How One Man Saved the NFL — and Is Trying to Save America

RUSH: So Sarah Sanders put out a tweet or a Twitter announcement that the president’s gonna go to the border on Thursday.  The New York Times says, “President Trump wants to address the nation about the government shutdown on Tuesday night, and later in the week plans to travel to the southern border as part of his effort to persuade Americans of the need for a border wall — the sticking point in negotiations with Democrats who are eager to reopen shuttered agencies.”

You know, this whole shutdown thing… Every time we go through one of these or any protracted disagreement like this with the left… You know, I live in the world of constant optimism that more and more are finally gonna wake up, or, if not (maybe that’s not the term), they’re finally gonna see what the left is really all about.  On this one, we may have a chance.  The latest polling data: 93% of the American people, including 88% of Democrats, think that illegal immigration is a major problem.

Now, the Democrat Party is in a very shrinking minority on this, and they all live behind fortified walls.  Nancy Pelosi… They all live in gated estates.  Like last night, the Golden Globes — and, by the way, the ratings bottomed out again. Although, you know, I think Trump is even teaching these people.  I think it’s one of the most amazing things. Let’s look at the NFL, to explain myself here.  I’m gonna go off track for a bit, but I have not lost my place.

What did Trump do?  He railed against the political protests in the NFL, as we all well know.  He elevated that issue to a point where the NFL couldn’t escape the scrutiny of viewers. They couldn’t escape the rage.  The players were kneeling. They were disrespecting the anthem.  Any other president would have not said a word about it!  It would have gone on. It would still be happening. The NFL would be in deep, dire straits right now because it would have continued.

They would have been shedding viewers. They would have been shedding attendees at stadiums if this had gone on.  They would be shedding money. They would be losing money left and right, ’cause it would have continued had nobody said anything about it.  Because nobody in the league was gonna have the guts to stand up to the players.  They would have been mollified.  Ownership and the commissioner would have done everything they could to strike deals with the players, further alienating fans.

What did Trump do?  He continued to call them out — and as Trump continued to call them out, more and more people began to dissociate themselves with the NFL.  And the NFL and the players realized that without a strong customer base, the dominoes fall; financial underpinnings of the league will eventually collapse.  And, if you don’t think that’s right, if you think I’m misreading this, I need to ask you: What happened to the protests?  They’re gone, aren’t they?  The protests are gone.

You know what else is coming back?  The ratings for the NFL are coming back.  As the players stop protesting their own country, as the players stop protesting their own flag, as they stop this incessant bleating about being slaves to a white-owned aristocracy… LeBron James tried it and what happened?  He got shut down and had to apologize.  That’s because of Donald Trump.  If Trump hadn’t spoken up in the first place — and I knew, by the way, that this comparison to slavery was gonna happen.  I called it two years ago.

I thought it’d be the media making the charge, not another athlete. I didn’t know it’d be LeBron James.  But LeBron James basically came along and said the NFL is modern-day slavery.  You’ve got a bunch of white owners and an indentured servitude African-American employee base where the average salary is $2.1 million.  Do you know what the average slave was paid?  Anybody know?  There’s an average figure.  I can tell you what the average… (interruption) Exactly!  Nothing!  The average slave was paid nothing!

Do you know how many days or weeks, hours a day the average slave worked?  However damn many he was told.  He was paid zero for it and didn’t hardly get much to eat, just enough to fuel the engine to enable the work to continue.  But there was nothing luxurious about it.  For these guys to come along and claim that the NFL is a modern incarnation of slavery is simply insane ridiculousness.  But here’s our old buddy LeBron James doing it.  You notice how quickly that died?  It wouldn’t have died if it weren’t for Donald Trump.

Those protests would have continued, LeBron James would have been hailed as a hero, and the NFL today would be an enterprise in heap big trouble.  Trump called it out the moment it started.  He withstood the avalanche of criticism that happened but eventually the NFL had to realize that their fan base was falling by the wayside. Not supporting the players.  Not supporting the kneeling.  Not supporting the protesting of the flag.  They were just leaving!  And they weren’t watching on television.

