RUSH: The NFL season opens tonight in Kansas City. The Kansas City Chiefs will be hosting the Houston Texans. There are all kinds of stories about massive protests that are gonna be taking place among the players. We’re not sure exactly what’s gonna happen. There’s an interesting story out there. The Chiefs are one of, I think, only two teams — and there may be some more by now.
The Chiefs are only one of two teams that are gonna allow fans in the stadium. Now, I’m not sure how many. I’ve got the story in The Stack. But I think that the Chiefs are going to permit something like 6,000 fans total — 2,500 in this corner, 2,500 in that corner — all in the lower level, the lower bowl of the stadium. It might be 16,000. I’m not sure.
Anyway, the story is that whatever the number is that it may not be that many who show up. Oh, yeah! It may not be that many people who show. In fact, it may well be that the fans may not show up anywhere near that in terms of the numbers the Chiefs are thinking of allowing in. Of course, the experts at the NFL are weighing in and trying to tell us why.
You know why a lot of people may not show up? What do you think is the primary reason, Brian, that people may not show up? Here you have the defending Super Bowl champions. The fans have not seen them in person since last January. They saw the Super Bowl game was on television. Here’s a chance for some season ticket holders to get in there and watch the season opener on Thursday Night Football.
And the story is, “Ehhhh, there may not be as many fans come in as we’re gonna let come in?” Why do you think that might be? Why do you think they’re saying that? (interruption) No. The… (interruption) Yes. The powers that be are saying, “I think it’s a lot of people afraid of getting COVID. I think a lot of fans don’t want to show up, they’re just afraid of getting the virus.”
Come on, NFL!
You know damn well that’s not why.
That’s not the reason. I mean, the news is filled with stories about how the players and both teams are planning a combined mass protest, and it could be that not one team will come out for the anthem. Both teams might stay in the locker room for the anthem. They’re gonna play the anthem. There may not be any fans in the stands or very few.
For whom is the anthem, thus, gonna be played? There’ll be flags and stuff. There are not gonna be fans. I mean, even if the full complement of fans allowed in shows up, it’s not gonna look like very many are there anyway. But, no, Brian, I think you’re right. I think the NFL doesn’t get it still. People do not want to show up and have this stuff rammed down their throats.
It’s not why they go to the NFL games. It’s not why they’re fans. It’s not about social justice or any of this. People know that social justice problems are not gonna be fixed with pregame protests or kneeling during the national anthem. So, when I saw the story, folks… The story is, again, that even though the Chiefs and the NFL are gonna permit X-number of fans in tonight, experts agree that number may not be met.
Fewer people than allowed may actually show up to watch the season opener.
RUSH: Sixteen thousand and 800 fans is how many the Chiefs will permit in tonight to watch the season kickoff between the Chiefs and the Houston Texans.
RUSH: I’m looking at the ticket requirements if you want to go to the Chiefs-Texans game tonight, and it doesn’t look like you can just buy a single ticket and sit by yourself in there. You have to go in a group of six people that you know, if I’m reading this right.
RUSH: Okay, just to close the loop on this… Actually, you know what? I’m gonna wait on this, on the Chiefs thing, because I have one other story that I neglected to go find and have it here. So let me do put it off until after the commercial break coming up. But you can’t just go to Arrowhead Stadium tonight and buy a single ticket, it doesn’t appear.
It appears that you have to go in groups of six people that you know. They’re calling this, you gotta go in like a pod of six people. But there’s more. I want to find the story that has the league executives worried that maybe they’re not gonna attract the number of people that they’re willing to admit into the stadium tonight, and there’s speculation as to why is that.
“Well, people are afraid of getting the virus.”
I don’t… (Snort!) If that’s what they want to tell themselves, have at it.
RUSH: Here is the original story about the attendance at NFL games. Of course, the opener is tonight, the Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans. Most teams are opening to empty stadiums, and there’s a lot of concerns. A lot of teams say, “This a competitive disadvantage.
“Why isn’t the league coming up with a standard? Why is the league leaving it up to individual towns and cities and teams?” Well, the answer on that is, they’re leaving it up to individual mayors. I think the reason that the Giants and the Jets are opening to no fans in the stands is because of the governor there. The governor is not allowing mass groups of people even outside such as would fill MetLife Stadium for the Giants and the Jets.
Same thing Pennsylvania. The Eagles and the Steelers aren’t permitted to have fans in the stadiums yet because of the governors of those states — well, the governor of Pennsylvania, governor of New Jersey — and the NFL cannot override or supersede them. But in Missouri the governor there has put no restriction on numbers of people that can gather.
So they’ve come up with a number: 16,800 fans. Now, Arrowhead Stadium holds about 76,000. So they’re allowing 16,800 fans in, and a lot of teams think that’s a competitive disadvantage because the crowd — even if it’s tiny, a home crowd — can energize the home team, can provide some kind of momentum. Hey, both teams got to deal with it; so it is what it is.
