“I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence… In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much.” [Associated Press]

YOU CAN never predict how unhinged Mr. Limbaugh will get over something President Obama will say, but now that he’s weighed in on the NFL all bets are off.

Today on his show Limbaugh opened by quoting Obama’s interview with The New Republic, which is getting a lot of attention in the sports world, as it should.

ESPN was just one of the outlets reporting on what Obama said.

President Barack Obama says he’s a football fan but that if he had a son, considering the impact the game has on its players, he would think long and hard before allowing his son to play.

Obama tells The New Republic that football fans are going to have to wrestle with the fact that the game will probably change over time to try to reduce the violence.

Rush went so far as to suggest if Obama has problems with the violence in football, taking issue with Obama’s use of the word violence, maybe he should think about the soldiers in Afghanistan. Not content, Limbaugh then asked if the President had problems with subjecting women in combat to violence as well.

I offer this post as someone who never missed a chance to watch the likes of Dan Dierdorf and Conrad Dobler play for the St. Louis Cardinals back in the ’70s, protecting Jim Hart. As an aside, I went to high school with Steve Pisarkiewicz, who replaced Hart. But these players and others of their day, while ruthlessly rough, didn’t come close to the specimens of today’s NFL, didn’t have the equipment, or play the same game we’re watching today.

If you aren’t convinced about the NFL’s concussion problem read this.

Bemoaning the end of football, because the violence is being finally called out, you have to wonder if Rush and others like him understand the difference between sportsmanship or athleticism and nothing less than paid thuggery.

This post has been updated.