The protests have disappeared; the ratings are back.

What am I missing?  I’m telling you, Donald Trump is using the same tactics, similar tactics with the wall and in this trade war that we’re having with the ChiComs.  What is he doing?  He’s elevating the issues to apply pressure because bring focus to the fundamentals.  Now, you might say, “Well, that’s all he can do, Rush, ’cause he’s a simpleton idiot.”  No. He is not a simpleton idiot.  He’s a man of impeccable common sense who understands the basics of things, who understands the fundamentals.

And the fundamentals are that America and our culture cannot continue with open borders like this. It cannot continue to thrive. It cannot continue to be what it is as long as the borders are open and an entire political party in this country is encouraging this attack on our basic culture!  Okay.  So now where are we?  We don’t have people supporting open borders, do we?  We don’t have people down there (clapping) applauding the illegals and saying, “Come on in!”

They do it in private.  They do it quietly.  But they’re not a majority.  So now we’ve gotten to the point where the NFL was hemorrhaging viewers and it was hemorrhaging fans.  The sponsors were hemorrhaging their clientele. And the same thing could be happening here.  When you have a poll that shows 93% of the people think illegal immigration is a big problem, I’m sorry, that’s not a winning issue for the open-borders crowd.  So now Trump wants to address the nation to talk about this.

The Golden Globes last night.  Their ratings are down.  They tried to fix it.  Do you know that there was no politics among the hosts? Not the award winners, but the hosts, Sandra Oh and whoever the other guy was. They purposely abandoned politics in an effort… They had been losing ratings for the past number of years, particularly the last two. All these awards shows have been dumping on Trump, and their ratings have been going south. They’ve been saying, “We don’t care! We don’t do what we do for the ratings.”

Bull. The networks that carry this crap care.  Everybody in this cares about ratings.  I don’t care if they tell you they don’t.  The stars may not, I don’t know, but the people televising this stuff do or they wouldn’t go to such lengths to find proper hosts and this kind of thing.  So the Golden Globes last night, they tried to dial it back — and the bottom still fell out!  Their ratings are still down over what was a record low last year in 2018.

That’s because people have long memories, and whether or not there was any Trump bashing or America bashing last night, there has been in this previous year, and people don’t need to be preached to or want to be preached to by people they perceive to be ignoramuses about matters of great consequence facing the country.  So we’ll see what happens with the Epidemic Awards, but the trend here is that Trump is winning on these things — and in the process, he is saving industries, not just with our economic performance.

But you can arguably say and you could do it with great credibility that Donald Trump deserves the credit for saving the NFL from what could have been a devastating decline by calling out the very destructive behavior that was being engaged in by players, malcontents or what have you. ‘Cause if that had continued — you notice the news about football games is about the games again? The news about football games is about the players and the controversies that happen on the field, the officiating.

But it’s all about stuff that happens on the field now, not what’s happening in the anthem period or the pregame. You don’t see sports coverage following players to the ghetto as they try to give back because a lot of that doesn’t even happen in the first place. No. They’re covering the sport. They’re covering the game. And, as such, the NFL is coming back.

Have you also noticed you can’t find Roger Goodell anywhere? I’ve seen him twice this season, both of them in little cameo appearances on camera during these playoffs games. And guess who he’s sitting with? He’s sitting with fans. He’s not sitting with the owners in their suite. He’s sitting with fans. He’s giving out tickets to the Super Bowl, sitting with fans at these games. He was in Chicago.

The NFL has done everything they can to get the negatives off of the front and center stage of the NFL, and it wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Trump. The same thing is happening with the ChiComs and this trade stuff. The same thing is happening with the wall. The same thing is happening with illegal immigration. There’s one guy showing the way, one guy standing up, one guy educating, one guy informing, one person standing firm in his common-sense beliefs about these things.

