CBS Ends The Fed On Washington's WNEW-AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Feinstein and the rest of the CBS Sports Radio lineup will be heard in Washington, D.C. via CBS Radio's WNEW-AM. But why wasn't it one of CBSSR's original 24/7 affiliates to begin with?

John Feinstein and the rest of the CBS Sports Radio lineup will be heard in Washington, D.C. via CBS Radio’s WNEW-AM. But why wasn’t it one of CBSSR’s original 24/7 affiliates to begin with?

Just one day after the reinauguration of President Barack Obama, CBS Sports Radio is impeaching the “Gov Biz” format on a Washington, D.C. radio station.

The CBS Radio-owned WNEW-AM had been “The Big Talker 1580” with hosts ranging from Glenn Beck to Dennis Miller to Lou Dobbs, up until last October, when it was transformed into something called “Gov.Biz Radio: Where government and business intersect.” The format was created in an attempt to counterbattle the rival federal news station in town, WFED, whose big brother, all-news WTOP, is usually the most-listened-to station in the District – and for the better part of the last year, CBS has been gunning for WTOP with their own all-news station, WNEW-FM.

The fact that WNEW-AM wasn’t one of the original AM stations announced by CBS Radio back in June that would be converted to CBS Sports Radio outlets on January 2 was a bit puzzling: at that time, WNEW-AM still had a general talk format, one that was also on AM stations in markets such as Houston and Charlotte, that would eventually become CBSSR outlets.

Now, as Obama starts his final term in office, “Biz.Gov Radio” starts its final week on the radio.

As of Monday, January 28, the national content-laden “CBS Sports Radio 1580″ will complement CBS Radio’s local sports talker, WJFK-FM/”106.7 The Fan.”

“CBS Sports is a clear leader when it comes to breaking down the day’s headlines, and stories breaking across the country,” CBS Radio/Washington market manager Steve Swenson said, appealing that with the combo of the all-national AM station and “The Fan,” which “knows D.C. sports like no one else,” CBS will own “the dominant sports voice in the city.” The market’s other all-sports station, WTEM/”ESPN 980,” is owned by Red Zebra Broadcasting, an arm of the media empire of Daniel Snyder, which includes the Washington Redskins – a station that recently made headlines after their afternoon hosts clowned a transgender athlete.

CBS Sports Radio’s arrival on AM 1580 means that CBSSR late night host Scott Ferrall will once again be heard on WNEW: he once hosted the morning show on 102.7 FM in New York back when that station had the WNEW callsign.

Recently, there was light talk of a possibility of CBSSR ending up in the D.C. area on 107.9 FM, which currently bears a Tropical music format that had moved to the frequency once “all news, all the time” began on WNEW-FM 99.1, which was, in fact, exactly one year ago today. Prior to that, CBS purchased 107.9 FM from Family Stations, which had been unloading several big-market properties in recent years, including Philadelphia (they’ve recently returned to the market via AM 950, which had previously been an ESPN Radio affiliate owned by Greater Media).

This would be an opportune time to issue somewhat of an apology for a bit of speculation that fell through. Yesterday, Family Radio’s former New York City station, 94.7 FM, began its new format under the control of Cumulus: country music. I had previously written, upon the report of Cumulus possibly purchasing an FM stick in Chicago, about a scenario in which CBS Sports Radio would be cleared on three FM stations in the top three markets – including Los Angeles, which, to this day, remains the only major market without a sports radio station, local or national, on the FM dial. But with CBS Radio recently going on record with a plan to slowly but surely turn 66 WFAN into the network’s flagship in the New York market, it would be moot to bring the format to the FM dial full-time.

Anyhow, with CBS Sports Radio on WNEW-AM being a foregone conclusion a few weeks into the New Year, CBS might need to issue an apology to fans of D.C.-based CBSSR personality John Feinstein for denying them a few weeks of his show on the radio.

In fact, the midday program could be the station’s highest-rated show. With the previous formats barely moving the ratings needle on WNEW-AM, the sky – or a 0.2 share – is the limit for Feinstein.

A Canonical List Of Everything ESPN Has Ever Apologized For

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready for some apologies from ESPN? Included in our list is Hank Williams Jr., best known for performing the theme song on “Monday Night Football,” singing a different tune on Fox News Channel hours before an “MNF” game.

The Alabama Crimson Tide won the 2013 BCS National Championship Game on Monday night.

But it was the beau of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron that stole the show – and with that, Brent Musburger’s heart.

And for this, ESPN saw fit to issue an apology for their lead college football announcer’s singing the praises not only of McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb, but his mother, Dee Dee Bonner.

Many are saying it’s uncalled for – the apology, that is.

Whether or not it’s warranted, it’s the latest in a very long string of “sorry’s” at the Worldwide Leader. So with that, I present a rolling list of apologies issued by either ESPN or ESPN employees, going back as far as the Internet can go. (I’m sure I missed a few, so if I omitted any, post a comment below and I’ll add it on.)

We’ll start off with an on-air comment that happened almost eight years ago – something that was the pure antithesis of Brent Musburger sweating Katherine Webb during the national championship game – involving Rick Majerus, who passed away just last month.

January 25, 2005: At one point during a college basketball broadcast, in which Kentucky routed Tennessee, color analyst Majerus said that he requested the presence of Kentucky alumnus (and possible Senator of Kentucky) Ashley Judd at the game. Why? “So I won’t have to watch adult videos back at the hotel.” The network apologized for the comment a few days later.

November 14, 2005: ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd is incensed at how much press the death of wrestler Eddie Guerrero got. “Who cares that he died? It’s not newsworthy.” (Guerrero was found dead in a hotel room prior to a match; he was 38 years old.)

April 13, 2007: Cowherd urging listeners to basically pull a denial of service attack on Jason McIntyre’s The Big Lead website.

December 11, 2007: Using what they called “very poor judgment” in constructing a poll asking website visitors which of three possibilities they would rather see in sports in the upcoming weekend – with one of the options being, “Kevin Garnett blow out his knee.”

January 11, 2008: Dana Jacobson’s drunken rant at a roast for Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic; she apologized on the air following her suspension.

March 9, 2008: Dan Shulman (pre-“Sunday Night Baseball”) issuing a mea culpa for cutting to “Speedo Guy” during a Duke/North Carolina game.

June 17, 2008: Jemele Hill penned a column in which she likened rooting for the Boston Celtics, who beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 that year in the NBA Finals, to “saying Hitler was a victim.”

September 15, 2008: In one of his three seasons in the booth for “Monday Night Football” – which moved to ESPN from ABC in 2006 – Tony Kornheiser’s recalling of high school Spanish was very fuzzy as, upon hearing Spanish-language audio of a Cowboys touchdown, he interpreted that as “either ‘nobody is going to touch him’, or ‘could you pick up my dry cleaning in the morning?’ (Is it a mere coincidence that this would be his final season in the “MNF” booth?) The next day, he apologized, admitting that while it was “not my first mistake,” it “undoubtedly won’t be my last.”

October 18, 2008: Apparently, Lou Holtz was a big fan of Jemele Hill’s works.

February 2, 2009: A promo featuring NBA play-by-player Mike Breen and Shaquille O’Neal (who joined TNT in 2011), in which Shaq disparaged “fist kissing” to the point that gay groups took offense to it; the promo was later dropped.

August 20, 2009: We say hello to Ms. Hill once again. This time, the offensive thing wasn’t written; it was said on “First Take”: she wanted Green Bay Packers fans to give Brett Favre, by this time donning the uniform of the division rival Minnesota Vikings, “the Duracell treatment when he comes to Lambeau Field.”

February 19, 2010: Kornheiser (way to keep a promise on screwing up again, Mr. Tony) had made up with Hannah Storm for choice words about her attire, comments for which he was suspended – comments he made on his radio show on the Washington, D.C. ESPN radio affiliate.

January 4, 2011: The aforementioned Storm and NFL insider Adam Schefter high-fiving and laughing while reporting on “Black Monday” that the Cleveland Browns have fired head coach Eric Mangini.

That same day, the network cut loose radio play-by-play announcer Ron Franklin, who had previously apologized to reporter Jeannine Edwards for referring to her as “sweet baby” during a staff meeting.

April 20, 2011: Former college basketball coach and current ESPN college basketball analyst Bob Knight singled out Kentucky’s program while making an argument that players that declare eligibility for the NBA draft after only a freshman season is “not healthy for college basketball.”

September 13, 2011: Ron Jaworski dropping an “S-bomb” while breaking down a play on “Monday Night Football.” (We don’t know if it’s a factor, but that was Jaws’ last season in the “MNF” booth.)

October 4, 2011: Hank Williams Jr. picking a Monday morning to compare President Obama to Adolf Hitler. After over twenty years of opening a reworked version of “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” for “Monday Night Football” on ESPN (and ABC before it), Hank Jr. would croon his tune no more.

November 19, 2011: On “College GameDay,” Lee Corso… ah, fuck it.

December 6, 2011: Trying to pull a fast one on Jaguars fans during a “Monday Night Football” broadcast, displaying outdated footage of the city of Jacksonville, and even Charlotte (note: the Panthers did not even play on “MNF” in 2011).

February 18, 2012: The inadvertent use of the idiom “Chink In The Armor” as a headline to a story about then-Knick Jeremy Lin, losing his first game as a starter for New York. (The person responsible for use of the term, Anthony Federico, was later fired.)

May 25, 2012: Ranking Philadelphia 76ers forward/center Lavoy Allen number 500 in a list of the best players in the NBA – no, it’s true. (And is it really something to apologize for if Allen is taking the ball and running with it? Check out his Twitter handle.)

May 30, 2012: Perhaps one that ranks right up there with the Musburger/Webb kerfuffel (or the Lavoy Allen thing above): “During its SportsCenter broadcast… Stan Verrett, apologized on behalf of his peers in the national media for failing to recognize until recently just how good the Spurs are and how special their 20-game winning streak is.”

July 25, 2012: Reporting a story involving then-Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard on “SportsCenter” – one that was lifted from another website and read virtually verbatim.

November 12, 2012: A chyron on the rundown bar of “Monday Night Countdown” teasing a segment revolving around Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, “Dink And Dunk,” had actually read “Drink And Drunk.” (Big Ben has been known for exploits at bars; he had also flirted with legal trouble, but has never been arrested.)

November 24, 2012: Perhaps just as trivial as the Musburger/Webb thing, depending on what part of the country you’re from or in: Canadian-born Jesse Palmer making the “hook ’em horns” hand signal – with the horns pointed downward.

December 19, 2012: Nearly a week after he wondered on “First Take” if Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was “a cornball brother,” Rob Parker issued an apology. (In case you missed it, the network is not renewing his contract.)

Just this Monday, hours before Musburger’s Webb gem: A soccer analyst depicting a player who worked his hand into a scoring drive as “a cheat.”

Honorable mention: We go all the way back to April 8, 1994, when the network apologized for then-ESPN2 host Jim Rome taunting then-New Orleans Saints quarterback Jim Everett to the point that Everett knocked Rome to the floor.

As for Everett? “I don’t regret what I did.”

And for all those who wish to relive that magic moment, here’s what Chris, er, Jim Everett did to Jim Rome, again.

(Even the people in the control room were taunting Everett through chyrons!)

Over 1 Million Viewers Watched "Sunday Night Football" On NBCSN During Obama Newtown Address

 

NBC Sports Network viewership reached seven digits during the period NBC shifted “Sunday Night Football” to the channel as President Obama spoke in Newtown, CT on December 16.

Let me preface this post by saying this: There is absolutely nothing good that could ever come out of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. There can be no benefit at all after somebody takes over two dozen innocent lives, including twenty children.

Anyway, on Sunday night, just as the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots were about to kick off on “Sunday Night Football” in Foxboro, Massachusetts, some 150 miles away, President Obama was set to give a speech at a prayer vigil in Newtown for the shooting victims.

At that point, NBC directed viewers to watch the beginning of the 49ers/Patriots game on either CNBC or NBC Sports Network, while NBC carried Obama’s speech.

The fact that live sports programming aired on CNBC is nothing new – they carried Stanley Cup Playoff games earlier this year. And of course, both CNBC and NBCSN were widely-viewed outlets during this year’s London Olympics, where the channel formerly known as Versus saw some of its highest audience shares in network history.

