Sports is filled with tales and folklore. One of them is curses. Fans of teams that have not won a championship in years will often blame the drought on a curse. These so-called curses also result in other consequences. Take for instance the recent news of the St. Louis Rams going back to Los Angeles after leaving the City of Angels for the Gateway City 22 years ago. You can chalk that up to the curse of Rush Limbaugh.
Now some of you may be wondering: what is this Limbaugh curse and why is he the reason the Rams are heading to the west coast? First off, let me tell you who Rush Limbaugh is. Many who follow American politics knows Limbaugh. For those who don’t, he is the controversial US talk radio host known for his conservative views and penchant to ridicule liberals from Democrats to Hollywood. To say he is Barack Obama’s biggest critic would be an understatement.
Now that we know who Limbaugh is, let’s go into why I believe he is connected to the Rams moving back to LA. In 2009, there was a group that was looking into buying the Rams after owner Georgia Frontiere passed away. That group included former St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts and Limbaugh. However, there were a few NFL owners that did not want Limbaugh to own the team even if it’s a minority stake. One of them was Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts. Irsay was perhaps the most vocal in his opposition to having Limbaugh be part of the group. Checketts ended up removing Limbaugh from his group and continued his pursuit of buying the Rams. That deal eventually fell through and the team ended up being sold to current owner Stan Kroenke. Having Limbaugh as part owner of the Rams would not have prevented the team from moving. But it is hard to argue the futility the Rams have experienced since then. For the readers in Rio Linda, futility means a string of bad results.
The Rams are not the only team caught in the Limbaugh curse. The Colts themselves have been in a freefall since Irsay threatened to block Limbaugh from buying the Rams. The Colts continue to make the playoffs since 2009 but none of their appearances resulted in Super Bowl championships. Their franchise quarterback Peyton Manning was cut from the team after having two neck surgeries, and their current franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck, is dealing with his own health setbacks. Irsay himself was victimized when he was arrested for DUI and drug possession.
In 2003, Limbaugh worked at ESPN as an analyst on the Sunday pre-game show. His comments on former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb caused negative criticism particularly those from the black community. Limbaugh ended up leaving the show. He said the parting was mutual but you wouldn’t know it from his comments of the network after his departure. Since then, ESPN has lost a number of viewers to the point where they are laying off staff in order to keep the channel on the air. As I mentioned in a previous piece, no one is watching ESPN because of their lack of sports coverage.
The point here is anyone who has crossed, double-crossed, or attempted to cross Limbaugh has ended up hurting themselves. They won’t necessarily admit it but as I have explained in this piece they have gotten themselves into a deep hole that they have never been able to get out of. It is perhaps why Donald Trump is still in the running to become the next President of the United States. Contrary to popular belief, Trump and Limbaugh are often at odds on political issues especially on sending military troops to Iraq. But Trump has, to this point, managed to avoid getting into a war of words with Limbaugh.
The Limbaugh curse doesn’t have the notoriety as the Billy Goat or the Bambino. It is going to take at least another 10 years before it gets to that level. But it is hard to ignore the sports teams and figures who have not been able to get out of a funk as a result. Just ask football fans in St. Louis.