And what’s being demonstrated is commitment. Patience and commitment and fortitude pay off. We don’t live in a world where there are instant results despite what people think. It still takes a while for things to happen. There’s a lot of people in this country, a lot of minds to shift. Doesn’t happen overnight. It’s why you’ve gotta have intestinal fortitude and guts and once you stake a position publicly you gotta stand with it, you gotta stick with it and promote it and continue, instead of caving.

But he’s still out there all alone. Can you imagine if he just had some support from the Republican on any number of these things, which has been the lament that we’ve had here since Trump was inaugurated back in 2017. So Trump is elevating these issues to apply pressure and bring focus to the fundamentals of each one. Trade tariffs, unfair arrangements and deals that need to be redone, border security. And we know because of the most recent polling data, voters care deeply about border security. Much more so than the Drive-By Media would ever lead anybody to believe. Congress cares deeply about votes. The Democrats care deeply about destroying the traditional, distinct American culture that was established at our founding.

The ChiComs, they care deeply about strong revenue streams from American trade. The ChiComs also care deeply about an economy in their own country that can create enough jobs every year to keep those people happy and free from revolting. The communist president of China, his number one job is job creation and make sure that the people that get these new jobs are out in the country and don’t storm the cities which are already overcrowded. He needs American trade for this to happen. He needs Apple to continue to be making iPhones, 500,000 people employed at one factory to make iPhones, and they’re out in the hinterlands.

Trump knows all of this. The ChiCom economy depends on strong revenue streams from American trade. So applying pressure, leverage brings focus to all of these things that heretofore the American establishment, the elites, the leadership, have just figured that it’s not possible, we’ve gone global and so this idea that America first, America wins, America this is so antiquated and so irrelevant and it’s so pedantic we can’t even talk about anymore. Here comes a guy talking about it.

This is how problems are solved. And isn’t that the goal? So Trump now wants a national address tomorrow night according to the New York Times. You know, we have to continue to hear the little Chihuahuas yapping at Trump’s ankles, from Mitt Romney and some of these Never Trumpers who just can’t get over themselves and this devotion that they claim to have to manners and character and culture. I gotta make a note. I gotta make my comments about this. This whole character business, it’s a dichotomy. In fact, it may even be a conundrum. ‘Cause it is in some ways frustrating. In other ways, it’s liberating.

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RUSH: Looky here. Exactly what I was just saying. This is from CNBC: “How Trump’s tweet storms to rally support for the government shutdown seem to be working – Since first threatening a government shutdown last month in his battle with Congress over border wall funding, President Donald Trump has leaned heavily on Twitter to rally support among his followers. So far, the strategy seems to be working. That, however, doesn’t bode well for a quick resolution to the standoff.”

Wait just a second! If it’s working, then why doesn’t it bode well for a quick resolution? Hmm? It says here: “As the standoff drags on, Trump has tried to take maximum advantage of the political upheaval to rally support from his followers for his signature 2016 campaign issue. Based on a CNBC review of his wall-related tweets, the effort is paying off.”

So CNBC is saying that Trump has leaned heavily on Twitter to rally support among his followers, and they are apoplectic because a CNBC review of these tweets show that his effort is paying off and that the strategy is working. And it doesn’t bode well for a quick resolution.

In other words, CNBC is afraid public support for Trump’s position might make him more reluctant to cave for the Democrats. It will strengthen his resolve and he’ll hang in there and it means there’s a greater chance it’s gonna be the Democrats that have to cave. That’s why it’s bad news. These creeps. I tell you.

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RUSH: Greg in Sioux Falls.  It’s great to have you on the EIB Network.  How you doing, sir?

CALLER:  Very good, Mr. Limbaugh.  Thank you.  One quick comment first here.  Trump saved the NFL.  They thought he was tearing ’em down, but he saved ’em.  Now, what else I want to say is this.  I just got off the phone this morning with my two senators from South Dakota, Thune and Rounds, and I made the comment to ’em: The Democrats don’t like borders.  We know there are all of a sudden barriers and walls around the U.S. Capitol, House, and Senate buildings.  I asked them to put in legislation to take it down. Get rid of those borders.  Let’s see what the Democrats in Washington, D.C., think when they’re exposed.  Let’s let people drive wherever they want to drive around there.

