RUSH: The NFL and its settlement. I told you yesterday that the NFL thought this was gonna end the conversation. They forgot to calculate the sports media. Just as the McDonald’s protesters think that McDonald’s has $500 billion in a pile that they could give to their workers, the sports media thinks the NFL and its teams have a lot more money to give these former players than they’re agreeing to in this settlement.
RUSH: Let’s start with audio sound bite number two, ’cause yesterday we had the story of a settlement: $765 million, 4500 players. I don’t know that this is gonna be the case, but that works out to $173,000 per player. Some of them don’t have any health insurance anymore. Some of them don’t get, therefore, treated. Some of them do have dementia, some former NFL players. We’re talking a large universe of people here, 4500.
Some of them have Parkinson’s. Some of them have Alzheimer’s or early onset Alzheimer’s. It’s not known if every such player suffering such symptoms is because they played the game. The assumption is that it’s because they played the game, but nobody can prove that. But proof doesn’t matter once emotion takes hold of an issue. Facts and proof don’t matter. Like Junior Seau. Junior Seau, it doesn’t matter what the facts are.
The sports media is convinced that he committed suicide because he played in the NFL, and you know what? He ended his career at the New England Patriots, and you know who else played at the New England Patriots? Aaron Hernandez, and you know what Aaron Hernandez did. He’s accused of committing murder. He’s accused of being a thug. There’s the Rolling Stone story that says the Patriots knew all about it.
A Rolling Stone story that says Bill Belichick, the coach of the Patriots, was fully aware of what a bad actor Aaron Hernandez was but they looked past it ’cause the guy could play. Rolling Stone asserts that this past February at the combine in Indianapolis where graduating seniors and those college players trying out for the NFL go through their paces, and Aaron Hernandez showed up there and told Coach Belichick that his life was in danger.
The Rolling Stone story says that Belichick told Aaron Hernandez to get a safe house. Well, now, everybody at the Patriots is denying all of this. They’re saying it’s all made up, didn’t happen, and they didn’t know. They said they were duped by Hernandez. They had no clue that he was this kind of a bad actor. So, anyway, you’ve got Aaron Hernandez, number 81, a tight end, accused of homicide, said to have a damaged brain and a poor upbringing and that’s why he’s doing what he was doing.
Junior Seau, number 55, linebacker, committed suicide after retiring from the game. I think the last team he played multiple seasons for was the Patriots. So the way this all works is, “There must be something going on at the Patriots causing Seau to commit suicide and causing Hernandez to be accused of homicide,” and it’s then not just the Patriots. It’s that these guys are getting their heads banged every week — and this is the way this all works, all this emotion.
There’s no proof for any of this, and yet emotion takes hold, and Seau committed suicide. You know what, folks? I have a story here in the Stack. Stick with me on this. I put it at the bottom of the Stack because I didn’t think I was gonna get to it but now I’m gonna get to it. It’s a story about blueberries. If you eat blueberries, you have a 26% less chance of getting type 2 diabetes. Twenty-six percent chance less than what? Normal?
Well, what’s normal? Anyway, the story says drinking fruit juice will add to your chances for getting type 2 diabetes, ’cause that’s just raw sugar. But if you eat the regular fruit, it’s much better than fruit juice, and blueberries are the best thing you can eat to avoid getting type 2 diabetes. Well, I happen to have met a guy once in my life who believed that blueberries were the best antioxidants on earth.
I had never heard of an antioxidant when the guy was telling me about it, and this guy wolfed down blueberries.
I said, “What? Antioxidants?”
“Oh, yeah! Yeah. It just purifies the blood. It gets all the oxidants out.”
I said, “What’s he talking about?” I didn’t know what it was.
He said, “Well, you need these antioxidants,” and he committed suicide three months later.
He never played in the NFL, so it can’t be the NFL, but was it the blueberries? He didn’t get type 2 diabetes. That’s one thing. But he did die. Did the blueberries have anything to do with it? This is the way it all works in the media with these guys. I’m telling you, you this is how it works. So back to this story: We have the NFL settling with 4500 players, $173,000 per player. People are saying, “That’s not enough! Gee whiz!