And perhaps it was their Olympic coverage that helped engrain NBCSN – and more importantly, its channel position – into viewers’ minds, so that they would know where to go to punch up the network, especially in a locked-out season of the NHL, a league whose rights NBCSN has heavily invested in.

Numbers don’t lie: According to figures from Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, over 2.6 million viewers were tuned into either CNBC or NBCSN for the twenty-five minute period from the beginning of the game, to about 8:55 PM ET, when President Obama punctuated his speech by reading the names of the twenty innocent boys and girls that were senselessly killed on December 14.

And while CNBC had more viewers during this period, there was only a difference of 156,000 viewers betweem the two networks: CNBC, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, had 1,397,000 viewers, while NBC Sports Network, currently available in around 75 million households, had 1,241,000 viewers.

That has to be a promising sign for a network that is vying to become a worthy alternative to ESPN. They overcame a slow start in the first quarter, bouncing back in the summer with the aforementioned Olympics and NHL playoff games.

And don’t forget, they also reeled in Dan Patrick’s television feed of his radio show – so with the Olympics long over, I’m willing to bet that a large portion of those 1.2 million viewers that found NBCSN were likely “Dan Patrick Show” viewers. After all, it’s the only visible daily programming that’s on the network – well, at least until Michelle Beadle begins her new show on the channel next year.

Overall, the 49ers/Patriots matchup was the second most-watched edition of “SNF” this year, trailing the season opener with the Denver Broncos and their new (old) quarterback, Peyton Manning, battling the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While the NBC broadcast network is tied up with an NFL broadcast package, I wouldn’t say that this will be the last time a live NFL game was shown on NBCSN. The league-owned NFL Network may be contemplating giving the rights to its recently expanded Thursday night football package to another network – maybe TNT, perhaps that new sports network Fox is constructing, or it might be NBC’s new sports network, which is a work in progress.

But the number of people that tuned into the network on Sunday night, who more than likely had no advanced notice of such a programming shuffle beforehand, has to be good news for NBC Sports Group.

Of course, I’m sure NBC and everyone else would have preferred that the bad news that prompted the temporary “SNF” move to NBCSN, as well as CNBC, never happened in the first place.

Rams, Redskins, RG3 and… Rush?

The Washington Redskins traded four draft picks to the St. Louis Rams, in the hopes of drafting Robert Griffin III. But what if talk show host and former ESPN commentator Rush Limbaugh had been a part-owner of the Rams, as he had aspired to be back in 2009? With the recent Sandra Fluke controversy, would any teams have even fathomed a deal with the Rams?

Over the weekend, the Washington Redskins have agreed to a trade with the St. Louis Rams, giving them this year’s second overall pick in the NFL Draft, in exchange for their sixth and 39th overall picks in this year’s draft, plus their first-round draft picks in the next two years. With the deal, the Redskins effectively opt-out of the “Peyton Manning sweepstakes”, as the franchise has their sights set on Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III – provided the Indianapolis Colts don’t call an audible and grab Griffin themselves with the first overall draft pick, which the team is likely using for Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who would effectively replace Manning after fourteen seasons with the Colts.

The Redskins’ trade with the Rams, on paper, appears to be a coup for both teams: St. Louis, who had already drafted a quarterback two years ago in Sam Bradford, sensed that with two quarterbacks – Luck and Griffin, possibly in that order – projected to be drafted with the first two picks, they felt it was best to trade their pick away to a team that would best benefit from the services of “RG3”, while the Rams used the draft picks they would receive from said team to continue the rebuilding process.

And in “RG3,” the Redskins seem to have found the franchise quarterback they have needed since Joe Theismann took over under center in 1978, just as the league’s regular season tally expanded from 14 games to 16.

But imagine for a moment that this blockbuster trade may have never come into fruition. That’s right: there might have been a possibility that the Redskins, or any of the other NFL teams, for that matter, may have wished not to do business with the Rams for their second-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. All because of one man who had expressed interest in part-ownership of the franchise some two-and-a-half years ago: conservative talk radio titan Rush Limbaugh.

