RUSH: You know, it is amazing how coincidence happens. When coincidence happens, it makes you ask, is it coincidence? It’s amazing how events occur in your life with unbelievable timing. Last night I saw a movie which puts the folly and selfishness of Colin Kaepernick in full focus. And it was by happenstance, pure happenstance.
Greetings and welcome. Great to have you. It is 800-282-2882 if you want to be on the program. We’re gonna get to all the stuff today. We’ll get to the campaign: Trump and Hillary. We’ll get to Weiner and Huma and Apple and the European Union. By the way, how’s that globalism working out for us? It seems like there’s a lot of anti-Americanism in Europe right now. I mean this woman that did that press conference announcing that Apple owes $15 billion loved it, she just loved putting the screws to an American company. So we’ll get into that in great detail.
There’s a rookie linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles named Myke Tavarres, and on Monday he said that he planned to join Kaepernick, Kaepernick ‘s protest, refused to stand during the national anthem at upcoming games in the National Football League, and then within hours changed his mind.
Now, I want to issue a — I don’t know what you call this, a message. I just want to say something to you players of the National Football League. The American people love your sport. The American people respect you who have the unique human ability to play it at the level you play it. But the American people are not going to sit by idly and watch the stage of the National Football League stolen and used for personal political purposes.
You players in the NFL, you can go ahead and try to continue stealing the stage of the NFL if you want. You can take the example of Kaepernick and you can try to get some news coverage, you can draw attention to yourself, but you run the risk of obliterating the stage on which you perform that earns you your living and gives you the opportunity to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
You better be careful in what and how you express your thoughts on this country, the greatest place in the history of mankind. And the residents of this country are among the luckiest in the history of all humanity. The National Football League is on TV. It can easily be turned off. The National Football League is sponsored by beer and cars and soft drinks that can easily be not purchased. Not that hard. Just turn it off.
You better be especially careful because the opening weekend of the National Football League this year is the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Opening Sunday in the National Football League this year is September the 11th, the 15th anniversary. And if a number of you endeavor to try to steal the stage of the National Football League to call attention to a personal political issue, attention you could not get without stealing the stage of the National Football League, you run the risk of doing grave damage to the league and business in which you play and are paid, a business which depends on massive public love and support and attention and money.
So you I think need to consider all of this responsibly and try to understand who your audience is and why they are watching and understand that they tune in to three hours, six hours, nine hours, however many hours on Sunday and Monday they watch, and now Thursday, to escape what they consider to be the stresses and the strains and the humdrum of their lives.
They tune in to the National Football League for a little break from the hassles of life. They tune in to the National Football League to forget all of these things that are causing controversy and divisiveness. They want to be entertained; we want to be entertained. We want to watch spectacular athleticism. We want to watch the drama of competition. We want to watch programming that has no script, therefore we have no ending, until it actually ends. And you run the risk of destroying all that if you misplace your priorities.
Now, what helped me bring this into greater focus last night, my friend Nick Searcy, well-known Hollywood actor, said, “Hey, I got a DVD screener I want to send you. A new movie just came out. I have a little part in it. It’s called Greater.”
And I said, “Nick, I’d love to watch it, but you’re gonna have to have them caption it or it’s gonna be a worthless endeavor for me. I literally cannot understand dialogue in a movie with all the other noise, the soundtrack and whatever other things are going on, without subtitles or closed captioning.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll take care of the it. The guys are gonna do it, they’re gonna do it.”
I said, “Cool.” So I had never heard of the movie. I didn’t know the story the movie’s about. I didn’t know anything about it. I received the movie on Saturday and I had a chock-filled weekend and I didn’t get a chance to watch it. So Nick sends me a note yesterday, “Did you see it? Did you see it?”
I wrote, “Sorry Nick, I haven’t had time, gonna watch it tonight.” So last night about seven o’clock I plugged in the DVD screener, I inserted it into the tray of my DVD player and, lo and behold, there was no captioning. So I put it on pause and I wrote Nick and said, “Look, there’s no captioning file. And I’m gonna watch it Nick,” ’cause I watched the first five minutes of it, and I was already hooked. I was already intrigued.