“The NFL’s a multibillion-dollar industry. They’re guaranteed billions of dollars in the next 10 years from television money. They can afford more than that,” and then they’re also mad at this: The NFL gets to pay this money out over time. Yeah. They don’t have to pay the full whatever, $765 million today. They get to pay like a third of it now and then another third of it 10 years from now and then they pay rest of it per month over 17 years or some such thing.
So the sports media is complaining that the NFL got away with highway robbery because they’re paying all of this benefit money so many years down the road that the money isn’t gonna be nearly worth then what it is now. It’s just so unfair. Meanwhile, despite what you’ve read or may have been told, there is not conversation, settled medical science that says playing football causes dementia, causes Parkinson’s, causes Alzheimer’s.
If there was, the settlement wouldn’t be $765 million, it would be in the trillions, and they would be banning the game. If the game of football actually caused all this stuff that they claim it does, that game would be banned, and the penalties paid to players that played it in years past who were not told that they could get dementia — Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s — and, in fact, they were guaranteed to get it because they played the game?
They would be Bill Gates Jr.
But because there isn’t such conclusive factual proof, there is this settlement. Both sides agreed to it, and the size of the estimate sounds like it’s a lot of money up top, up front, $765 million. But then you divide 4500 players into it, and you get $173,000. Then the argument is, “Well, wait a minute, now. Should every player get the same amount?” Remember there are a bunch of liberal socialists in the sports media, and they are now starting to ask, “Wait a minute!
“Shouldn’t some players get more because their injuries on worse, and some of them don’t have any money at all to take care of themselves? Shouldn’t the guys who have the ability to take care of themselves get a little less?” I’m laughing myself silly ’cause these are socialists who believe everybody ought to have the same thing. These are socialist do-gooders who believe that the outcomes in life ought to be the same for everybody, particularly in a case like this where there’s a lump sum being distributed.
I mean, they say income redistribution, if you will.
And then, to top it all off, there are some people asking, “Well, wait a minute. Rush, let’s take a look the Houston Texans. The Houston Texans have been in the NFL for 10 years. They haven’t been a team long enough for anything they did to cause anybody to get Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or dementia. Should the Houston Texans have to pay anything, Rush, or should they get a break against all these other teams that been around for years that some of these players played for?”
But none of ’em plays for the Texans. Or how about the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers, the same thing. The answer from the sports media is, “Nope, those guys don’t get a break. Bob McNair, who owns the Texans, is gonna pay as much as any other owner.” But wait. The Texans haven’t been around long enough to even have had any role in whether or not these players suffered head or brain injuries.
“Doesn’t matter. They’re part of the league now and they’re going to pay.” Folks, it’s fascinating, the sports media, these leftists and so forth. Oh, they’re so concerned with fairness and unfairness, and it’s not enough money, and the money is not being paid out now, and the money when it is paid out is not gonna be worth nearly what it is today. The big, rich fat cats are getting away with it again.
And the big, rich fat cats thought that when they agreed to this, it was gonna end the conversation, and all it’s done is take the conversation into 15,000 different directions and made it even more prevalent in day-to-day conversation about the NFL. Now, TIME Magazine has a piece on the settlement, and it ends this way: “So football’s fundamental problem remains, no matter the value of this settlement.
“You can teach tackling technique that takes the head out of the game. But when two players are running across a field at high-speed, collisions, and concussions, are unavoidable. ‘You can’t even imagine how fast the strike zone changes,’ says Riley. Football is a scary sport. Nothing fixes that.” TIME Magazine says it can’t be fixed. TIME Magazine says, you can’t fix this.
You can legislate this; you can legislate that. Why don’t these guys have the same attitude about government? Government can’t fix everything. You can’t fix the problem in health care with government. You can’t do that. You can’t take the risk out of the game. You can’t take the jury out of the game. You can’t legislate it; you can’t fix it. I’m telling you, folks: This settlement is proof that there is no proof that playing football causes all these horrible things.
RUSH: By the way, I got a question in the e-mail. “How much do the lawyers get?” I happen to know the answer. The legal fees on this settlement are $200 million. So actually the league is paying $965 million: $765 million is going to the players, and $200 million is going to the lawyers on both sides. Now, I don’t know how many lawyers are gonna be dividing their $200 million, but it isn’t 4500.