Georgia Frontiere, previous owner of the Rams, died in early 2008 due to complications from breast cancer. It was under her watch that the franchise moved from Los Angeles to her hometown of St. Louis in 1995. Prior to the 2008 season, Limbaugh, a native of Cape Girardeau, MO, which is just over 100 miles from St. Louis, expressed his interest in owning the Rams. “My desire to get involved [with NFL ownership] has not been a secret,” Limbaugh said at the time, adding that he knows “a lot of friends” in that capacity. And despite the Rams being located not too far from where he was born and raised, Limbaugh pleaded that such a move would be strictly “a business decision.”

Limbaugh’s desire to join the ranks of NFL ownership intensified in October 2009, when he announced that he would be joining a group led by St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts, who previously had been the president and CEO of Madison Square Garden through most of the 1990’s, in a bid for ownership of the Rams. This was met with much criticism, as several negative comments about the NFL from Limbaugh were resurfaced and rehashed ad nauseum, most notably his comparison of the league to “a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons” in 2007.

Also revisited was his ill-fated stint as commentator of “Sunday NFL Countdown” on ESPN in 2003. On the September 28, 2003 edition, the “Countdown” crew had been discussing the Philadelphia Eagles, who at the time were 0-2 – outscored 48-10 in the first two games at their then-new stadium, Lincoln Financial Field – and just coming off of a bye week. In those previous two games, quarterback Donovan McNabb had thrown for zero touchdowns and three interceptions, and was sacked a whopping ten times for a combined loss of 66 yards. This led Limbaugh to say about McNabb: “I’m sorry to say this, I don’t think he’s been that good from the get-go… I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well… he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t really deserve. The defense carried the team.”

Co-commentator Tom Jackson was quick to point out that McNabb had led the Eagles to “those championship games” in the previous two seasons – they had been eliminated by the Buccaneers in 2003, and the previous year, incidentally, by the Rams, both of which had advanced to and won Super Bowls in those years. “He has been a very effective quarterback for this football team over the last two or three years,” Jackson said of McNabb, “and they didn’t have any more talent then than they do now.” Limbaugh replied: “Oh, yes, they did: on defense… I think he got a lot of credit for the defensive side of the ball winning games for this team.”

Limbaugh also assured Jackson that McNabb was “a good investment” by the Eagles, but “I just don’t think he’s as good as everybody says he has been.” Fellow commentators Steve Young and Michael Irvin were not as dismissive on Limbaugh’s view as Jackson had been. “Don’t misunderstand,” said Limbaugh.

Whether or not the quarterback had “misunderstood” Limbaugh’s comments, McNabb spoke out about them in a newspaper interview: “It’s sad that you’ve got to go to skin color. I thought we were through with that whole deal.” This led to several athletes and noted Democratic figures, including civil rights activist Al Sharpton, dismissing Limbaugh’s comments about McNabb on ESPN, and an outfit known as the National Association of Black Journalists questioning “ESPN’s credibility as a journalism entity.” This led to ESPN issuing a statement on the night of Wednesday, October 1, 2003, announcing that they had informed Limbaugh that his comments about McNabb “were insensitive and inappropriate.”

Shortly after, Limbaugh would part ways with the Worldwide Leader, resigning his post on “Sunday NFL Countdown.”

Keep in mind that the next day, October 2, 2003, he would deliver the keynote speech at the annual National Assocation of Broadcasters convention – which just happened to be based in Philadelphia that year.

Fast forward six years, and ten days, later. In the wake of Limbaugh’s inclination to be part of a group making a bid for ownership of the St. Louis Rams, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith, who is African-American, voiced his opposition of Limbaugh’s involvement with NFL ownership, saying his history of controversial comments that have been made, not only about McNabb on ESPN, but on his nationally syndicated radio show with roughly 600 affiliates – Rush has made no secret that he is not a fan of current U.S. President, Barack Obama – would mar the spirit of the NFL, which “overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred.”

Much like in 2003 after Limbaugh’s viewpoint on Donovan McNabb, several athletes did not take kindly to Limbaugh’s potential part-ownership of an NFL franchise. “Our players… know that there is an ugly part of history and we will not risk going backwards, giving up, giving in or lying down to it,” said Smith in 2009. “I am proud when they stand up, understand that this is their profession, and speak with candor and blunt honesty about how they feel.” The next day, the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, went on the record as saying Limbaugh’s comments, particularly about McNabb in 2003, were “divisive” and “polarizing,” and “would not want to see those comments coming from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL… Absolutely not.”