Now, the few teams that are having fans in the stands are significantly reducing the capacity, the numbers — and here’s the kicker. Those teams, those stadiums may have even fewer fans in attendance than is permitted. So 16,800 fans permitted in Arrowhead tonight, but the experts are fearful that it won’t be that many who show up.
The only two teams that are gonna have fans in the stadium for Week 1 are the Chiefs tonight and the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. It says here “both teams have had lukewarm ticket sales,” and there “currently are tickets available on secondary markets for below face value.” Below face value!
Normally you would have to go off site, and you’d be paying through the nose if you wanted a decent ticket, decent seat for tonight’s game in Kansas City. But the secondary market is selling at below face value. The interest isn’t there, is the bottom line. Even with only… Here’s the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, stadium capacity: 76,000. The limit tonight: 16,800.
You would think there would be a mad dash, that prices would be skyrocketing because of limited demand. It’s the exact opposite. “One ticket broker told Yahoo Sports that despite a limit [16,000 tickets], there’s less demand for tickets to tonight’s Chiefs game than there would be if there were no pandemic and all 76,000 seats were available.”
Here’s why: “According to the experts in the NFL, many fans just don’t want to sit around a group of strangers for three hours during a pandemic.” Yep. That’s it. Except that’s not how it’s working in Kansas City. In Kansas City, tickets were sold in “grouped pods” of up to six people. You have to attend with people you know. You have to attend with five known guests in your pod.
You can’t just buy a single ticket and sit wherever you want. They are assigning four different areas in the lower level, and that’s where your group of six — one of those four areas — would be assigned. “Face masks are required at all times with the exception of when fans are actively eating or drinking.” Some fans actively eat or drink the entire game.
You’ve seen it; so have I.
“For those who attend one of the first three home games, the Chiefs will be distributing a commemorative mask. One of the biggest changes is that Arrowhead is going completely cashless this season. Traditional debit and credit card options are still available. Mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay are also accepted.”
The bottom line is (sniveling): “Unsurprisingly, many fans just don’t want to sit around a group of strangers for three hours during a pandemic.” That’s not how they’re gonna be attending. If they go to the Chiefs game, it says right here: “Tickets be sold in grouped pods of up to six people. Fans must attend with known guests in their pod.” So you have to go as a group of six, and the group has to know each other.
“Single game tickets for the first three games are on sale to season ticket members only. Season ticket members will be contacted directly via email with additional details.” Tickets sold in “grouped pods” of up to six people. You have to attend with known guests in your pod. So the idea that fans “just don’t want to sit around a group of strangers for three hours during a pandemic” is not why there isn’t any interest.
Now, we will allow, we’ll allow — common sense dictates that we will allow — that there may be some people that don’t want to go because they’ve been hyped out of it because of the coronavirus. But I think there’s more to it. Well, you know there is! There’s so much more to this than the fact that there’s a possibility of getting the coronavirus out there.
You can’t escape news today. The story about this game tonight, the story about the game — no matter where you go — is what kind of protest it’s gonna be, when it’s gonna happen, how many players are gonna happen participate in it. Do you think that’s why people want to go to this game tonight?
RUSH: Don in Kansas City. Hey, great to have you, Don. Thank you for waiting.
CALLER: Thank you, Mr. Limbaugh, and prayers for your health.
RUSH: I appreciate that. Thank you very much.
CALLER: I’m calling because of the Chiefs game. I’m a diehard Chiefs fan, and I was so excited last year when they went through the playoffs and just walked over everybody. But when all these sports franchises started kneeling down and protesting our flag — I don’t care what the media’s saying about it –I made a promise about a month ago and my wife also that we weren’t gonna support them, and I don’t plan to watching it. I don’t plan on listening to it on the radio — and the local sportscasters, they’ve been trying to get people excited about it, and I can (crosstalk).
RUSH: Yeah, now, wait. That’s a good point. Let me ask you this, Don. In a normal year — take the virus out of it, take whatever results from the virus are, take the bad economy out of it — would you be normally excited that the football season’s kicking off tonight?
CALLER: Oh, I wouldn’t be able to wait for it, and I notice also that everybody, how we usually all get dressed up in red to support it? There’s a few people out running around in red, but there’s not nearly as many people as there’s always been, banners, flags flying. I don’t see them all over, either.
RUSH: This is my sixth sense. Look, at one time there was no bigger day-to-day, run-of-the-mill football fan than your host, El Rushbo. You know, I had the jerseys. I bought stuff. I was full-fledged into it, and I’ll never forget when Kaepernick… When they started kneeling and when the media started promoting it, when the media started saying it was the greatest thing ever and started encouraging more of it, I remember I didn’t get mad.
