Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not My Team!





I can take a deep breath and relax now. The past few weeks have been incredibly stressful. No, it wasn’t the ghastly flu that had me trapped on my couch with fever, body aches and a headache that refused to go away. Battling the bug was nothing compared to the outlandish prospect of Rush Limbaugh becoming a minority owner of my St. Louis Rams.

Don’t laugh at me for being a Rams fan. I know the teams play looks more like a scrimmage squad than a NFL team. The only question related to my home team is if they’re worse than the pathetic Oakland Raiders. I take great joy in the demise of the Raiders due to the nasty rivalry they have with my team from the West side of my home state-the Kansas City Chiefs. I hate those Raiders as much as I hate meatloaf. Yuck! Can’t stand the stuff.

My love for the Rams has nothing to do with the Rams. The team of my youth, the St. Louis Cardinals, betrayed me by moving West to Arizona. They packed their bags and left me void of a team on the East side to root for on Sunday’s. That’s a serious heartbreak for a kid groomed in the magic of the Cardiac Kids. My love for Mel Gray began after old dude came to my school and autographed my notebook. Gray was a star for the University of Missouri. He went on to become an all pro with my Cardinals. When he played I remembered that day in class when he took the time to talk to me about the importance of education and having a dream.

After my Cardinals left the Louie, there was talk of the Sweetness becoming a partner in bringing a new team. I lost it when I read the story in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. As much as I loved my Cardinals, the thought of Walter Peyton owning MY team was enough to remove the pain of the exodus to the desert.

So, imagine what it must have felt like when I read the story of Limbaugh’s move to purchase MY team. No he didn’t. No he won’t. I will boycott. I will pick another team. I will fight this one all the way to the…Get my point. I was ready to go to my closet and pull out those fighting gloves. I simply can’t support a team that has that man as a partner.

I’m sure my conservative friends will argue against my passionate refusal. Good ole boys and girls from across the country have come to the Baugh’s defense. To all of the supporters of Black Man Public Enemy Number One, let me make myself perfectly clear. Let me make it so clear that you can feel the angst of a colored man working through some serious issues. That dude disgust me. I’m ashamed he’s from my home state. I understand the genesis of his philosophy. Like I said folks, I’m from Missouri and I have witnessed firsthand the disregard folks like Limbaugh have for people who look like me.

I didn’t call him a racist. I will call him confused. I will challenge anyone to convince me he cares about the state of race relations in this country. Help me get past his attack on Donovan McNabb. Help me move past the anger stirred when he said, on ESPN, that McNabb was over-praised as a quarter-back because he was black. Why would a black football player want to play for him? Why would black fans want to continue to support that team? How could the city of St. Louis get behind a team that has such a divisive voice as one of its owners?

This is different than Jay-Z owning the Nets or Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony owning the Miami Dolphins. It’s not the same as Venus and Serena taking their seat as part owners of the Dolphins. I get a thrill out of celebrities participating in the games of life. I’d purchase season tickets to watch the Bobcats get spanked on the court if Janet Jackson was a part owner and showed up at most of the home games. I’m just saying…

I can’t support a man I want to fight because of what he says about me. I can appreciate his right to say what is on his mind. I admire him for making stacks of cash by saying what all those Hillbillies and closet hate addicts want to say in public. It doesn’t take a Harvard PhD to see his popularity is fueled by folks who want to keep folks like me in their rightful place. Do your thang Mr. Baugh. I just don’t want him owning MY team.

With that being said, I would be more than happy if he talked to Al Davis about buying those Oakland Raiders. On second thought, give him a six pack of Bud Light, a plasma TV and a remote control and tell him to watch Monday Night Football. I’d rather not see him in the stands.

4 comments:

  1. This whole reaction to the possibility of Rush Limbaugh becoming a minority owner of a professional sports team has become a theater of the absurd.

    True, Limbaugh has espoused many solid conservative thoughts over the years, but he's also had his share of outlandish statements, befitting his position as a radio showman and entertainer. There's no doubt some of his over the top comments resonate with the less educated and despicable portions of the conservative movement, but the majority of conservatives put up with his antics because most of his other messages have validity. There are liberal commentators with simiilar records of improper statements, but without Limbaugh's number of listeners (Al Franken, for one).

    CNN and some other media outlets have used blogger's made up racist quotes as if Limbaugh actually said them. As far as the media misquotes, consternation and vitrol? Well, Rush Limbaugh has been the king of misquotes and vitrol for decades, so it's a case of the chickens coming home to roost. Limbaugh DID say some other comments that, especially taken out of context, are offensive. When he compared the NFL to a fight between the crips and bloods, Limbaugh is hard to defend. Similar to his comments on Donavan McNabb.

    Despite the above, it's hard to fathom why he would engender such vitriol from people who don't want him to own a minor part of their team or any other team. what would his conservative views change about how a team is run or managed? His proposed investment was likely merely a passive tax shelter anyway. But this isn't about logic. It's about trying to "hurt" someone whose views many disagree with or demonize. "If we can prevent his investment in an NFL team, we'll send a message," say the hopeful, raging in their impotence.

    Liberal whites that rage against Limbaugh either don't know or don't remember that the NFL had racist hiring practices for its players for the majority of the 20th century. African Americans do know, however, and their reaction to Limbaugh's proposed investment is largely based on their view that any conservative such as Limbaugh must, of course, be a racist. They may or may not be right about Limbaugh, but they are certainly wrong to equate a conservative opinion with racism.

    So, Carl, I either agree with or understand many of the points of your essay, except the sobriquet that, "I’m from Missouri and I have witnessed firsthand the disregard folks like Limbaugh have for people who look like me." Exactly what do you define as 'folks like Limbaugh' unless you unequivocally know him to be racist? Did you mean to indict ALL conservatives with your comment?

    Personally, I don't care if either liberal or conservative people want to invest in a professional sports team for either ego or tax purposes. In today's times, when the majority of football and basketball players are black, when many productive quarterbacks are black, and when many coaches are black, I don't see how the political views of the team owners, especially those with minority financial interest, transfer to the field, court, or diamond. This was not true 30 years ago, but is true today.

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