Make no mistake, Rush Limbaugh is a polarizing figure in the African-American community. It would be hard to fathom his involvement in the ownership of a team located in a city which, in 2010, roughly half of its population (49.2%) was African-American.

Shortly after Goodell voiced his displeasure in Limbaugh’s potential link to Rams ownership, Checketts had no choice but to shed Limbaugh from his ownership group. “It has become clear that his involvement in our group has become a complication and a distraction to our intentions,” Checketts said in a statement, adding that Limbaugh would have only been “a limited partner” who “would have had no say in the direction of the club or in any decisions regarding personnel or operations.” Checketts was optimistic that his group’s disassociation from Limbaugh would “eventually lead… to a successful conclusion” – that being, claiming ownership of the Rams franchise.

What appeared to be a strong desire by Checketts & Co. in the beginning of 2010 had fell by the wayside as the winter went on, and ownership of the team ultimately went to billionaire Stan Kroenke just prior to the start of the 2010-11 NFL season.

It’s clear that without Rush Limbaugh, the NFL is all the better for it.

But given the events of the last few weeks, I can’t help but wonder if: What if Rush Limbaugh was currently a part-owner of the St. Louis Rams? What if Rush Limbaugh had never been an employee of ESPN? What if Rush Limbaugh – as impossible as it may be to imagine – had never uttered a “divisive” thing about anyone or anything over the last 25 years?

It was on New Year’s Day 2012 that it was first reported on, ironically enough, ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” program, that junior quarterback Robert Griffin III of Baylor, just three weeks after winning the Heisman Trophy, was going to declare eligibility for the NFL Draft.

On February 24th, the Rams let it be known that they are willing to part with the second overall draft pick – for the right price. St. Louis, of course, is set at quarterback with Sam Bradford, so it’s not much of a necessity for them to draft Griffin.

The day before, on February 23rd, Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke had given testimony at a panel on Capitol Hill titled, “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” Fluke had spoken in favor of contraception being covered by health insurance plans offered by employers, including regilious institutions.

On February 29th, on his radio show, Limbaugh spoke out against Fluke’s support for a federal contraception mandate. “What does it say about the college coed… who goes before a Congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex?,” he asked his listeners. “What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.” Limbaugh further continued skewering Fluke for the remainder of the week, culminating with his March 1 show, in which he voiced a request for Fluke, in exchange for her plea for taxpayers footing the bill for contraceptives, “to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

The verbal attacks on Fluke were so brutal that she received a call from President Obama on Friday, March 2. Amid mounting criticism, Limbaugh posted an apology on his website the next day – but by then, the damage would just start to be done, as seven sponsors announced that they would pull their advertising from Limbaugh’s radio show over the weekend. Since then, the list continues to grow. Two radio stations in the “blue state” of Massachusetts and the island of Hawaii even canceled Limbaugh’s show. And just recently, a trio of women’s rights activists led by Gloria Steinem urged people to file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission so that they may revoke the licenses of hundreds of radio stations that air Limbaugh’s “toxic hate speech.”

In the span of ten days, Rush Limbaugh had been under much scrutiny for his comments about Sandra Fluke, and rightly so.

Now, take that all in, and imagine if, amidst all of this controversy, he was a part-owner of the St. Louis Rams.

A St. Louis Rams team that would be openly willing to wheel and deal the second overall draft pick to other NFL teams.

There’s a good chance that the Rams would have been left at the altar.

Regardless of how talented and highly touted Robert Griffin III may be, Rush Limbaugh’s mere existence on the Rams ownership board would have been front office kryptonite, with Limbaugh’s comments about Fluke tainting such a deal before it would even be proposed.

“Well, I’m terribly sorry about Mr. Limbaugh’s comments regarding Ms. Fluke, but… RG3! Come on!”

There would have been no takers. Not even the NFL team representing Washington – where Georgetown University is located – and President Barack Obama currently resides.

It could have been the second case of Rush Limbaugh being in the wrong place at the wrong time since 2003, after he quit his gig at ESPN over controversial comments about the quarterback of Philadelphia’s NFL team – right before he was to give a speech at a broadcasting convention in Philadelphia.

