The Washington Times - October 15, 2009, 03:12PM

Rush Limbaugh this morning responded to the news that he had been dropped from a group seeking to purchase the St. Louis Rams, contending that he was misled about the NFL’s feelings on his involvement in the bid.
Limbaugh said in the opening segment of his radio show that he expected his efforts to buy a portion of the NFL franchise would be viewed as controversial, and warned lead investor Dave Checketts during a meeting this past spring, when the two hammered out a deal for his involvement in the bid.

According to Limbaugh, Checketts assured him that he was cleared by high-level executives at the NFL.


“I said to him at this meeting, ‘Are you aware of the firestorm this—’ ‘Oh yes, totally aware, Rush, and believe me, I wouldn’t have approached you if I hadn’t taken care of that,’” Limbaugh said.

Limbaugh is an extremely popular adio host, but ruffled NFL feathers back in 2003 when, after being hired as an analyst on ESPN, he suggested that Donovan McNabb was overrated by media members who desired to see an African-American succeed. Limbaugh was later fired from the sports network.

Limbaugh said reiterated his concerns to Checketts following media attention to his involvement, which came with critical comments from NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“So when this all started to unravel with the leaking of me being part of the group, the predictable firestorm started,” Limbaugh said. “And I said, ‘Are you guys prepared here? Do you guys understand what’s going on?’ ‘Oh, yeah, we want you to be a partner, don’t worry Rush, I would not have gone this far if I hadn’t wired this before I even spoke to you.’”

On Tuesday night, Checketts called Limbaugh and asked him to withdraw. Limbaugh declined to step down, forcing Checketts to fire him from the bid.

It seems clear now that Checketts completely miscalculated things. Either he vastly underrestimated the backlash against Limbaugh for his comments, or he misjudged the level of support he had in NFL circles.

The New York Times cited several NFL sources, once of which “voiced puzzlement over Checketts not discerning the potential backlash of Limbaugh’s participation.”

“I would have assumed he would have run it up the flagpole with the league before it became known,” the source said, according to the Times. “Then a tepid response would have told him where things stood”