Gearing up to stop Rush

RUSH LIMBAUGH isn't going to succeed in his quest to own the St. Louis Rams anytime soon - especially if the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have a say in the matter.

The two teamed up to attack the talk-radio host's lack of sensitivity regarding race relations as well as some of Limbaugh's past comments they perceive as "anti-NFL."


Sharpton sent a letter to NFL commish Roger Goodell, while Jackson said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press that Limbaugh has become famous and wealthy by "appealing to the fears of whites."

"The National Football League has set high standards for racial justice and inclusion," Jackson said. "[Limbaugh] should not have the privilege of owning an NFL franchise - and it is a privilege."

Many remember Limbaugh calling the Eagles' Donovan McNabb "overrated," a beneficiary of the media's desire to see a black quarterback succeed. A transcript available on Limbaugh's Web site refers to a January 2007 show in which he compared the NFL to a game "between the Bloods and the Crips [gangs], without any weapons."

"This saddens me as well as disappoints me," Limbaugh said in a response to Sharpton's comments. "I know Rev. Sharpton. Sharpton is better than this. He knows better than this."

More on the issue is in the NFL Report on Page 71.


BJ Penn back on the beatdown


"I can't wait to defend the title," said the Hawaii-based Penn. Said Sanchez: "I've always wanted to face the best. I'm training like I've never trained before . . . I expect an all-out war."

Which, in turn, will mean another monster payday for the UFC, whose pay-per-views pop up more often than Jack-in-the-boxes.

- Kerith Gabriel

UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn is back to the grind after his UFC 101 victory over Kenny Florian at the Wachovia Center in August. Penn (14-5-1, MMA record) will defend his title in what could be his toughest test since a loss to Georges St-Pierre (UFC 94) when he faces Diego Sanchez (23-2) at UFC 107 in Memphis on Dec. 12.