RUSH: USA Today. This is a story by Dylan Gwinn, and I’m assuming that it’s about a column as opposed to a straight out news story, although who can tell anymore. Starts this way.
“Because the rest of the world might not yet be completely convinced that the wussification of America has succeeded, USA Today unleashed a torrent of literary lameness by posing the question: ‘Is Watching the Super Bowl Immoral? — There is mounting evidence and public awareness that playing football is bad for your brain. And now, to dramatize the statistics and grim anecdotes about ex-players succumbing to dementia and early deaths, we have Concussion — a major Hollywood movie starring Will Smith.'”
By the way, do you people realize where that movie ended up? It was never higher than fourth place, last I saw. And I don’t think the NFL did that much to try to kill it. (interruption) Yes, I know, I’m missing a chance to see Lady Gaga sing the National Anthem live, and I’m missing a chance to see Cold Play at halftime. But we all have to make sacrifices. Anyway…
“It should be noted that this movie, described in this piece as being ‘major,’ was a complete flop at the box office. It is also worth noting that Dr. Julian Bailes, mentor to Dr. Bennett Omalu (portrayed by Will Smith in Concussion), and co-discoverer of CTE completely disagrees with Omalu in terms of how CTE effects young people.” Anyway, this is not the story. Let me see if I can find the actual story that I had saved. That’s commentary on it. Here it is.
“Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?” And here: “A new survey released in the run-up to the Super Bowl this Sunday suggests yes — and no. More Americans than ever before say they would not let their sons play football. Yet football remains our favorite spectator sport (it’s not even close),” by the way, “and there is nothing to indicate that’s about to change.” You know TV ratings are through the roof for football. Do you know why?
I mean, there’s a specific reason for this when matched against other things on television — and it’s not just the game. The game is fun to watch. It’s popular. But there’s a reason. There’s a singular reason, I think (it’s my opinion) about why football ratings are through the roof and span demographics. Despite all this talk of injuries, despite all the concussions and this kind of thing, this guy at USA Today actually does think it’s immoral to watch the game now, particularly the Super Bowl.
The reason these ratings are through the roof is because it’s one of the few places — football and pro football — because it’s the best. College football does okay, but it’s amateur football. And that’s fine. But pro football is pro football. It’s the best. I mean, everybody in pro football is the fastest. Everybody in pro football is really good. There aren’t any Appalachian States in the NFL, for example. Not even the Cleveland Browns. And it’s simple. It’s one of the few places on TV — and this includes news, by the way.
It’s one of the few places on TV that you can watch where the outcome is not known, meaning there is full-fledged drama. In police procedurals… I mean, you might like them. Like, I know people that love the show Elementary. People love the show Suits. But they all, at the end, you know how it’s gonna end. They may take you through emotional ups and downs, and they may create a little doubt now and then. But for the most part, everybody knows how Law & Order SVU is gonna end.
Some weeks the perp’s gonna get away with it, and other weeks the cops are gonna convict ’em. But in the National Football League, you have no idea. And when you have some games like we had in the playoffs this year — Steelers-Bengals, Packers-Cardinals — that just adds to it. When you have seemingly impossible deficits to overcome with 90 seconds left and you have two hail Mary 60-yard touchdown completions.
You add that to the drama that nobody knows who’s gonna win, then you add the gambling that’s going on (not just on the game, but the fantasy sports that’s being played), and it’s very understandable why football has such high ratings. Now, the critics are out there say, “Oh, this is horrible because this game maims its competitors.” By the way, we’re getting very close to this, and I want to remind you again I predicted. Here’s how this is gonna fall out in the coming years.
It’s exactly how this is gonna fall out. Mark my words. No matter how much the players earn, no matter how highly paid they are, no matter how big a star an individual player might be, what’s going to be said is that these owners — and the bloodthirsty fans will be thrown in on this — don’t care. “They are willing to see these guys literally risk their lives.” And that’s going to be the moral and emotional pitch. Which is where this USA Today piece is starting from. “How dare you watch a game that produces concussions in so many people? It leads to concussions.
