Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Well, you know, strangely enough, football is a game that most women probably think and feel about the same as you just expressed. My wife as an exception, she loves it, she understands it, she can talk football lingo with me, but most women do like the game because of the tight pants.

CALLER: That helps.

RUSH: See?

CALLER: I’d like to enjoy it with my husband, because we have a marriage made in heaven except for when he turns on football.

RUSH: Wait, wait, let’s talk about that. Wait just a second. If you’ve got a marriage made in heaven except?


RUSH: Let me just talk about, forget whether you like or understand football now, let’s talk about your marriage.

CALLER: Okay. What do you want to know?

RUSH: No, no, no, you don’t have to answer these questions, but I’m just going to pepper you with a few here. If you say you have a marriage made in heaven…

CALLER: Just about.

RUSH: Except when football comes on…


RUSH: A simple question: If all the rest of the marriage is made in heaven.

CALLER: Uh-huh.

RUSH: But you don’t like football.


RUSH: It’s on for six hours on Sunday.

CALLER: Uh-huh.

RUSH: Is there something you can do?

CALLER: Oh, yeah. I find plenty to do.

RUSH: Well, then what’s the problem?

CALLER: I just want to enjoy things that he enjoys because I think it would make him happy.

RUSH: Okay, all right, now, that’s a good answer. That’s a good answer. If you want to enjoy these things with him because it would make him happy, cook the food that he’s going to eat while he watches. No, the thing about women and football, I think it’s related to violence, and it’s controlled violence, and it’s contact. And women don’t grow up playing football this way. They watch it in high school and so forth. They don’t understand it at all, but even if it comes to flag football, I mean in the wintertime young boys are praying for snow and rain so they can go play football in the mud.


RUSH: It’s just something women are not oriented to no matter how hard the feminists have tried they still haven’t been able to do this, and I really do think there’s something cultural in it. To most men, football is a metaphor for their lives. And it is a metaphor for the challenges they face, it’s a metaphor for sticking to it, a metaphor or a lesson for not giving up. Plus, you have to understand what sports is in general. Sports is, this is the great thing about it, sports is Fantasy Island for people who love it. It is an escape from the humdrum of their ordinary daily lives, not to put them down, but everybody has a routine. Sports is an escape, and you have a team. And if your team does well you vicariously identify with it. If your team wins, you feel like a winner. Your team wins, you feel like you’re supporting a winner. Your team wins, you’re with them. When they lose, they’re letting you down and it’s disappointing and it’s sad, but you still stick with them in most cases. But the fact is, when I worked for the Kansas City Royals back in 1979, it was through ’83. The Royals won their division every year, went to the World Series one year in that period of time. You would not believe the self-esteem the city, the population of Kansas City got from the performance of the baseball team. The town was prouder of itself when the Royals were winning than when they weren’t. And now it’s the same way with the Chiefs. When the Chiefs are winning, the town is just there, they get an identity from it, they associate, it’s Kansas City, or whatever team. And people identify in a whole bunch of different ways with it. But it helps to have played the game. I think also it has roots in competition. You know, men are raised and taught, little boys, to compete from the moment they’re able to walk.


RUSH: And football is the ultimate in competition. And there are a lot of vicarious thrills that men take watching these games. It’s something they would all love to do. It’s something they would all love to be able to do, something a lot of men fantasize about being able to do and being on the field. It’s got so much tied up into it, but it’s fast paced, it’s just got so many ingredients. I tell you what, pro football today is like the Roman Coliseum back those days. When you are involved in pro football today, you are in the Roman senate in this country, and everybody wants to be part of it. I don’t know how else to explain this. Plus, it’s hard to do.
I’ll tell you something, Lana, you watch those games and imagine doing what those players do yourself. And understand that most men are frustrated athletes, they all want to play Major League Baseball when they’re growing up, they all would love to be able to play professional football, so they watch it. It’s entertainment. I mean you strip all this other stuff away, it’s just flat out good entertainment.

CALLER: Yeah. Well, what about you? Because you have a full life and my husband has a really full life that he loves. He’s an entrepreneur so he’s doing what he wants to do, so he doesn’t really have to live, you know, through somebody else, but does it just come down to the competition and the fun and the entertainment value for somebody like you?

