RUSH: To Stone Mountain, Georgia, next we go. This is Leonard. It’s great to have you, sir. Leonard, how are you?
CALLER: I’m great. How you doing?
RUSH: Fine and dandy.
CALLER: I’ve been a fan since the early nineties. I love you, brother. I bought my grandbabies the Rush Revere books, but today you sound like Hillary defending Bill. I think you need to get the Hillary pantsuit on the way you’re protecting the Pittsburgh Steelers.
RUSH: What? Protecting the Pittsburgh Steelers?
CALLER: Yes. They’re one of the most violent teams in the NFL. You’re talking about Vontaze Burfict hit on Brown. You kind of slid past the fact that Shazier, number 50 for the Steelers, speared our running back. No call.
CALLER: It was early in the game when Vontaze Burfict was blocked 10 yards after the whistle was blown —
RUSH: “Our” running —
CALLER: — driven into the ground. No one made a call against that. Come on, Rush.
RUSH: You’re talking about number 50, Ryan Shazier.
CALLER: There you go.
RUSH: Who hit the running back of the Bengals —
CALLER: He didn’t hit him. He speared him. He led with his helmet, and that is against the rules, and they didn’t call a foul.
RUSH: No, they didn’t. In fact, you know, when that happened I’d lost the telecast because of thunderstorms here, so I went to the NFL app and I got the Cincinnati radio broadcast, and they were outraged. The Cincinnati radio broadcast was outraged at the fact that no penalty was called on the Shazier hit. I didn’t see it, because we had lost the telecast. I didn’t see it then. I saw a replay of it later on. So your point is that that’s what started everything and the refs not calling that.
CALLER: Oh, no. This started back after the first game and Le’Veon Bell got hurt and then the Steelers had death threats to some of the Cincinnati Bengals players. That’s why the second game was so bad.
RUSH: Oh, come on.
CALLER: It’s been going on all year.
RUSH: You’re talking about linebacker number 98, Vince Williams, who tweeted something about a death threat to Vontaze Burfict and so forth. All I know is, and I’m not trying to be protective of the Steelers, but I don’t think the Steelers have a player on their team that has anywhere near the reputation or image of two or three of the Bengals. The Bengals, for the longest time, your guys were more often found in jail or under arrest. You remember the Chris Henry days. It became something of a joke that the Bengals went out and drafted these guys and took a chance that Marvin Lewis could control ’em. They cleaned that up for a while, but it looks like it’s gone back and reversed itself.
I mean, the Bengals led the league in arrests. I’m going back now to the nineties, the early 2000s. But, anyway, I should have known that you were a Bengals fan when I heard you say “our.” I don’t care what you say, you can say the Steelers did this and that all night long. The fact of the matter is, what number 55 did, what number 24 did, lost the game. Forget everything else. Just the sheer stupidity, especially 55, could have been the toast of the town, could have been the MVP of the weekend, could have been the MVP of the playoffs, had just a great, killer game. Blew it all up, and it was clear this guy wanted to settle scores more than he wanted to win the game. It’s just mind-boggling.
Bobby in in Las Vegas. Great to have you, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, and it’s a pleasure to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I know you’re a big Steelers fan and all I want to say is it actually goes way back to the middle nineties when everybody would come into Cincinnati and beat ’em like a drum. And Pittsburgh was very proud of the fact that they called Cincinnati stadiums, whether it was Riverfront or whatever, they treated it like their annex. They go in and they’d expect to win. But everybody went in there and expected to win. So it really goes further back. And I think they were trying to say, don’t come in our house and treat us like your b-i-itch ever again. I really think that’s part of it.
RUSH: You think that’s what the Bengals were doing on Saturday night?
CALLER: I think that’s part of it, not all of it.
RUSH: Listen to the way you’re talking. I tell you, there’s cultural stuff to learn here. This is the exact point that I’m making. You don’t get to come to our house and call us bitches anymore. That’s why they played the game. To hell with winning or losing. Now after this the Steelers can’t call ’em bitches anymore, you want to bet that’s not gonna happen? I mean, this is classic, but, you know, say what you want, the numbers are in, and the game is the highest rated wild card playoff game in the last four years, 31 and a half — what are you guys in there looking at each for? You think should blip me for saying bitch? It is amazing, here we are on the recognized leading political radio talk show in the world. But, see, everything is politics, folks.
I always tried to tell you, everything is politics. So is this thing that happened Saturday night with the Bengals and Steelers. And it’s politics in the sense of what it says culturally about where we are, and the fact that no authority figure seems to think they can stop it. The boss, the people that run these teams think they can’t stop this. Well, if they can’t, then why should a parent be able to?
RUSH: Hey, look, when I started the discussion of the Bengals-Steelers game, it was not from the standpoint of being a Steelers fan. I guess I should have made that clear. I was hoping it would be. As a Steelers fan, that game was lost. We won that game with 30 yards of penalties. It’s a moral victory if nothing else, and we’ll take it, but, you know, my comments have nothing to do with being a Steelers fan. You gotta strip the partisanship out of this.
What happened in that game is problematic for a host of reason. You Bengals fans, you also think what started this — we had a couple calls here — you think what started this was that Ryan Shazier hit on Giovani Bernard, the running back for Bengals, number 24, you think it was crown of the helmet to crown of the helmet, explicit violation of the rules and should have been a flag and there wasn’t a flag. What’s Shazier supposed to do when a running back lowers his head into the hit? I think why that wasn’t called was that was just straight good old-fashioned up-and-down football. And the running back lowers his head, supposed to keep your head up, he lowers his head, and ends up with crown of the helmet to crown of the helmet. And I don’t know if that hit happened in the five yards or not.
But, anyway, my comments had nothing to do with being a Steelers fan. The game was, to me, they better get a handle on it or it’s only gonna get worse. Look, I’ve said enough about that. The Stick-to-the-Issues Crowd is pulling their hair out by now. Have you got phone calls from ’em? Just one? That’s why I’m telling you there is politics in everything that happens and there was in that game and the way it was dealt with and handled. You know, the real take-away, forget this game. How many dumb penalties do you see — well, I’ll tell you one, the Steelers. Number 22, William Gay, picked up a fumble, scored a touchdown, it was called back, but he participated — not for the first time — he participated in an illegal celebration after the touchdown by having two or three players celebrate with him.
You’re not allowed to have more than one player celebrate, and he was doing some bird dance in there, and he got 15 yards penalized. The touchdown was not allowed, but the penalty was upheld, and it was big, the Bengals got 15 yards. It was stupid. You know, and I’m asking myself, why can’t the coaches take these guys aside and say, don’t do it or you’re not playing? And the answer I get back is, the coaches all say, hey, these are grown men, I can’t tell ’em what to do. Really? When did when did authority vanish? Authority’s a problematic thing, like, we don’t want authoritarian presidents. We don’t want presidents violating the law by running roughshod over the Constitution like Obama with executive orders and executive actions. That’s not authority. That’s authoritarianism. That borders on tyranny. That’s violation of the Constitution.
But when you have a structure, when you have boss and employees, parent and child. When you have somebody responsible for enforcing the rules and conduct set down by the team, somebody, an authority figure, has got to be able to tell people you can’t do that or punish them otherwise. And if you’re gonna throw your hands up and say, “I’m sorry, they’re grown men, I can’t tell ’em what to do,” then all bets are off. If nobody can tell ’em what to do, what they can’t do, then you have to expect that no authority figure’s gonna be respected. And then when one comes along and does implement his authority, like Goodell, he ends up being despised and hated. To me it’s eye opening and revealing about a lot in our culture.