RUSH: The NFL draft, Manti Te’o did not get chosen in the first round. There are whispers taking place, folks, throughout the sports media. Throughout the National Football League, there are whispers because Manti Te’o did not get taken. And the whispers are, “Is it because of his possible sexual orientation? Is it because there is discrimination?” Nobody knows, nobody will ever know, nobody can say, but there are media people highly suspicious of this.
The commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, this is yesterday morning on the radio. The commissioner got a question: “A couple of different issues around the league right now. One that certainly has a lot of attention, several of your players have come out in support of gay marriage, and there are a lot of questions about what would happen if an NFL player were to come out as gay and an expectation that perhaps that’ll happen soon. Generally speaking, how do you feel about NFL players taking stands on potentially divisive political issues?”
GOODELL: I respect and admire players for what they do on the field, but also for what they do off the field. They’re leaders. They’re thoughtful, and they want to make a difference in their communities, and they feel passionately about this subject. We, as the league, obviously embrace this also. We would be incredibly supportive of this, and not just to the point of tolerance, but to the point of acceptance. And I think you’re hearing that from our players, and I’m proud of them for that.
RUSH: Okay, I have a theory. Now, you’ve heard me say it, but I’m gonna expand on it today. I think the National Football League is over, just nobody knows it yet. And there’s a chance to save it. It’s not totally gone, but it’s on track. It has all the ingredients for being a target. It has all of the modern relevant ingredients the left doesn’t like and sees as an opportunity to change or eliminate. I will run through those on the program today.
RUSH: There was a piece in the Chicago Tribune two days ago by one of their sportswriters named John Kass. He’s an admitted football fanatic, loves it. His piece is on how the National Football League is finished, it’s over. His reasoning, his theory, is that it is now known that football, played normally, scrambles the human brain. Football played, as it is intended, leads to scrambled brains, injuries, concussions, premature death, potential suicide, all of the things associated with concussions in football. And his theory is that parents know this now, and no responsible parent — and the number of parents is going to grow — will ever let their kids play football anymore, knowing that they are destroying their brains, that they are damaging their brains, for life.
And it’s only a matter of time before the feeder system for the NFL dies out. I mean, if kids don’t start playing football at Pop Warner and then in junior high and High School, on to college, the NFL feeder system is gone. That’s his theory. He’s dead serious with it. He’s got a point up to a certain degree, but he doesn’t understand that he is unwittingly a part of this process that risks the survivability of football.
RUSH: National Football League, is it over and nobody knows it yet? A case can be made, and if said case can be made, it is I who can and will make it. Let’s begin with this piece in the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday by John Kass. Headline: “American Football Industry Is On Its Deathbed — With all that college beef on parade this week, the NFL draft is a wonder of sports marketing, a televised pageant for the multibillion-dollar American football industry.
“But there’s something football fans should know: Football is dead in America. Even through all the chatter and cheerleading and media hype, football as an American cultural institution lies in final spasm. It’s as dead as the Marlboro Man. And, if the professional game survives at all, it will be relegated to the pile of trash sports, like mixed martial arts or whatever is done in third-rate arenas with monster trucks and mud. It won’t be as American as apple pie. Instead, football will become the province of people with face tattoos.
“Lawyers are circling football now. For years they’ve had their wings locked, cruising overhead, but lately they’ve swooped in low, landing and hopping over to take chunks out of the great billion-dollar beast. But it’s not the lawyers who are the death of football. Blaming lawyers misses the point. Like their counterparts in nature, lawyers are merely the cleanup crew.” When you see the lawyers show up, you know something’s finished.
“What finishes football are the parents of future football players. The NFL desperately needs American parents. Not as fans, but as suppliers of young flesh. The NFL needs parents to send their little boys into the football feeder system. And without that supply of meat for the NFL grinder — first youth teams, then high school and college — there can be no professional football. And yet every day, more American parents decide they’re finished with football. Why? Because parents can no longer avoid the fact that football scrambles the human brain. In cultural terms, parents who send their 10-year-olds to play football might as well hold up signs saying they’d like to give their children cigarettes and whiskey.”
I’m just telling you. Here you’ve got a football-loving media guy who derives his living from covering the game, and you can see where this is headed. When was it that I first made this prediction that this was all gonna start happening? It was a year ago, nine months ago I made this prediction.
“Make no mistake,” Mr. Kass writes, “I loved football. I loved it desperately. Even now, four decades later, I remember endlessly damning myself for being too small to play it at a big-time college. I ached for it, for the violence of it, for the training, the salt pills and no water on hot August fields, the helmet scabs on the forehead, but mostly the collisions. And I still love it, but I can’t shake the guilt of supporting the physical ruin of great athletes. My wife and I wouldn’t let our sons play. We just couldn’t.”
He can’t shake the guilt of supporting the physical ruin of great athletes. Can you see now where this is headed?
“Future historians may explain all this in terms of cultural change, of more information about concussions, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and brain damage, and another football killer, taxpayer liability. Some 4,000 former NFL players have joined lawsuits against the league for allegedly hiding the dangers to the brain. This follows a rash of depression-related suicides, with some players shooting themselves in the chest so that their brains could be studied after their deaths.
“One of these was the great Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson. He left a suicide note, asking that doctors examine what was in his skull after a lifetime of bashing it. College players have also filed suit. Eventually, lawsuits will overwhelm the high schools. And high school superintendents won’t be able to increase property taxes to pay for the additional cost of subsidizing the game. ‘The idea that five years ago I would have forbidden my kids to play football is hard to imagine,’ said Joseph Siprut, a lawyer representing former Eastern Illinois University player Adrian Arrington and other athletes in federal court over the long-term effects of head injuries. ‘It never would have occurred to me. Now, given what I know about the concussion issue — first as a lawyer who has litigation, but also as someone who reads the papers — for me as a parent, I don’t think I would ever let my kids set foot on a football field. Ever.’
“Football may hang on for a few years, hang on desperately like a cat dying under a backyard deck, hissing as it goes. There are billions of dollars at stake, feeding owners, players, agents, advertisers, journalists, and, most importantly, bookies. The NFL is about gambling. The game is not just a contact sport — it’s a high-impact collision sport. It is about exploding into your opponent, refusing to break, while breaking others to your will and knocking them senseless.” Ooh, I shudder at the thought.
“All sports can be dangerous. They involve physical and spiritual risk. But football is different from other team sports. It is designed to slam body against body, and often, head slams against head. There is no way to alter this fact, no way to spin it.” There is no way to change it, I might add. “So if you’re wondering about the future of football during the NFL draft, try this experiment: Ask the parents of a little boy about tackle football, about concussions, and look into their eyes when they speak.”
That’s John Kass, Chicago Tribune, a couple of days ago. Let me add to this. Precisely because Mr. Kass is not alone in his thoughts here. His thoughts represent the thinking of a number of people, an increasing number of people. And I know some of you, when I inject politics into things, “Come on, come on, Rush.” I’m not the one doing it. This is what you must understand. I get up here every day, I read, I study, I look, I defend, I react to the political efforts of the left. If people in this country were aware of how the left — the Democrat Party, for lack of a better word — politicizes everything, we would be so far ahead of the game, and they would be losing so many elections.
I’m not the one politicizing this. I’m telling you how they are. And sure as I’m sitting here, the American left is going to try to kill this game. Mr. Kass says it’s over now, just nobody knows it yet because parents now know that the game destroys their kids’ brains. Suicides, early death, paralysis, other disabilities. And it’s gonna be the left and lawyers carrying the water on this. They’re gonna first try changing the rules, make the game safer, take the head out of it, which they’re already doing. That’s gonna make the game less exciting, and at some point fan interest will decline. It’s gonna be slow. It’s not gonna happen this season.
But I see it almost like the NFL going the way of the GOP, in a sense. The liberals are gonna demand that football — high school, college, NFL — make all these changes to improve the game. And the NFL, out of the same kind of fear the GOP experiences, will acquiesce. The GOP is told that they are mean-spirited, rotten to the core when it comes to Hispanics and women. And, if they don’t change, they’re never gonna get the support of those people, right? You heard McCain. McCain said (paraphrasing), “I believe if we passed this amnesty legislation it’s not gonna gain us a single vote. But what it will do is put us on the playing field where we can compete. And then we can get into our agenda, once we’ve convinced them that we do like them.”
Well, why does McCain think Hispanics don’t like ’em? Because the Democrats and the media are telling him that. And all these other people in the Republican Party. Women don’t like ’em ’cause of abortion. Hispanics don’t like ’em because of immigration. This group doesn’t like the Republicans ’cause of this issue or what have you, and it’s all oriented toward getting the Republican Party to do what? Basically write itself out of existence.
Do you think the Democrat Party wants to save the Republican Party? Do you think the Democrat Party wants to share some of its voters with the Republicans? Do you think the Democrat Party is saying, “You guys better wise up on Hispanics. You guys better support amnesty.” Do you think the Democrats really want Republicans getting Hispanic voters? Or do you think it’s more likely that the Democrats and the media would be urging Republicans to take action that will destroy their chances to get voters that vote Democrat? What’s more likely here?
The same tactic is gonna be used on the NFL, guilt on the owners, what they’re doing to the players, what they’re doing to American parents, because at the end of the day the NFL is what? It’s Big Corporation. And corporations aren’t people, right? The NFL is a giant corporate entity. And what does it do? It maims its employees. Big Oil wants to poison the world and kill the climate, right? And Big Pharmaceutical wants to kill its customers, overcharge them, right? Isn’t this the meme? I’m not the one that makes this up. This is what the liberal Democrats say. You take a look at their enemies list and it’s every corporation. Walmart, you name it.