“Why, that’s immoral. How dare you! How do you sleep at night knowing that you’re helping perpetuate that?” This is the angle they’re gonna take. And then it won’t be long… Somebody in the leftist community here has probably already figured out, 78% of the players are African-American, and you add that to the fact that these people are risking their lives… “Yes, they’re being paid a lot of money, but they are risking their lives. They’re not just risking injury.”
Then you add the fact most of the owners and the commissioner are white, and it isn’t gonna be long before this whole thing is going to be portrayed as Christians to the lions or some other thing with bloodthirsty fans not caring what happens. And the excuse will be, “Hey, the players know what they’re getting into,” and, “Hey, they’re paid really well. So everybody back off. They’re cool with it.” But I know how this is gonna happen. The left doesn’t let go of this stuff.
And everybody says, “Rush, it’ll never happen. This is too big. There’s no way a bunch of activists are ever gonna take down this sport. There’s too much money in it. The people involved are not gonna just roll over and let it happen.” And that’s what every industry that has ever been attacked has always said. “We’re too big to fail. They can never succeed. They’ll never pull this off.” I give you Big Oil. I give you Big Tobacco. I give you Big Pharma. I mean, they’re consistently targeted. The Democrat Party enemies list and all that.
So you just… The signs are all there, and I’ll tell you what’s gonna speed it up. The unwitting sports Drive-Bys. These unwitting sports media guys — who are all liberal and have all this compassion and want to be thought of as sensitive and big-hearted. They’re already getting on board the premise that this is a dangerous game, and it may need to be changed. It’s horrible. They’re all pushing this concussion stuff. They can’t help themselves; they’re liberals. They all want the government to come in and take over regulating and controlling it and all this.
They just can’t help themselves. They’re liberals. So the very industry they derive their living from, they will unwittingly participate in discrediting, which is how it’ll start — and then raising doubts about it. What’s gonna happen is, people will eventually begin to feel guilty about watching football. A long way down the road, but there are other things I can compare it to that they’ve succeeded in stigmatizing.
How about, do you ever feel guilty that you may be using too much toilet paper, for example, after all this talk of the waste? Or take your pick. Take anything that the left attacks that the society uses in excess. You hear it enough. How about global warming? It’s July and it’s 110. “Wow, man, they may be right!” It just… The subtleness, the psychology, it all at some point makes an impact on a certain number of people. So we will just see.
RUSH: Brian in Greensboro, North Carolina. Hi. Great to have you on the program.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. Longtime listener. Keep pounding dittos.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: My burning question is, who do you like in the Super Bowl? Big Panthers fan here.
RUSH: Big who fan? Hey, you’re a Panthers fan. You know, you’re the first person to ask me.
CALLER: That’s what I wanted to be, the first one.
RUSH: You’re the first — and my gut answer is, it’s gonna be a Panthers blowout.
CALLER: That’d be nice. I’d like to see that.
RUSH: The only thing is, when the Panthers do begin to blow people out, they usually coast after that, like they blew out Seattle in the first half and Seattle came back in the second. They didn’t score a point in the second half, and I know it bothered the coach. I just… The Denver defense is going to be really crucial to Denver staying in this game, in my opinion. If the Denver defense cannot stop Cam Newton and that offense, I don’t know how Denver wins.
CALLER: Well, I’m hoping for the blowout, but you’re right. We do have some issues when we get the lead.
RUSH: Why do you want a blowout? I mean, that —
CALLER: Oh, well, being a Panthers fan, you want to win.
RUSH: Well, okay, I understand that. I understand. You know, I was at the Super Bowl in 1988 that there has been a lot of reminiscing about. The Super Bowl in 1988 was San Diego, and it was the Washington REDSKINS versus the Denver Broncos, and it was a blowout. It ended up being… The Broncos were up 10-nothing and the Redskins had the highest scoring second quarter in Super Bowl history. They scored something like 35 points on 18 plays.
Doug Williams was the quarterback. Timmy Smith… Nobody had ever heard of Timmy Smith outside core fans of the Redskins. He got the call on game day because George Rogers, number one running back, was injured and couldn’t go. So Joe Gibson went to Doug Williams and he said, “I want you to tell…” He called him “Douglas,” by the way. Joe Gibson called Doug Williams “Douglas.” He said, “Douglas, I want you to tell Timmy he’s playing. He’ll probably get less nervous if he hears it from you.”
