Monday, February 05, 2007

Rush is a racist, and nothing brings that out like the NFL

Today while discussing the Super Bowl, Rush Limbaugh went into a tirade about how the media wanted Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman to fail (which Grossman did, throwing a pair of late interceptions and adding two fumbles to make a strong case for why he should be Super Bowl MVP-- for the Colts.) It is true that last week the media kept asking whether Grossman might be the worst Super Bowl quarterback ever (which he also made a case for yesterday).

Rush then inserted two words that he used to explain why the media was (as he put it) 'rooting for Grossman to fail,' and those two words, almost inserted as an afterthought were 'white quarterback.' Of course words that people casually insert into a conversation often tell much more about who they really are and how they think than what they think through before they say.

What Rush said is in fact stupid on the face of it. Not only were the media simultaneously commenting on how superlatively good (white) Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning was (so that the notion that they root for white quarterbacks to fail is plainly absurd), but the reason for the negative questions about Rex was because we've seen the 'bad Rex' this year, and he has been really, really bad (as he showed the world last night). It was really a question of which Rex Grossman would show up-- he is inconsistent, and there is no way around it.

There was a racial angle on the game, to be sure, but it had nothing to do with the quarterback matchup-- the notion that black quarterbacks weren't as good as white quarterbacks was ended when Doug Williams and Washington won big almost twenty years ago. The racial angle yesterday was that two black coaches, Tony Dungy of Indianapolis and Lovie Smith of Chicago, both directed their clubs to the Super Bowl and Dungy became the first black coach to win a Super Bowl (which the NFL has done an outstanding job of ending racial hiring preferences across the league-- too bad that college football hasn't done the same).

What is really amazing is that this isn't the first time that Rush has talked about media coverage of a quarterback and added race into the equation. Recall that in 2003 he lost his job providing commentary on Monday Night Football by saying that Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb was 'overrated' because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed (again, that was over 15 years after Williams' performance in Super Bowl XXII had ended the race issue in regard to quarterbacks for anyone other than obdurate racists like Limbaugh shows himself to be).

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