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The circus continues: Limbaugh, Checketts and the St. Louis Rams

In or out, and now he's out, you knew that the Rush Limbaugh, St. Louis Rams firestorm wasn't going to go away this easily.

El Rushbo used his removal from Dave Checketts' group of prospective buyers to drum up ratings for his show today, lashing out at those he felt were responsible. It's sadly predictable...and avoidable.

Regardless of where you fall on the left or right spectrum and your opinion on Limbaugh, think how different this situation might have been had Rush come out as soon as the news broke that he was involved in a potential ownership bid for the Rams and assured people that his past statements, i.e. McNabb, were in the past and that he would keep his politics/day job out of his role as a partial owner of the Rams. It might have been a different situation  entirely. The thing is he can't back himself away from those statements, not without compromising his reputation as a pundit, the job that puts the kind of money in his pocket in the first place.

You can blame Jesse Jackson, Obama, Roger Goodell or whatever other straw man you want, but the same thing would hold true for Michael Moore. Of course, Moore never made an unprovoked statement about a popular NFL player, and the NFL is a tight-knit, closed society that doesn't take kindly to one of their own being talked about like that.

Frankly, I wouldn't want anyone, right or left, involved in the Rams if they couldn't distance their football and politics. I'm an incredibly cynical guy, and my political beliefs can best be categorized as agnostic. I generally disdain ideologies of all kinds. And I think guys like Rush or Michael Moore do too; they've just realized that they can make piles of money by pretending to be angry about something.

More thoughts on Checketts

Checketts has done a great job with the St. Louis Blues, and it seems like that's mostly been the result of handing the operation over to dedicated hockey guys, something he'd be doing with the Rams with Devaney et al in place. Seems like a shwred enough guy, but the claim made by Limbaugh that Checketts had cleared his involvement with people at the "highest level" of the NFL makes me wonder about his competency for NFL ownership.

Did he really check? I just can't help think that he just needed another money man and knew Limbaugh had the money, an expressed interest in NFL ownership and a connection to Missouri. Right or wrong, I could have told you that bringing Limbaugh into the fold would invite controversy. Why didn't Checketts undertake a preemptive PR blitz to smoothe it over as much as possible? There's something missing here.

The smart money is still on Stan Kroenke.