I remember I didn’t get depressed. Well, I did. That’s what happened. I got depressed. The air came out of me, and I said, “It’s another institution they are taking away from me, another institution they’re taking away from us, another institution they are corrupting and politicizing,” and it’s all because this institution — professional sports — lives and dies on patriotism.
The pregame ceremonies involve the flag. They involve America the Beautiful. The national anthem. These things are repugnant to American leftists and the modern-day Democrat Party. As such these things it had to be wiped out. They had to be replaced. Here came Colin Kaepernick, the perfect guy to replace the flag, the national anthem.
“Yeah, let’s start kneeling! Let’s start pointing out what a rotgut place America is,” and they started doing that, and I said, “I’m sorry. I no longer can be a fan of this. This is not what this game is to me.” This game, to me — like for everybody else — was an escape. It was a way to get away from all of this. It was a way to fantasize, to pretend. It was a way to really get into something.
You know, remember the sociologist when I was working for the Kansas City Royals? We had marketing meetings between seasons — in the off-season every year — with all the teams, and the leagues would pay for noted experts to come in and make presentations to all the marketing directors of the teams to try to keep us on the cutting edge in terms of reaching fans, how to get more fans to come more often.
There were some astounding statistics. For example, if you could get people attending one game in a season to attend two games, the impact that would have on attendance would stun you — and one year, they brought in a Harvard socialist to make a presentation to us, and he said something I have never forgotten, because it’s so true. It is so right on the money.
It’s so exactly what all of this is about. It’s so exactly how they have destroyed people’s fandom, people’s loyalty, people’s eager allegiance. He said, “Sports is the one thing in which you can invest total passion without consequence,” and then he paused. It’s just a bunch of guys at this point in time in the marketing team. This is the 1980s. He said, “Try that with a woman.”
We all laughed. We knew what he meant. But forget the woman comment. When you’re young and you are without any boundaries and you are free and willing to tell everybody what you love and how much you love it, you’re not worried that it’s gonna come back and bite you because you haven’t been hurt yet. You’re too young. So that’s what sports is for adults.
It’s a way for adults to stay kids, to stay childlike, to invest total passion without consequences. You wear something that makes you look like an idiot and go to the game, but you’re into it because you love it. It’s the one thing where you can invest total passion without consequence — and he went further. He said, “Your team may disappoint you, but they’ll never kick you out.
“They may not win all the time — they may lose — but they will never tell you to go to hell. They will never throw you out. They will never disappoint you in traditional ways.” Well, that’s all gone now. You cannot invest total passion in a sports team without consequence now. If you invest total passion, there’s all kinds of things they can do — and they’re doing it. They’re throwing your flag back in your face now.
They’re throwing your country back in your face. They are making every move they can make to let you know that they don’t like this country much, whereas most of the people attending professional sports love the country. So all of the childlike enthusiasm that I used to have is gone, and that’s what Don was saying. It’s gone, and once you lose it…
Once you lose it, you don’t get it back. Once you realize that there is no fat guy on December 25th — once you realize that — it’s never the same. It’s sad. It’s true. It’s never the same. It’s something that sports had — professional sports especially, even college sports. They had a lock. They had a lock on their fans. There was nothing they could do other than lose, which they’re gonna do.
Any team is gonna lose a lot. You can’t win every game. You can’t win all the time. So people have to come to grips with that. But they have destroyed the connection that a majority of their fans had with the teams. They’ve just destroyed it with all of this politicized social justice protesting — and the teams, the franchises have kind of been forced into it because without their players, they don’t have games.
So they’ve gotta try to keep the players happy, if the players want to go out and do this stuff. Even Jerry Jones has now caved. Jerry Jones. Do you realize that during all this, not a single Dallas Cowboys player has yet kneeled? That will change on, uh… I think they open against the Steelers. Is that right, the Steelers on Monday night? Whenever the Cowboys game is. I don’t even know. I can’t even tell you.
My team’s the Steelers; I don’t even know who they’re opening against — and I don’t care. But this will be the first season that Dallas Cowboys players, a player or two or more, will actually kneel. (interruption) Oh, that’s right. Cowboys and Rams! That’s right. That’s at SoFi Stadium out there. They’re inaugurating SoFi Stadium. How would you like to be Stan Kroenke, owner of the Rams?
He built a $5 billion stadium, a lot of it his own money, and nobody’s gonna be there. Nobody’s gonna be there. You think he would have built this stadium if they’d a told him, “You’re not gonna be able to have fans in there for a couple years”? No way. So who’d you…? (interruption) The Steelers open against who? (interruption) The Giants. The Steelers open against the Giants. I didn’t even know that. That’s how… I can’t believe I didn’t know that.