RUSH: Yes. But there’s some vicarious, look, I would love to be able to play football.

CALLER: Yeah, he would, too.

RUSH: I’m not any different than anybody else watching the game. It is part of my full life.

CALLER: Yeah, okay, yeah.

RUSH: You know, there was a column at ESPN 2, one of their web pages, one of their websites, Ralph Wiley wrote a piece asking just how is it that Rush Limbaugh hijacked the football season this year. You know, I got a lot of vicarious thrills from this football season.

CALLER: I would have watched it if you would have stayed, I would have watched you.

RUSH: Well, that’s nice of you to say. I appreciate it. I mean, look, there are a lot of things that you do, Lana, that your husband probably doesn’t understand. I mean, well, I don’t mean that in a put-down way.

CALLER: No, I know.

RUSH: I don’t want to be clich?d here but I don’t know if you like shopping or not, but, you know, if there’s something you want, send somebody out to get it while I’m watching football. Instead you’ll go there and you’ll walk the mall for hours, not buy a thing. Have fun while I’m watching football.
Lana, I don’t know if you heard just moments ago what I said, but the best explanation that I have heard for why men love sports, it’s very simple. It’s the one thing in life, you have to think about this, and you may end up being insulted by it and I don’t intend that to be the case, and especially women. It’s the one thing in life in which you can invest total passion without consequence, meaning you can open yourself up wide, you can hold nothing back, you can express your love and devotion for your team and you don’t ever have to worry about them throwing you out. You don’t have to worry about them abandoning you, you don’t have to worry about them making fun of you, laughing at you, rejecting you, humiliating you. They might lose, and they might even embarrass you at times, but that’s even a stretch. But you don’t have to hold anything back, you don’t have to play any games, you don’t have to act coy with your support, you don’t have to play it cool, you can just let it all go. Which is what people want to do anyway. And anytime something gets in the way of a sports fan having to moderate his emotion or support, he gets upset. So if you’re sitting there watching the game with your husband and he’s getting all excited and really into it and lying it, and you say, “Why do you like this so much?” It’s not going to go over well. And don’t get jealous of it. That’s another thing. You women, you have a tendency, your husband is sitting there loving football on Sunday afternoon, you go why don’t you love me as much you love football. Don’t do that. That’s not helpful, it doesn’t advance anything and don’t make that comparison. That’s the point. That’s why these hours that people sit there, spend watching, I don’t care whether it’s baseball, football, whatever it is the fan loves, that’s part of it. That and the escape, the fantasy aspect. That’s not even the right way to put it. But just the escape.

How many of you people have active minds, you just can’t stop thinking, and you’re always thinking about stuff, you’re worrying about this, something happened in the past, you’re worrying about something you’ve got to do or something, who wants to go through life doing that? Football, sports, whatever, shuts your mind down, that’s all you’re thinking about. It’s an escape, it’s peaceful. You may sit there thinking you’re going crazy rooting, but it’s peaceful. Because you’ve shut your mind down. It’s why men like to go fishing. It’s whatever women do to accomplish the same thing, it’s for the same reason.

What? [talking to program observer] Shopping, whatever it is, I don’t know what it is. I’m not trying to be clich?d, I’m not trying to put anybody down, I’m just saying everybody’s got activities they like doing because it stops their mind. I’m just trying to help her understand why her husband loves it so much. Hell, her husband may not know what slot right 63 hook and go is, he may not know what a screen pass is, it doesn’t matter. He still loves the game, he doesn’t have to understand it. And chances are he does, probably not as much as he thinks he does, but still he does. All kinds of reasonable explanations for this and it has nothing to do with them not liking you, ladies, nothing whatsoever to do with not wanting to be with you, nothing whatsoever to do with not wanting you around, it has nothing to do with that.

Too many people get in these arguments because they look at this as competition. “You’d rather watch football than go shopping with me.” And, you know, guy sadly will not be honest and say, “Yeah, you’re right, and say no, no, it’s not that,” and start coming around with whatever excuses that his wife knows are BS, and just exacerbates the problem.

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