Things could have been far worse: Could you picture a part-Limbaugh-owned Rams team making the draft pick megadeal with the Redskins, and then going on the radio to defame Sandra Fluke as a “prostitute” and a “slut”? The Rams, the Redskins, the entire NFL starting with Roger Goodell – they would have to spend the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft trying to remove all of the egg from their faces. Those comments clearly would have been a distraction as all 32 teams prepare for the draft, with the conversation of “Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin?” being relegated to a sideshow.

A distraction similar to the one that sprung up when Limbaugh first expressed interest in ownership of the francise.

There’s no way that anybody with a pulse can condone Rush Limbaugh’s many “divisive comments” over the years.

In the case of Rush Limbaugh, the aspiring part-owner of an NFL team, however, it’s somewhat bittersweet that he has made such comments, only in that the NFL has swiftly denied access to him joining the league’s franchise owners, because of those comments.

Such unnecessary roughness on Sandra Fluke may have resulted from him being banned from the league.

One more serving of food for thought: Would Rush Limbaugh have made those comments about Sandra Fluke, comments that the average woman took offense to, if he had been part-owner of the St. Louis Rams, continuing a legacy of franchise ownership previously upheld by… a woman?

If Georgia Frontiere heard some of the things Rush Limbaugh has said, whether he owned the Rams or not, she might roll over in her grave.

Hump Start: NFL Moves 2012-13 Season Kickoff Game To Wednesday Night

Once again, the New York Giants find themselves in an interesting position: beginning their defense of their NFL championship a little earlier due to a conflict with an election convention. This year, the Giants will kick off the season on a Wednesday night, playing the first Wednesday NFL game since 1948.

Are you ready for some football? On a Wednesday?

As President Obama would say, yes, we can.

For the first time in 64 years, a regular season NFL game will be played on a Wednesday night – and it’ll be the very next NFL game, which opens the 2012-13 season.

And for the second time in five years, it’ll be at the expense of the World Champion New York Giants.

Here’s the deal: The game, which will be played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home of the Giants, was originally scheduled, as has been the case for the past dozen years, on the first Thursday of September following Labor Day.

This year, that would be September 6. Incidentally, 2012 is an election year, and each election year, the Republican and Democratic National Committees have been hosting four-day conventions during the final week of August and first week of September, alternating each year. The final day of the convention – Thursday – is the crescendo which closes with a speech from the main candidate (or sitting President).

There was no conflict in 2004 because the Democratic convention was held in July of that year. However, in 2008, so as not to step on Republican nominee John McCain’s address, the NFL moved up the time of the season opener – also involving the Giants, who had won Super Bowl XLII – from an 8:30 PM (ET) start time to about a 7 PM kickoff. The ratings were decent, but apparently not decent enough to the point that the Giants will be playing another early Thursday night season opener.

So on Tuesday, the NFL decided to simply move the game to the previous night, Wednesday, September 5. It will be the first time since the fall of 1948 that a regular season NFL game would be played on a Wednesday. On that day, September 22, 1948, to be precise, the Detroit Lions lost to the Los Angeles Rams, en route to a 2-10 season; the Rams finished 6-5-1. (In case you’re wondering, the Philadelphia Eagles won the championship that year.)

This will be the second time in three years that a regular season NFL game will be played on an unorthodox day of the week. In late December 2010, a Sunday afternoon game involving the aforementioned Eagles was moved to Tuesday night due to extreme blizzard conditions in Philadelphia. The visiting Vikings – playing out the string a la the Asheville Tourists after a blizzard back home impounded the Metrodome – won the game behind the unlikely arm of Joe Webb.

The Giants’ first opponents of the 2012-13 season is still to be determined. In 2008, the Giants beat the Washington Redskins in the season opener. With politics once again coming into play in the Giants’ defense of their Lombardi trophy, don’t be surprised if the Giants once again square off against Washington on September 5; the start time will remain 8:30 PM ET. (The two teams have actually faced each other on the season opener for the last two years.)

And in case you’re wondering: no, the Giants don’t play the Chicago Bears this season, so that was not a factor in moving up the season opener to Wednesday to accommodate big-time Bears fan President Obama the following night.