All the media covering the game, themselves liberals, will fall unwittingly right in line supporting every move to change and weaken the game under the guise of safety and removing risk and taking the masculinity out of it. I will concede most people think I’m all wet, dead wrong. “Rush, this could never happen to the NFL. The owners are gonna wise up soon enough.” I hope they do. “Rush, the fans are never gonna — it’s too much money, the people aren’t gonna sit around and let themselves be put out of business.” Is not every American corporation bending over and grabbing the ankles on this environmental stuff? Are they not being forced to manufacture products nobody wants out of fear of an all powerful regulating, punishing federal government?
And, meanwhile, $200 million in loans to, what is it, Fisker, and not one car has been built? I’m just telling you, the left has got the NFL in its crosshairs now, and, yes, it is the left. And they disguise themselves well. They’re concerned about safety and prolonging life and stopping injuries and all that. This is nothing immediate. This is gonna be a slow, slow process. But don’t forget. It’s not just me. This guy from the Chicago Tribune, he thinks it’s already over and nobody knows it yet. And he’s right. Five years ago, nobody could even conceive what’s happened now.
We don’t know that suicides are taking place because of head injuries. We don’t know that for sure, but everybody now assumes it. Junior Seau, Duerson. We don’t know for sure. But just like global warming is a total lie, when the left wants something, when they want to effect change, when they want to control it, who cares about truth and accuracy or any of that?
RUSH: Look, I don’t want to be right about this. Don’t misunderstand. Snerdley is arguing with me and he’s got a good point. The players are not gonna go along with this. This is the gateway that so many of these players have to having successful lives. You take this away from them, and what do they got, nothing. The players are not gonna put up with the league going out of business. There are 4,000 players in a class-action suit wanting a check because they claim they were lied to about the risks involved. That’s not incidental. That’s not just a class-action suit of 4,000 that doesn’t mean anything.
People are telling me that football is too patriotic, gonna have to take America out of it. I hope I’m wrong about this. I’m just telling you that I see the forces of the left marshaling here. The Redskins name, all part of it, trying to change that. It’s all part of it. Now, I understand for a lot of players, this is it, this is their game. It really is touching to watch the first round of the NFL draft, because these players, for the most part, are coming from very depressed economic backgrounds, and they’re chosen in the first round and that’s their ticket, and they’ve got their parents there. They’ve got their family and it is the biggest day of their lives. They have tears coming down their cheeks. It is the happiest, it is a culmination — football’s hard. First-round draft, being chosen, it is the culmination of hard work, and they have dedicated themselves.
These players have their dreams, too. They haven’t changed. And so people, “I’m sure these guys are never gonna sit around and let that be taken away from them.” I hope that I’m wrong about this. I didn’t want global warming to get this far along. I didn’t want the left to get halfway where they are. I hope I’m dead wrong about my football prediction, and I hope that Kass is wrong, the Tribune guy. Liberalism scrambles the brain more than football, as far as I’m concerned. I mean, if you’re worried about the brain, if you’re worried about what’s happening to people’s ability to function, ban liberalism, not football.
RUSH: It was December 14th of 2011 — a year and a half — ago when I made my prediction that there would be members of the New Castrati who would pipe up and say that the game should be banned. And that has happened. There have already been such people of note who have suggested the game be banned.
RUSH: Now, about this football business, I don’t want any of what I’ve predicted to happen. Don’t misunderstand. I just know the left, folks, I know these people. I know the media; I know what motivates them; I just know. And I hope I’m wrong. If anything is scrambling brains in this country, it is liberalism. If anything is disabling people and robbing them of their dignity, their potential as human beings, it is liberalism, not football. High school, college, NFL, what have you.
RUSH: Gus in Houston, I’m glad you called, sir. I’ve got about a minute, but I wanted to get to you.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, I tuned in to hear you talking about the demise of football and wanted to tell you about my family. My brother-in-law was a big time football player at the University of Texas. His first year was Earl Campbell’s last year, so he’s in his early fifties.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: He blew his knee out so he couldn’t go pro. Move all these years later and my sister and her husband have four kids, three daughters and a son, who was groomed to be a good, big football player. Well, with all this stuff going on with the injuries, with all the stuff going on that you read, what you’re talking about, he is now the stud they want him to be on the field, but it’s on the lacrosse field. They taken him out of football, and this kid is thriving in lacrosse, but, you know, there’s a lot of people who are thinking just the way you were talking about, what this is gonna do to their kid.
RUSH: That’s the theory of the Chicago Tribune writer, and it’s gonna be fascinating to watch this play out. I appreciate your story, Gus. Thanks much.