And I was really frustrated. I was turning the volume up as loud as the house could take it. I was rewinding in 10 and 15 second bits. I got up and I stood as close to the speakers as I could to try to make out the dialogue. And throughout the movie I was only able to pick up — I’ll betcha I didn’t get 30% of what was said, but I know this movie, I know everything in it, I know it was incredible.
I tried three different DVD players thinking, well, maybe one of them is not picking up the file. I tried every which way I could think to get the captioning file to display, but it didn’t. So a movie with a little over two-hour run time I spent four hours last night watching, rewinding parts that I wanted to see again.
The timing of this compared to this Kaepernick folly, the story of Brandon Burlsworth, who I had never heard of and I’m shocked that I had not heard of him. He was born in Harrison, Arkansas, a chubby kid with a father that was not a factor in his life, mother loved him dearly. He had an older brother, a brother that many people thought was his father, such was the age difference.
The kid was really chubby. He sat on the sofa watching college football eating chips and cheese. The family chided him, made fun of him. He would watch, “I’m gonna play there someday. I’m gonna be a Razorback.” Everybody laughed at him. “Oh, really? Really, Brandon, you’re gonna be a Razorback?”
“Yeah, that’s gonna be me someday,” pointing to the TV.
This kid had no connections, Harrison, Arkansas. His dad was not there. He literally had no connections. He had no money. There was no way he would ever attend any university unless he could acquire a scholarship and there was no way he was gonna get a scholarship because — well, as the coach who first saw him said, “I don’t know whether to put you on life support or send you down and get you outfitted for a uniform,” he was so overweight. Because a coach had told him when he was 275 he was too small to play at Arkansas, so he started eating and got up to 330 and showed up, and they said, “No, this is not what we had in mind.”
He was a walk-on, University of Arkansas. Today his jersey is only the second jersey retired in the history of Arkansas football. His locker permanently ensconced in glass in the Razorback locker room.
Here are the various awards and honors and foundations started because of his achievements. The Brandon Burlsworth foundation. He died 11 days after being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts at age 22 in a traffic accident near his home, on his way to Indianapolis.
He was just an incredible story, incredible young man. The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation was established after his death by family and friends in honor of his work ethic and his Christian values. Then there’s Burls’ Kids, provides underprivileged youth a chance to attend Arkansas Razorback and Indianapolis Colts football games. Eyes of a champion. He lost a lot of his eyesight, had to wear giant Coke-bottle glasses underneath his helmet to play, and did. The Eyes of a Champion program was started in 2007, and that is a program in partnership with Walmart and Sam’s optical department and the independent optometrists across Arkansas providing eye car for thousands of pre-Kindergarten to twelfth grade students.
There are Brandon Burlsworth football camps. He won numerous scholarships. There is the Burlsworth award. He was a walk-on. He had no connections. He had no money. He shows up at Arkansas fulfilling a dream sitting on the sofa at 8 watching Razorback football saying, “I’m gonna be there someday. That’s gonna be me someday.” He overcame insurmountable odds, seemingly insurmountable odds.
He is the most famous walk-on success story in college football, and to this day there is a national award given to the college football player who achieves the most as a walk-on every year. He was teased. He was ridiculed. He was bullied. He was laughed at. He was told he couldn’t do it, and he never stopped smiling. The personality that Brandon Burlsworth had throughout all of this adversity as portrayed in this movie, which, by the way, is a multiyear project. A lot of heart and soul has gone into the making of this movie.
Neal McDonough is the lead actor. He plays the brother, the much older brother. You know, the thing about this, folks… I mean, what this is really is an incredible, genuinely incredible story about the values that you and I all hold dear, that we hold onto, that we to this day trust make the difference in success and failure, happiness and misery. Hard work, perseverance, competition, leadership, faith. All of that takes place in this movie with SEC football as the backdrop, because this man’s life was culminated with his success story at Arkansas.