RUSH:  What’d they say?

CALLER: (unintelligible) … talking point to come back.  Well, you know, you don’t get to talk to those people.  You don’t get to talk to me.

RUSH:  I always get through.

CALLER: (laughing) There’s the difference–

RUSH:  Well, that must be… (laughing)

CALLER: (laughing) — between me and Rush Limbaugh.

RUSH: No, you have an excellent point here, and it’s like… Let me get back to the Golden Globes for a second.  Now, these people tried to tone down, the hosts.  I mean, not the award recipients and the runners-up and all that, but the hosts, Sandra Oh and her flunky, whoever he was.  They tried.  They didn’t go political at all. But some of the others couldn’t help it and it became a diatribe against guns.  They just went off on guns and little, you know, referrals, references here to climate change.

But I’ll tell you, I’ll bet you that the number of armed security people protecting these stars at the Golden Globes last night would have been enough to stop your average invasion at the border.  I’ll bet you there was so much armed security at that place and I’ll betcha there were so many barriers that the average hoi polloi couldn’t cross and get close to these stars, and then once they left the awards the Beverly Hilton, then they go to wherever the parties — are and you can’t just walk in there because there’s armed security outside and inside, and they got barriers.

You can’t even get into the parking lot. And then when they leave the parties and then when it’s time to go home, why, they go behind more walls and there’s probably more armed security where many of them live. And here they are ripping guns and ripping anybody who wants to engage in similar practices to protect the country at large. It’s why they have become a joke, and it’s why they are not influential.

It wasn’t that long ago, folks, that LeBron James coming out and claiming that the NFL ownership is the modern incarnation of slavery ’cause of a bunch of white billionaires employing 75% of their workforce African-American indentured slaves, it would have had some legs because the media would have picked it up and run with it, and at least run around and started asking, “Well, what do you think of what LeBron said?” And then they try to get some owners saying some stupid things in response to keep the story alive.

But it didn’t go anywhere. And it didn’t go anywhere because the whole concept of the NFL as a slave enterprise doesn’t pass any kind of reality test whatsoever. And so LeBron was reduced to having to apologize. It wasn’t that long ago he would have been heralded as a great social scientist.

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RUSH: Dan in Raleigh, North Carolina. Great to have you, sir. Hi.

CALLER: Thank you, sir. I’ll get right to my point. I want to thank you again for saying that President Trump scrutinized the NFL and didn’t let ’em get away with it. You, like he, just get through the disinformation and get right to the point. And I’m surprised to hear the NFL numbers are up, the viewing numbers. I wanted to get your thoughts on that as well.

RUSH: You’re surprised the numbers are up?

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: Well, why are you surprised they’re up?

CALLER: Well, you know, I saw people losing faith just as many of the actions that go on, you guys scrutinize the facts, cut through it on so many fronts and get rid of the disinformation, but I wasn’t sure —

RUSH: Yeah, but you know what happened? The protests stopped, the kneeling stopped, the anti-America, anti-flag, all this politicization stopped. And there was something else that happened: Offense exploded. The Chiefs and the Rams played a game of 51-48 or something.

Offense was off the charts. Fans and viewers love offense. It ain’t boring. I don’t care if it is 51-48. You become mesmerized by it. But 10-3 defensive struggles, I mean, an unaffected fan will slog through that and watch it. Football fan is football. Football is football.

But when the offense goes nuts like it did for much of this season and if you’ll notice, all of the soap opera stuff this season was about the game! Look at the Steelers. The Steelers may as well be Payton Place. But none of it involved protests. None of it involved the flag. None of it involved people being ticked off at America. It was all related to what happened on the field, which is what sports fans want.

So it revived the fantasy league aspect, and it makes sense. The league itself got rid of all of these distractions. They got rid of things that reminded people of negative reinforcement in terms of people and image. And the fans felt free to go back to the game and did.