Another little interesting tidbit, isn’t it? So the NFL effectively… Let’s just round it up. By the time you add up some of the ancillaries, expenses, the NFL is going to be paying out a billion dollars: $200 million of it is going to lawyers, and $765 million is going to the players. Folks, look, I know what you all think; I don’t blame you. You’ve been hearing for the last two years that football causes Alzheimer’s, causes headaches, short-term, average term, long-term memory loss. Football causes dementia.
Football causes suicides or is to blame for all of this stuff.
I’m just telling you, folks: If all of that had been established as medically proved science, this settlement wouldn’t be $765 million. It would be $7.65 trillion. If every assertion… Well, stop and think about it. If playing football leads to suicide, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, short-term memory loss — and other former players have blamed football, head injuries for becoming criminals — if it was ever established as medical proof that that activity was caused by playing football, they wouldn’ta gotten away with only $765 million.
The fact that 4500 players are gonna get $173,000 each means that there is no proof for any of these assertions. There may be evidence that tends to indicate, there may be enough evidence that warrants further investigation, but there’s another little fact here that they can’t really establish scientifically any damage to the brain until they do an autopsy — meaning, for those of you in the low-information voter crowd, ’til the player is dead.
So thre’s no way to know while the player is alive.
So all these assertions that you’re hearing in the sports media that football causes suicide, Parkinson’s? No. No. Not proven. If it were, this settlement would be 25 times, and they’d ban the game. They would ban the game.
RUSH: Mr. Snerdley just pointed out something. This is true. “You ex-NFL players, this settlement’s chump change. What you shoulda done is gotten in on that Pigford action and be a fake black farmer, and you coulda gotten millions instead of $173,000. It’s easy to be a fake farmer.”
We need a montage, some montages of sports media people ripping the NFL settlement. The premise here is the rich owners cheated players. Here are the numbers again. You have 4500 players in class-action suit, and the NFL has agreed to pay $765 million. If it’s divvied up equally per person, each player in the suit gets $173,000. The sports media thinks that’s horribly unfair. The media thinks that the owners have far, far, far more — much more — money than that and it’s just not right.
You also know the lawyers are getting $200 million on top of the $765 million. Lawyers are getting $200 million to do this deal. The league and each team, by the way, is paying an equal amount. This is gonna cost each team $23 million, basically — and by hook or by crook, they’ve got 17 years to pay it out. I think the first half gets paid in the next three years or two years, and then the other half over the next 17 years, and that’s another thing that has the sports media upset.
Because the 17-year payout means some of these guys are gonna be dead before they get it all, and it’s gonna be worth so much less because of inflation 17 years from now, or 15 years from now. So the unfairness is ripping people apart. But it’s $23 million a team, and then there’s the argument, as I said. The Houston Texans, they’ve been in the league 10 years, so they haven’t contributed anything to these injuries. They haven’t been around as a team long enough. They have no players in the 4500 in the lawsuit.
But they’re still gonna get saddled with a $23 million payment.
Here is the media montage…
JOHN BERMAN: $765 million sounds like a lot of money until you look at (sfx) $9.5 billion! ThatÂ’s how much the NFL brought in just in 2012.
TONY KORNHEISER: The NFL, which makes $9 billion a year, is paying out less than $1 billion dollars.
PETE PRISCO: You’re a $9 billion-a-year industry. You made out a lot better than the plaintiffs did.
JESSICA YELLIN: It will not have a huge financial impact on the league.
JASON WHITLOCK: Great victory for Roger Goodell. He got the best of the NFL players.
PETER KING: It’s a very big win for the NFL. This is such a big win.
CHRIS MORTENSEN: Without question this is a win for the 32 owners.
ANTHONY MASON: The NFL got off cheap here.
JAMES BROWN: It’s chump change when you look at what the NFL brings in.
DARREN ROVELL: This is a complete drop in the bucket to the NFL revenue.
DIANE SAWYER: When we look back five years from now, ten years from now, did anything change for the game today?