Now, the movie opened last Friday, and it is expanding in a bunch of theaters and screens. It practically sold out Arkansas and now it’s expanding, and here’s the thing. I mean, there are a lot of movies with these values. There are a lot of movies that try to capitalize on what the producers think are “conservative values,” and so they throw these conservative values into a story, make a movie of it, and think that conservative people — people of faith — are gonna show up.
There’s not a single cliche in this movie. I mean, it’s all real. And probably because it’s based on an actual life. It is all genuine. There’s not a single cliche. Now, I have to say, there was no captioning, and I missed some dialogue. There might be some… My point here is that there’s nothing fake or phony about this man. He existed. He was real. He was just completely unique. And I’m telling you, the chance that… You know, I could have watched this thing on Saturday or Sunday and didn’t.
The fact that I didn’t watch it ’til last night after this whole brouhaha with Colin Kaepernick and all the people speaking about what a great, brave thing he’s doing? That’s folly compared to the story of Brandon Burlsworth. Maybe the cliche is somebody taken way, way before their time. Why does…? Why do bad things happen to good people? I mean, you can’t help but be moved by this. It isn’t… It could have been cheesy; it isn’t. It’s inspiring.
This is the backbone of America. When I describe that on this program, talking to you about the people who make this country work, it’s things like this that I have in mind. It’s people that come from places in the country you’ve not heard of, who are just out living and trying to do the best they can. No connections, no networking. Nobody knew anybody. Nobody in his family knew anybody to call at Arkansas. You had to earn every step of it.
Now, he plugged away at it, almost didn’t make it a couple of times, and you have to allow that I may have missed some of it ’cause I didn’t get all of the dialogue. So I can’t for certain say he had no connections. My impression watching this and hearing what I was able to hear and the portrayal of the father makes me pretty confident in saying that this was all the result of perseverance. Not to belittle connections, by the way. Don’t misunderstand here.
RUSH: The name of the movie, the title of the movie is Greater. One word: Greater. I have to tell you, I watched the movie last night, and I can’t believe that I had not heard of Brandon Burlsworth or the story. You know me: I’m the most informed man in America. But I’m not a college football devotee, so that may be it. But I stopped short in listing some of the awards. There’s the Brandon Burlsworth Award given out to a male or female at Harrison High School and the University of Arkansas.
There’s the Burlsworth Trophy created in 2010 named in his honor. It’s given yearly to the most outstanding Division I college football player who began his career as a walk-on. There were numerous foundations and charities associated with the — ah, not disabilities, but the — challenges that Burlsworth had to overcome to succeed. Now, it wouldn’t be what it is if all there was was athletic achievement, which is phenomenal. But it was the kind of person he was.
By the way, he was a person of faith. But they don’t preach to you in the movie. I mean, it’s not beaten into you. It’s just portrayed as it was a part of his and his family’s life. But it’s genuinely inspirational, it is genuinely uplifting, and it provides such a contrast. The events of the movie take place in the 1997 to 1999 era, and it’ll give you hope that such values and so forth may one day dominate yet again.
It shows their value, and the fact that the young man was a uniquely special individual is why all of this has happened, not just the athletic success and achievement — which, in itself, was phenomenal, given all the obstacles he had to overcome. So I just wanted to share this with you, because the movie opened Friday, and it’s — you know, they’re hoping for the Labor Day weekend, and they deserve it. It’s really, really well done. The name of the movie is Greater.
I’m gonna take a brief time-out now. We’ll come back, and we will deftly swerve into the other news of the day. For example, John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) saying that the media ought to stop covering terrorism so much. It would upset people less. Or something like that.
RUSH: I got a bunch of emails here — by the way, the new email address, ElRushbo@eibnet.us. No longer dot-com. You send it there, it’s gonna end up in the ether. Nobody will ever see it. It will have the equivalent of becoming invisible ink before it explodes out there. So use ElRushbo@eibnet.us.
