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RUSH: Back to the phones, Open Line Friday. Rush Limbaugh to Palm Harbor, Florida. Hi Chris. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, how are you? Nice to speak with you.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: Sir, I wanted to get your thoughts on Tim Tebow starting on Sunday.

RUSH: I have an entirely different view of this from what appears to be the consensus of the sportswriter community. And not just the sportswriters, the coach Bill Cowher, former Steelers running back Merril Hoge, the list seems never ending that he doesn’t have the ability to make it as a pro style quarterback.

CALLER: Sure, that’s the consensus.

RUSH: I’m not so sure. They claim his throwing motion, his release is not quick enough, that he can’t be a pocket passer. I remember Champ Bailey, cornerback of the Broncos, number 24, saying early on in Tebow’s arrival, never seen anybody work any harder than Tebow. He clearly has the fans behind him in Denver, at least for now. But his first game’s on the road against the Dolphins in Miami. I don’t know. My gut is all I’ve got on this. My gut tells me that Tebow’s gonna surprise people.

CALLER: Well, you know, they’re also honoring the 2008 Gators team before the game.

RUSH: Yeah, is there any other reason to go see the Dolphins right now? I mean the new owner down there has decided to go Hollywood. He’s got all these limited partners that wouldn’t know a football if they saw one, like Fergie and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony and so forth. So here comes Tebow and the sportswriter community is even ripping the Dolphins for doing that but they sold out. They had the earliest sellout that they’ve had all season honoring the Gators and Tebow coming in, so there’s clearly a lot of interest. I don’t know. Just a fan.

CALLER: So you’re pulling for him?

RUSH: Of course. Absolutely I’m pulling for the guy.

CALLER: Okay, yeah. I think it’s gonna be an interesting week. I’m pulling for him as well. I just think it’s interesting.

RUSH: You know, you have to respect people who play the game. You have to respect the coaches. You have to respect the people whose business is professional football, and there aren’t too many people who think he’s got the ability to be a successful pro quarterback.

CALLER: Well, Steve Young’s high on him.

RUSH: He is? I hadn’t heard that.

CALLER: He is.

RUSH: It’s good to know. I hadn’t heard. Anybody else that you know that’s high on him?

CALLER: You know, it’s scant, but Steve Young seems like an honest person. He was of the same style as Tebow I think early in his career, so —

RUSH: Yeah, scrambler, big guy, could get out of trouble, did have a rather elongated flowing motion in his throwing motion.

CALLER: Right. So anyway, just thought I’d get that out there. It’s an interesting —

RUSH: What about you?

CALLER: What about me?

RUSH: Your thoughts on Tebow.

CALLER: Well, I think he’s a winner, and I think that supersedes any sort of — you can never quantify that.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: You know, Merril Hoge and all those guys, they can come on but I think it’s clear that Tim Tebow, just like Michael Jordan or a Lance Armstrong, these guys who just know, yeah, when you can close a deal, you can close a deal.

RUSH: Let me ask you this. How much do you think the criticism of Tebow is rooted in the fact that he is a publicly devout Christian?

CALLER: I would say from the analyst standpoint, it’s probably very small. But I would think most of the talking heads out there of course it’s probably 85%.

RUSH: So in the sportswriter community it’s a big deal. The people that play the game, not that big a deal?

CALLER: No, I don’t think Merril Hoge could care less that he’s a conservative Christian. I mean, do you?

RUSH: Well, no. Not with Merril Hoge. I don’t think it would matter a hill of beans to Bill Cowher.

CALLER: Right. So but, yeah, the sportswriters, the beat writers, I’m sure they detest it.

RUSH: Right. Okay. Well, I appreciate the call.

CALLER: Thanks a lot, Rush. Have a good evening.

RUSH: You bet. It’s a great Open Line Friday kind of question. Way to find it out there, Snerdley.

Brett, Taylors, South Carolina. Hello, and welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. How you doing?

RUSH: Very good, sir. Thanks very much.

CALLER: Hey, listen, I wanted to get your views on these new girlie men NFL rules. You know, you can’t touch the quarterback, the defenseless receiver and all that kind of stuff.

RUSH: Let’s explain what’s happening, some people may not know. The National Football League has become obsessed with preventing head injuries. They are just obsessed with concussions, head injuries, particularly against defenseless players. You know what you ought to do, you ought to go back, if you can — I’ve done this — get some footage of college football back in the 1940s, fifties, sixties. You will find a rough-as-nails game, but you will not find players launching at each other. You won’t find head shots. You don’t find kill shots. You’ll find classic, properly taught and executed tackling. The game did morph and evolve into quite a different game than has been in years past.

Now, the professional game is different. If you go back to the forties and fifties to professional game, those guys were headhunters. It is a pansy game today compared — as a stand alone, it’s not a pansy game and they’re not using girlie man rules today. But compared to what the pro game used to be, clotheslining was allowed. The San Francisco 49ers had a guy that played in the fifties named Hardy Brown. They were worried in that era that Hardy Brown was going to kill somebody is how hard that he hit. The pro game, I mean, Chuck Bednarik, look what Chuck Bednarik did to Frank Gifford. Chuck Bednarik took out Chuck Noll. Chuck Noll was a player for the Cleveland Browns. Chuck Bednarik, some of these guys back in the old days when the NFL was new and it was lawless, it was an entirely different game, and it is policed now.

I know what’s going on with the NFL. If you take a look after every play, there is a potential — not after every play, but it seems like a lot of plays — there is a potential for a total breakdown, massive brawls and fights are possible after every play. Players are getting in each other’s faces. The league is doing what it can to control it for marketing reasons, and it’s a cultural thing that they’re dealing with, and I think they’re doing their best. They have done a lot of research about head injuries and tried to stop those while not take away from the true spirit of the game. The problem for the players is that — and it would be any players — when you dramatically change rules on a dime, at any time, the players subject to the rules change are gonna have a cow, and at this particular point in time these players, mainly defensive players, are being targeted here have been taught their whole lives to play the game in a way now that the league says it’s gonna cost you $20,000 if you play it that way. Or $75,000 in James Harrison’s case for the Steelers.

So they’re being told they’ve gotta change the way they’ve been taught to play the game overnight on a dime. And they’re saying, “I can’t change the way I play. That’s the way I play. I’m gonna keep playing, I don’t care about the fines.” The NFL claims to have stats that show that head injuries are down, the number of concussions are down. Not that injuries themselves are down, but serious head injuries, concussions are down, which is what they’re after. But I think if you think that there are girlie man rules, and if you think they’ve softened the game — I know you can’t do this, but I wish you could — watch a game even today from the sideline. If you could get as close to it, the truth of the matter is that the people who play that game are so tough you and I would not last if we were offensive or defensive linemen or wide receivers. You and I wouldn’t last two plays before we’re carted off and sent to the hospital with something.

It’s a man’s game, and there’s nothing soft about it. In the context of the rules changes that they’re making and the things they’re saying about it, coupled with the comments being made by players subject to the rules change that are creating the impression that they’re softening it, but it’s still a brutal game, and they are never gonna be able to take that out of it unless they go flag and take the face mask off the helmet and that would be the only thing they could do, and they’re not gonna do that. I appreciate the call.


RUSH: You know, I’ll even say this. And a lot of you are not gonna understand this, you’re gonna think I don’t know what I’m talking about. The average human being could not catch a John Elway pass. It would knock you down. But you’d get out of the way of it before it did. You wouldn’t want any part of it. It’s an entirely different level. I say this because a lot of people think the NFL’s gone girlie man now with these rule changes, and it is not a soft game. Just put it that way.

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