RUSH: What did you people want? Did you want the NFL to go out of business paying off here? Isn’t it amazing how, from one media person to the next, it’s identical? “Well, they bring in $9 billion a year and they’re only paying out $765 million! It’s totally unfair what…” It’s what both sides agreed to. Nobody held a gun to anybody here. By the way, $9 billion may be revenue. It’s not profit. I don’t know. It’s hopeless. It is literally hopeless. Having people learn things and become educated and informed on things, it’s hopeless.
I’m convinced, it’s hopeless.
RUSH: Anyway, folks, this is just gonna be the first bite of apple. The lawyers are gonna find another way to get into the NFL’s pocket since the NFL has admitted culpability about the settlement. Maybe they haven’t. I don’t know what kind of riders there are here, but this is not going to take this out of the conversation as the NFL said it would yesterday when this was announced, and I have some playtime here.
RUSH: Richard Besser Good Morning America today spoke to Stephanopoulos. Besser is ABC’s chief medical correspondent. I thought that was Nancy Snyderman. Where did she go? She at CNN now? That’s a revolving door. I can’t keep up with ’em. Anyway, this Besser, Richard Besser, the chief medical correspondent at ABC News, talking about the NFL settlement. Stephanopoulos says, “Now, you say that there’s $10 million for medical research in this settlement and that that’s not enough?”
BESSER: That’s not a lot of money when it comes to research. The medical connection between repeated blows to your head and — and breakage is clear. And if we don’t want to give up on football as a sport, we have to find a way to make it safer.
RUSH: Whoa! Did you hear that? “[I]f we don’t want to give up on football as a sport…” Where have you heard that possibility discussed? That $10 million for research? Chump change! That’s not enough. “The medical connection between repeated blows to your head and breakage is clear.” Well, then, why do you need any more research, if the medical connection is clear? See, this is my point.
Folks, look, I’m just sitting here in my everyday bath of common sense, and I’m telling you: If this were clear — if there were a direct link to play in this game and these horrific brain injuries — this settlement would be a lot higher than it is. But he says that the connection “is clear. And if we don’t want to give up on football as a sport, we have to find a way to make it safer,” and the only way we can make it safer is to spend millions and millions and millions more in research.
Now, I could be a cynic and say the NFL has opened its doors to the vault now.
They’ve agreed to write a check — well, to pay out $765 million — and so now everybody wants to get their hand in that vault. “Oh, NFL, you’re paying out money? Well, let me tell you what you need to spend! You need to spend it on me, for my project, ’cause my project can help you keep the game alive.” The NFL yesterday said they did this to take all of this out of the national conversation. Hardy-har-har. So after Besser said, “[I]f we don’t want to give up on football as a sport, we have to find a way to make it safer.”
Stephanopoulos said, “Even more important, no changes in the game?”
BESSER: That really worries me. Until football admits that there is a causal link between playing the game and these injuries, we’re not gonna see those changes. ‘Til we make those changes to make the game safer — as a parent, I didn’t let my kids play football. And as a pediatrician, I make sure my parents understand those risks.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So when a parent comes in to you, you say…?
BESSER: I’d say, pick another sport.
RUSH: So here’s the chief medical correspondent for ABC News saying, “Don’t play the game. I tell my parents that bring their kid, ‘Don’t let ’em play the game. This game is too dangerous!’ There’s a causal link. The NFL won’t admit it, and until the NFL admits it, we’re not gonna see any changes.” (interruption) Exactly right. The day the NFL admits it, game’s over. The day the NFL admits it, every dollar they have is going to be lost in a lawsuit. If they ever admit that.
That’s what they’re trying to end now. Here’s this chief medical correspondent, “Yeah, yeah. Until they admit that their game causes all this, I’m gonna tell everybody I know not to let their kids play.” Well, if the day ever comes the NFL admits that… (interruption) No wait. No wait a minute. Wait a minute. No, no, no, no! You’re misunderstanding. These people are not asking him. He’s telling them before they ask.
He’s telling people, don’t let your kids play football. “[A]s a parent, I didn’t let my kids play football. And as a pediatrician, I make sure my parents understand those risks.” Stephanopoulos: “So when a parent comes in to you, you say…? “I’d say, pick another sport.” Like soccer. He didn’t say soccer ’cause there more brain injuries there. Clinton Portis, number 26, Washington (whispers) Redskins. Clinton Portis played for the Denver Broncos at one time. He was under trade.
