This post isn’t intended to spark a political debate, but Rush Limbaugh’s recent non-denial of his interest in purchasing the Minnesota Vikings got me thinking about political views and the NFL. Specifically, why would a conservative like Limbaugh want to buy into an entity like the NFL, which is kinda sorta organized like a mini socialist country?
Limbaugh spends hours on the radio every day imploring Americans to embrace capitalism, free enterprise and limited government. Every man should be free to make as much money as he wants without having a chunk of it taken by the government and redistributed to others. One of Limbaugh’s favorite themes is socialism fails every time.
But if Limbaugh purchases an NFL team, he would become part of an entity that:
- Uses revenue sharing. Limbaugh’s head might explode the first time he has to cut a check to support the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills.
- Enforces a salary cap. Americans should be free to earn as much as they want. Imagine if the radio industry instituted a salary cap and put a limit on how much Limbaugh could make!
- Finances its facilities and operations with taxpayer dollars. Limbaugh thinks tax dollars should be used to defend our country, and very little else. Seeing him operate his business in a publicly financed facility would be…ironic, I guess.
- Is overseen by a dictator. Roger Goodell can fine and punish players and change the rules during the season almost at will. Sounds very similar to the overreaching and intrusive style of government that Limbaugh deplores.
- Uses a draft. In a capitalist society, shouldn’t we all be free to choose where we work? The NFL makes rookies go to the team that happens to draft them.
I’m being somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but a strong case can be made that the NFL is so successful because it’s kinda sorta organized like a mini socialist country.
How would the league look without a salary cap? What would happen if rookies just went to the highest bidder? What if revenue sharing disappeared? Getting rid of all of these things would make the NFL fit better within conservative ideology, but it would probably damage the league.
How would Limbaugh respond if a reporter asked him the following question: “Are you in favor of eliminating revenue sharing, the salary cap, the draft, public financing for stadiums and the power of the commissioner in order to bring the NFL more in line with capitalist and conservative ideals?”
He would probably say that the NFL is its own private business and is free to make and enforce rules as it pleases. And he’s probably right, I don’t know. Besides, even a hardcore ideologue like Limbaugh would have little problem compromising his standards if there is money to be made.
Actually, it makes total sense for Limbaugh to buy the Vikings. Minnesota hasn’t voted for a republican in a presidential election since 1976 and has only voted Republican three times since 1932.
It’s fitting that Limbaugh would purchase the state’s football team…then move it to Los Angeles as punishment.——————
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .