching staff. That’s your only out.

CALLER: — that little weasel a game ball.

RUSH: The coaching staff doesn’t own the team.

CALLER: I didn’t say they did. The owners are not —

RUSH: You said they are the heart and soul of the team.

CALLER: Rush, the owners are not on the field.

RUSH: When the coach gets fired, he says to the owner, ‘I’m the heart and soul of the team; you can’t fire me.’ The owner says, ‘Okay.’

CALLER: No, they can’t say that. The owners control the cash flow.

RUSH: Yeah, well… (laughing)

CALLER: Obviously you can’t say that. The coaches on the Jets or the Giants never gave Obama spit! But the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers gave Obama the game ball in ’09 after the AFC Championship Game against the Ravens. That would do it for me, man. Case clooooosed! Over with!

RUSH: (silence)

CALLER: End of discussion.

RUSH: And so now you think I’m to throw the team under the bus, my team since the seventies? I’m to throw them under the bus? Because Obama is going to go away someday. There’s going to be a new president. I’m just supposed to throw the team overboard and select a new team, simply.

CALLER: Yeah, that’s exactly what you do.

RUSH: Is it a matter of credibility?

CALLER: That’s exactly what you do, Rush.

RUSH: If I don’t do this, I don’t have any credibility with you when it comes to freedom?

CALLER: No, no. What I’m —

RUSH: (stifling laughter)

CALLER: It has nothing to do with freedom. It has everything to do with this miserable, greazzzy, low-rent regime. That’s what it’s got to do with. And anybody that supports it — even, even in a small way —

RUSH: I have to —

CALLER: — I have nothing to do with.

RUSH: Look, I have to tell you — and I don’t really, umm… I don’t really… You know, look. Tony, you’re forcing me into this. I didn’t want to do this, but you know that your quarterback went to Obama’s state dinner for the president of Mexico. You knew that. I don’t care.

CALLER: We’re talking about game balls here, Rush.

RUSH: Oh-ho-ho! No, no, no, no!

CALLER: I’m not talking about Sanchez!

RUSH: Your quarterback!

CALLER: I’m not talking about Sanchez!

RUSH: Your quarterback —

CALLER: We’re talking about game balls. I’m not going to get sidetracked about quarterbacks.

RUSH: Your quarterback accepted an invitation from the regime —


RUSH: — to go to the White House for a state dinner and ate the regime’s food and drank the regime’s adult beverages!

CALLER: Uh, the Pittsburgh Steelers invited the head of the regime —

RUSH: I don’t care. They didn’t eat there.

CALLER: — right into the locker room, Rush!

RUSH: They didn’t eat there.

CALLER: Right into the locker room and gave him the game ball!

RUSH: They’ve never been invited to a state dinner there. That’s my case. Closed.


RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I am under constraints here. This is what I mean when I say that back in the early days of this program I would come back from a weekend away and I would basically spend the first segment, maybe two segments talking about the weekend, what all happened. Everybody loved it. And nobody said, ‘Stick to the issues! Stick to the issues!’ I stopped doing that as I became more and more famous and thus started to encounter more and more security problems. And now I do not, as a matter of security, tell anybody in advance where I’m going specifically. Very rarely do I tell anybody where I have been when I get back, certainly not specifically. It’s a disappointing thing. It’s been a very, very limiting thing. (interruption) No, no, no, I’m not saying anything like that, Snerdley. I’m saying, if you’ll let me get there, I’ll tell you where I’m going. It is a very disappointing thing. I hear all these people talk about how neat they think fame is, and I see all of these people who crave it, who want all of this media attention. And I say to them, ‘You really don’t, not for the sake of it.’ I mean, if what you do takes you there, there’s nothing you can do about it. But if you seek it, I guarantee you that once it happens you’re not going to like the end result. It’s life-changing, it is life-altering and your friends won’t understand it. They are going to think you’re a stuck-up snob. It’s just a different thing.

So here’s good old Tony. There are things about what he was talking about that I could say that would calm him to no end, but I can’t tell him simply because it would be violating confidences. It would be violating confidences of friends of people I know. So I basically have to sit here and eat that call. The best I can do is remind him that his quarterback goes to the White House under a regime invite as a state dinner. Now, I know the truth behind all of this, what he was talking about, but it’s not something for me to divulge. It just isn’t. But it isn’t the way he thinks it is is all I can say. We all work for somebody. Ahem, ahem, ahem. That’s it. That’s as far as I’m going to go. If you can figure part of it out, you can, and even then you won’t know from me because you’re just going to have to wait for the rest of this from WikiLeaks. Just that simple.

