Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Limbaugh interested in Vikings?

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC Updated: May 24, 2011 - 12:43 PM

I received a few messages on Monday about an exchange between conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has announced his plans to run for President.

During the course of an interview, Limbaugh asked Pawlenty about the Vikings' stadium situation. Obviously, that isn't Pawlenty's problem any longer but he certainly is familiar with what has taken place. Here is the exchange as transcribed by the Limbaugh website.

Limbaugh: I know you're not in the statehouse any longer, but there's an issue roiling the state right now and that's the Vikings and their new stadium and how much of it should be publicly financed. The usual threats are being made: If the public doesn't chip in and build a new stadium the Vikings are gone. They'll move to L.A. or someplace.

Pawlenty: The rumor is you're gonna buy 'em and move 'em. Is that true?

Limbaugh: (laughing) Well, uh, this interview is about you. (laughing)

When Pawlenty then laughed, Limbaugh said, "I'll keep [the interview] focused on you."

So what gives?

There is no denying Limbaugh loves football. In 2003, he was added to ESPN's NFL pregame show but that didn't last because of racially-charged comments he made about then Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

But that did not end Limbaugh's attempts to get into the NFL.

In 2009, Limbaugh and St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts were among six potential ownership groups that discussed buying the Rams. However, there were immediate objections to Limbaugh's potential involvement.

Limbaugh, who was to be a limited partner, was eventually dropped from the group.

Asked if there was anything to a group involving Limbaugh having inquired about the Vikings' availability, Vikings vice president of public affairs Lester Bagley said in an e-mail: "We are 100 percent focused on getting this stadium issue resolved at the Arden Hills site."



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