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Derrick K. Baker Headshot

Comic Relief and Sports Clash Courtesy of Rush Limbaugh

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I have to hand it to Rush Limbaugh. It's just that I don't know if I should backhand him or extend a handshake of congratulations in recognition of him pulling off another publicity ploy in the name of shameless self promotion.

On second thought, I'm not so sure that I want to shake his hand for fear that I'll only get four fingers in return. There's something suspicious, at best, about a guy who has a record of uttering caustic, racially divisive opinions at the sight of a microphone of video recorder.

If there are radio station ratings, book sales and appearance fees to be boosted and earned -- and insults to be levied at Democrats and racial minorities in the process -- we can count on the caricature that is Rush Limbaugh to get diarrhea of the mouth quick and in a hurry. The joke's on his detractors, however, because as we're lambasting him under our breath, he's laughing all the way to the bank ... overjoyed at another successful romp on his non-fans' nerves with spiked heels.

Now, back to why Limbaugh should be slapped and/or congratulated, depending on your political persuasion, and likely, the color of your skin.

Limbaugh recently violated the sense of decency and respect of pro football players, some team owners, African Americans and just about any American who understands that repeated belittling of people who don't share your beliefs in the way you want them shared is a recipe for disaster -- unless you're a bad cook, like Limbaugh.

The bombastic arch-conservative radio personality is madder than a wet hen because he was disinvited as a member of a team of investors interested in purchasing the St. Louis Rams football team. Limbaugh contends that St. Louis Blues Chairman Dave Checketts approached him earlier this year about participating as a minority investor in a bid to buy the hapless Rams.

Limbaugh contends that Checketts confirmed that Limbaugh's involvement had been vetted by the league. Limbaugh has said that Checketts told him his involvement had been cleared at the "highest levels of the NFL."

But once word leaked out that Limbaugh was on the bid team, black players on the Rams began to speak up, airing their inability, unwillingness and suspicion about playing for a team that could be partially owned by a man who once told a black caller to his radio show to take the bone out of his nose and call him back.

That Rush Limbaugh, he really is a cut up!

However, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Limbaugh's bid to buy the Rams would receive little support from NFL owners, and Limbaugh was dropped from the group of investors.

The same man who acted as if he really wanted an ownership role in a pro football team is the same guy who once accused what he calls the left-leaning media of grossly hyping Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. More specifically, back in 2003, Limbaugh was forced to resign from ESPN's Sunday night football broadcast after saying of McNabb: "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well."

Add to that astute observation transcripts posted on Limbaugh's website in 2007 when he said: "The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it."

If you haven't had the (guilty?) pleasure of listening to his radio show or meeting him in person, know that Limbaugh may just be the most hysterical guy in the contiguous United States. Move over Seinfeld and Rock. Conan, Letterman and Kimmel, don't quit your day jobs. The unannounced "Rush Limbaugh Show" may just unceremoniously boot you from your time slot on the idiot box.

And now that NFL union leader DeMaurice Smith, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson (they're all Negroes, you know) expressed reservations about Limbaugh becoming an owner, don't be surprised that Limbaugh called the latter two "race hustlers" who wield undue influence in all matters they manipulate to focus on race.

On his radio show last week, Limbaugh said the players' union made an example of him because they're seeking leverage in talks over a new collective bargaining agreement. What happened to him, he said, was an illustration of "Obama's America on full display."
He added that his being dropped was an example of the political clout held by President Barack Obama's administration.

In short, Limbaugh wanted partial ownership of a mostly black team that plays in a sport that offers its fans a majority of black players. And he has a problem with the black union leader and black preachers who have a problem with his documented history of race baiting.

Imagine that position being taken by the conservative corner's No. 1 mouthpiece.

Limbaugh a racist? Nope. A self-serving comedian? Oh yeah.