Who else? Well, we don’t have time for anybody else. Oh, you liked that? Snerdley liked that, so satisfying to hear the Steelers called the regime’s team? The regime’s team is the Chicago Bears. That’s another thing. Obama’s team is the Bears. Obama’s sitting around minding his own business and all of a sudden Dan Rooney says, ‘You’re my man. You’re my guy. I’m supporting you in Pennsylvania.’ What’s Obama supposed to do? ‘Oh, no, I don’t want a fundraiser in Western Pennsylvania.’ So Obama has to go along with the fact that — (interruption) The Bears haven’t won anything worthy of a game ball yet to give him. My goodness gracious. No, the Bears haven’t given him a game ball, but nobody on the Bears has gotten a game ball for anything that really matters yet, especially after that debacle yesterday.


RUSH: I’m getting some e-mails. People found that a fascinating conversation, but you know why? Because there was a guy who put his political preferences above sports loyalty, and that’s kinda unheard of. It’s generally your sports loyalty overrides everything else. But Tony was willing to subordinate, or thinks I should have, subordinated my fandom for political reality. Once again, folks, you have to trust me here, there are things I know that if I didn’t know, I could tell you and guess, but I do know. So I can’t. But it isn’t what you think.


RUSH: If anybody’s passing out game balls, I deserve one for that phone call with Tony. No. No, no, don’t misunderstand. Tony’s a great guy. This guy, he’s a sharp football fan. There aren’t too many people that know or who have figured out right now that if there is no football next year, it’s going to be because the players strike and I don’t think there’s going to be a work stoppage anyway. This debacle in Minnesota is one of the reasons why. I mean look at the mess one snowfall caused. Some guy in The Wall Street Journal has a great point about this. Of all the things that have happened, snow in Minneapolis prevents a game from being played in the NFL? Who would have ever, ever thought that? Back in the old ball yard in Minneapolis, Bloomington Stadium, Metropolitan Stadium, they played outdoors. I mean, it was the biggest advantage the Vikings ever had. They built this dome in ’82, they played inside ever since.

So here snow in Minneapolis kills a football game. ‘Oh, we can’t play over at the college stadium, the wind chill’s too low, the Giants didn’t bring their cold weather gear.’ Well, you got 36 hours to fly it in there. ‘Well, no, the wind chill is too cold.’ Right across the state in Illinois they are playing in a blizzard. ‘We can’t play outdoors in Minnesota. No, no, no.’ So we’ve got to go to Detroit to play the game. There isn’t going to be a work stoppage anyway. All this is posturing. There’s too much money out there in a very, very rotten economy that’s not going to improve that much by the time next season comes along. What this is all about is playing 18 games in a regular season and once they figure out a way to satisfy the players with more roster spots, figure out a way to make the players think they are getting more money for playing two additional games that count. I mean, they already play 20 games a season with the starters playing two preseason games anyway. They are going to count those now. So it’s going to get done. These people are not that stupid. Well, now wait a minute. I say that. But liberals all over this country are willing to kill the golden goose that’s America. So I don’t know.

I look at it, it just can’t be. All this posturing right now is exactly what you would expect. The first real deadline’s not until March and the second real deadline is not until you get to August. And everybody knows things like this don’t get done until the real deadlines get close. That’s when both sides will show ultimately what they’re willing to lose and give up, and not before then. It could even be done before next August, but if it does happen and if the players decertify — which they have, I mean, they voted to decertify the union, every team’s voted to do this — well, then they have to strike if there’s no playing. Owners can’t lock out a union that doesn’t exist. But I really have to agree with this Wall Street Journal reporter. It is laughable that snow cancels a game in Minnesota. Stop and think of that. Minnesota prides itself, Minneapolis, on having its winter carnival. They live outside during the winter. They have to. It’s their life.


RUSH: I’m going to go out and see if I can buy a miniature coffin and I’m going to send that to Tony and bury his team this season: The New York Jets. Tony in Tampa. (laughing) I’m just having fun with it, Snerdley. Snerdley says, ‘That’s cold.’ Well, his coach is burying game balls. Rex Ryan is burying game balls. He buried the game ball after the Patriots game and somebody in a New York tabloid said today they are going to run out of real estate to bury balls at the Jets headquarters if this keeps up.

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