The (whispers) Redskins traded Champ Bailey, number 24, to the Broncos for Clinton Portis, number 26. Portis is a really outspoken, colorful guy. He was on CNN this morning, and the host, Chris Cuomo, after asking Portis what he thought of Obama… He didn’t. I’m just kidding. He wanted to, I’m sure. He talked to Portis, and he said, “Explain to me, why do you think that even though it was more fierce that it was, in a way, safer back in the older days before all the rules changes?” Portis’ point is they’re making the game more dangerous now. It used to be safer.
Here’s his point…
PORTIS: If you knew you were going into a war zone, you kind of prepare for war. You know, you don’t go into the backfield and not have a strategy or not be prepared for battle. And now when you step on the battlefield, the preparation is totally different because you feel like there’s so many things that can’t be done. “I can’t get hit by a safety flying in. The linebacker can’t smash me coming across the middle of the field,” and there’s so many things that can’t be done that the guys who used to not make the team because they said, “Well, this guy’s not tough enough to run across the middle of the field,” or, “This guy, you know, can’t take a hit,” now, you know, they’re a making the game easier and saying, “Well, you can’t be hit.” So I think that’s making a lot of guys brave.
RUSH: Isn’t that fascinating? That’s the player perspective, and I just find this fascinating. That, to me, is literally fascinating. “‘This guy, you know, can’t take a hit,’ now, you know, they’re a making the game easier and saying, ‘Well, you can’t be hit.’ So I think that’s making a lot of guys brave.” There are a lot of guys that are playing football that don’t have the warrior mentality now ’cause they don’t think they can get hurt because all those hits that used to be legal aren’t anymore. He thinks the game is less safe because there are people that are not nearly as good making teams now that wouldn’t have in the older days.
RUSH: Now, on this NFL stuff. I’m sorry, I keep having things occur to me here. What about Obamacare? Why does the NFL have to continue to play players long after they quit working there? I thought Obamacare was gonna provide for all of this, didn’t you? There’s Obamacare, and it’s got all these elements to it. I guess none of these players have health care coverage after retiring. (interruption)
Unions generally don’t like Obamacare, yeah, but that’s new. I’m just talking about how they used to love Obamacare, ’til they found out it was gonna affect them. I don’t know. You know, you look at all the money fans are paying — cable packages, DirecTV Sunday Ticket, tickets to a game at a stadium on a Sunday — and yet whatever they pay, it’s never enough. It’s just never enough.
If football causes all of these head injuries, there’s a question I have. If there is this causal link that is proof, would players be using more of their own income while playing to prepare for their medical care after their careers? I guess not. It doesn’t work that way. (interruption) I know Obama wanted the NFL to promote Obamacare. They might, the NFL. He wanted the NFL to join him in selling it at this stage.
RUSH: Leah in Fisherville, Kentucky. Hi. Welcome to the EIB Network. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. It’s good to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: Hey, can I say a quick hello to my sister-in-law before I get to my question?
RUSH: Sure, by all means.
CALLER: Hey, Buzz! I’ll see you tonight. Thank you so much, Rush. I was wondering, been wondering this for a while, actually. Given the direction of the NFL with the settlement that’s surfaced and then all the rule changes that have kind of come to light, are you maybe seeing it as a relief or maybe a blessing in disguise that he didn’t become a team owner after all?
RUSH: You know, I’ve thought about this, I really have, and the cash calls today would scare the heck out of me.
RUSH: Like the cash call after this settlement. There were even some things going on at the time I was looking into it. There were massive changes in health care provisions for assistant coaches that were backgrounds mandatory and so forth, little things like that. But, yeah, and the assault on the game now that’s taking place in terms of its safety and danger. Yeah, I’ve thought about that.
RUSH: I’ve always believed… It’s a strange thing. It’s not really fate, but I’ve always believed that things are meant to be the way they end up, long term. Long term, that’s the way that things were meant to be. “If it’s meant to be, it’ll be; if it’s not, it wasn’t supposed to be,” and I think that’s true if you have the right attitude about things. But that’s a great question, Leah, and I thank you.