TV Article

Rush, Pass, and Punt

Rush Limbaugh joins ESPN's ''NFL Countdown.'' He'll interrupt the experienced correspondents to offer the ''voice of the fan''

Three years ago, Dennis Miller got the job that conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh wanted, as a commentator on ABC's ''Monday Night Football.'' These days, however, the two seem to have switched places; Miller has a gig as a political pundit on the Fox News Channel, while Limbaugh has just landed a job with ESPN's ''Sunday NFL Countdown.'' The network announced Monday that the talk-radio titan will join the show in September as the ''voice of the fan.''

Limbaugh will not sit at the same desk with the more experienced hosts -- Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Steve Young, Michael Irvin, and Chris Mortensen. Nor will he treat them with any more deference than callers on his radio show whose opinions he disagrees with. Rather, he'll interrupt the other panelists with a buzzer whenever he wants to interject a counter-argument. He'll also open each show with a commentary.

Though Limbaugh's football experience is pretty much limited to the time he spent as a tackle in high school, ESPN had been trying for a decade to get the popular talk host to moonlight on weekends, the New York Times reports. This year, with ''Countdown'''s Bill Parcells having left to coach the Dallas Cowboys, a spot opened up. ''We were impressed with his degree of football knowledge and his passion for the sport,'' Bob Rauscher, ''Countdown'''s senior coordinating producer, said of Limbaugh, ''and finally we put two and two together.''

Originally posted Jul 15, 2003
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