So Doug goes and tells Timmy Smith that he’s playing, and Timmy Smith had a 200-and-some-odd yard game. And that game was over at the end of the second quarter. The number of points, the rapidity — and I was sitting in one of the end zones with a friend from Sacramento for that game. And it was a blowout. It was one of two blowouts that the Broncos were in. The other was the 49ers, creamed ’em 55 to 10 I think in New Orleans, if I have that game right. But this is the game where I’m sitting in an end zone.
It was the closed end zone although what was then called “The Murph,” Jack Murphy Stadium. And Herb Alpert is playing the National Anthem, and they’re coordinating a flyover of Navy jets from nearby Miramar that were gonna fly over the stadium at low altitude at full throttle right at Herb Albert ended the anthem. Well, from our vantage point we could see those jets on what was akin to the downwind — the base leg, then downwind, turning on final. And they were flying right towards us.
We could say the formation way out there, and it looked to me like they were not gonna make it in time. The anthem was going fast. Alpert was playing. The jets were still far out. And in fact, Alpert finished too soon; he had to hold that last note forever and ever on his trumpet. There was a big flag out there waving the entire field, covering the entire field. And I had… This was my first flyover, flyby. I had never seen one of these. And these jets went over, and I had such a rush of patriotism! I had never felt anything like it.
I just jumped! I was screaming. I started pounding my friend on his back like you couldn’t believe. I’m screaming. It was the most incredible thing. The timing of that anthem ending and those jets flying over, and the other people low. And it was loud, and I could hear back then. It what I heard was real sound. And I was screaming, and I turned to my buddy long after it was over and said, “How in the world can you ever see that and ever vote Democrat?”
And these two people in front turned around and stared daggers at us. It turns out they were from Washington, and they were huge libs, and they were not happy. And then the Broncos scored first, and it looked like they were gonna blow the Redskins out. They scored on an Elway bomb to somebody down in the end zone where we were. And then that second quarter happened and it was just the most amazing thing. For some reason, they’ve been reliving that game because I guess some people say it’s got some commonalities.
But, man, if the Carolina offense shows up as it has in the playoffs, they’re unstoppable. And I don’t know that the Denver offense can match ’em in a shoot-out. So that’s why the Denver defense is gonna have to keep Denver in the game. Now, I know that’s true of any contest. But it’s become an offensive league and an offensive game. That’s what I mean. It’s gonna be a… The Denver defense is gonna have to have a super above-average effort, in my humble opinion, to keep the Broncos in the game.
Stranger things have happened, too.
RUSH: No, no. I’ve got nothing against Appalachian State and I got nothing against Denver. I do not have a dog in this fight. I really don’t. It doesn’t matter to me who wins. The guy just asked me if who was gonna win. My instincts are Carolina, and it’s based on no study whatsoever. Purely just reacting to things I’ve seen so far in the season.
RUSH: Don in Chicago. Great to have you. You’re last. I’m glad that you waited, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. You’ve been educating me since November of 1988, and I appreciate it.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. Really. Very much.
CALLER: Rush, the reason the left hates NFL or football in general because is it represents Americana. It represents tradition. It represents loyalty to country and the military. It’s the same reason they despise NASCAR, Indy. I go to the Indy 500 every year, Rush. And like you just painted a perfect word picture from the Super Bowl, my heart jumps when they march the military men down the straightaway, hundreds of them, and then they open the largest American flag in the world on the first turn in the beautiful green grass. My heart skips a beat. And that’s why they despise us, Rush.
RUSH: You know I have heard that. He’s not the first to offer this opinion. I have people who tell me they don’t like football because it’s rugged. It’s self-reliance. (Even though it’s teamwork.) It’s patriotic, it’s always got the anthem, a giant flag, the military’s always there. And I’ve kind of pooh-poohed that, but a lot of people I’ve had tell me they think that’s really what bugs the left about football. It’s just too celebratory, or American.