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Rush Limbaugh Comments on Failed Ram Ownership Bid; Sounds Like He Was Double-Crossed

fr4om On the day after Rush Limbaugh was dumped from an ownership group hoping to buy the St. Louis Rams, he explained on his radio show how he came to be a part of the group in the first place -– and how his involvement came to an end.

Limbaugh said that Dave Checketts, the former Madison Square Garden executive who is spearheading the bid, assured him that he had “cleared” Limbaugh’s involvement with people “at the highest levels of the N.F.L.” Limbaugh did not name the people Checketts said he had checked with.

Limbaugh said that Checketts first approached Limbaugh at a golf course in West Palm Beach, Fla., and told him that he wanted to talk to him about the Rams, after word had leaked early this year that the team would most likely be sold. Checketts went to Limbaugh’s home in late May or early June, Limbaugh said, and made his pitch. Limbaugh said that he was to be a minority partner, and that he would have had no role in running the team –- although last week he said that he and Checketts would run the team.

“I said to him at this meeting, ‘Are you aware of the firestorm?’ ” Limbaugh said on his show. “He said: ‘Believe me, I wouldn’t have approached you if I hadn’t taken care of that, if I had not cleared your involvement with people at the highest levels of the National Football League.’ He gave me a couple of names, pretty high up. Led me to believe it was all handled. And he was fully prepared for what was going to happen.”

When news of Limbaugh’s involvement leaked last week, Limbaugh said that he again had asked Checketts if he was prepared for the controversy, and that Checketts had assured him he was. Through a spokesman, Checketts had no comment on Limbaugh’s statements on Thursday.

But on Tuesday evening, hours after Commissioner Roger Goodell cast doubt on Limbaugh’s viability as a potential owner by saying he would not want divisive comments coming from someone in a responsible position in the N.F.L., Checketts called Limbaugh and asked him to withdraw.

“ ‘I feel terrible about this, but we can’t go forward with you in the group,’ ” Limbaugh said Checketts told him.

Then Limbaugh told Checketts he would not quit, so Checketts would have to fire him. Checketts dumped Limbaugh on Wednesday.

Limbaugh also said that the reason that the players union leader, DeMaurice Smith, publicly expressed his concern about Limbaugh’s involvement last weekend — and the reason that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson got involved — was to fire a warning shot to owners as they enter difficult negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

“The owners are not going to admit that that is one of the things that is going on behind the scenes,” Limbaugh said. “To make me poster boy, it’s designed to intimidate the owners, say, ‘We’re running the league, not you.’ ”


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