I got a great email note here. “Rush, you forgot something in your monologue about the NFL and Kaepernick.” And the emailer is right. Let me read this to you. “Listening to your analysis of potential jeopardy for the NFL if the player’s socially conscious behavior ends up alienating fans and viewers. I know why, Rush, but what you didn’t say is the NFL only has itself to blame. It was the NFL that sponsored their own Hispanic week. It’s the NFL that goes all pink in the month of October for breast cancer in order to make themselves look socially aware.
“And, as you well know, Rush, as a sports expert, once you bring social consciousness to the field, where does it stop? Once you open that door and you are the NFL, how do you tell other people not to do it? ‘Hands up, don’t shoot,’ the St. Louis Rams, ‘I can’t breathe’ on T-shirts, sitting out the national anthem, how long do you think it’s gonna be, Rush, before college and high school players start sitting out the anthem?
“What better way to become nationally known? Why, you can get the same kind of attention and fame that Colin Kaepernick is getting, and all you’ve gotta do is sit on your butt during the national anthem. You nailed it, superb, Rushbo, but this is just the beginning, and the NFL itself opened the door.”
I have to say that this guy has a point here. But it is the NFL, and it’s their stage. Regardless, if this stuff keeps up, look, my point remains the same. People’s tolerance for social issues is immense, people’s emotional reservoirs, but there’s a limit. And I’m telling you, people turn on the National Football League or watch any other thing on TV or sports to get away from whatever they may consider to be the humdrum of their life.
They don’t want to be preached to. It’s the same reason why political statement movies bomb. That’s not why people go to the movies, and I guarantee you people are not turning on the TV to watch players, third string, about-to-be-cut players, making an issue of disrespecting the national anthem and the country. That’s not why they tune in. You’re gonna have a couple. You’re gonna have some people, a percentage, “Wow, this is great. This is controversy, man.” You’re gonna have that, but people who watch the NFL for other reasons who still love the country, and I trust that it’s a greater number than 50% of Americans still love the country, are not gonna find a lot of tolerance for this.
And then the more the social activists pipe up and start talking about how brilliant these protests are and how we ought to sit back and pay attention. We better listen and we better notice and we better understand, and we better understand why people hate this country. We better get with it fast. We better understand why and we better be ready to accept whatever demands they make to change this country, that’s fine and dandy, but not on Sunday afternoon.
It’s too easy to turn the TV off. It’s too easy not to buy the latest beer or soft drink. It’s too easy not to go out and buy sports jerseys and paraphernalia and that kind of thing, and it’s really very easy to say, “You know what? I’m not gonna put up with the trek to the stadium and the traffic and all that.” So I just think everybody ought to be careful.
RUSH: This movie that I talked about an hour ago in the opening monologue of the program, the movie Greater, I really hope as many of you who have a chance to see it do so. I don’t want to overdo it. I mean, I don’t want to build up expectations to the point that you watch it and are disappointed, so I’m just gonna stop. I’m just telling you that it’s just beautiful, and it is so timely, and it is so inspirational. And it makes you wish that the values and the behavior and the quest for excellence and greatness was dominant in our culture. And, you know, it may still be, it just isn’t covered.
It’s just heartwarming. You’ll have every emotion, you’ll go through every emotion, the gamut. But what I think we’re gonna do tomorrow, we’re gonna get Neal McDonough, who was the star, the male lead. He was in Justified. He’s in Suits right now. He’s a great actor, and he plays the older brother of Brandon Burlsworth in the movie.
I think Buck Sexton, our guest host tomorrow, Buck from the CIA is gonna have them on to discuss the movie from their perspective, even better. Snerdley is setting that up. You know, we don’t do this much. We don’t have bookers and guests, well, unless the guest hosts do that, which I, of course, am not ever told about. But Snerdley is putting that together. So when we get that ironed out, I’ll make sure that you know.
McDonough was executive producer of the movie, so he wasn’t just an actor taking the role. I think he’s got a lot of — well, he’s into it. The movie is something I think he wanted to be a part of.