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WWWF Logo by Dan Willis

The Setting

The Scene: A brisk but sunny morning at Lakehurst, NJ, just south of New York City. A small crowd and several TV cameras have gathered around our two competitors, who are already at work preparing for their long flights.

The Competition: Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern are busy inflating their hot-air balloons, while their crews load provisions into the baskets. However, no propane tanks are present. These balloons are powered by their occupant's self-generated hot air. Each must propel his balloon only by this method in an endurance race of epic proportions.

The Course: As there is such a surplus of hot air present in this competition, the race will be around the world. Checkpoints will be set up in Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, Honolulu, San Francisco, and Chicago. The Finish line is back at Lakehurst. The contestants may stop as needed for food and water (Rush insisted on this). First one across the finish line (with balloon) wins. The referee of this match is Morton Downey, Jr., who was ineligible due to his show sucking so bad. His decisions are final.

Howard Stern Rush Limbaugh

Howard Stern


Rush Limbaugh

The Commentary

BRIAN: I see this race very close at San Francisco, with Limbaugh having a slight edge as they sail over the Golden Gate Bridge. Limbaugh definitely has more hot air, hence his lead. But the same thing that gives him all that air, his tremendous girth, will also be his downfall. It all boils down to two simple letters: mv (that's momentum for those of you in Rio Linda). On each leg of the race, Rush gets a slow start due to that whole "a body at rest" thing. But once he reaches top speed, he blows past Stern, laughing all the way with his cigar firmly clutched in his formerly nicotine stained fingers. But upon approaching each check point, Limbaugh must slow down over 500 miles beforehand so he does not overshoot it.

And there's the catch! San Francisco and Chicago are too close! If Limbaugh stays at top speed for more than 5 seconds he'll zip right over Chicago and splash down in Lake Ontario. This is where Stern gets his lead, just chug-chug-chugging along. Of course, Stern gets a bit cocky after Chicago; laughs and pokes fun at Limbaugh behind him; insults some minorities over Cleveland; apologizes to their relatives as he passes over New Jersey; and lets Limbaugh get close. It's not enough, though, as he wins by 10.4 seconds. Limbaugh hits NYC at full speed in a last ditch attempt, slams on the brakes immediately, and lands safely in the Azores.

STEVE: Oh, poor, naive Brian. Sometimes I feel sorry for you and your innocent ways. You're forgetting about several factors here. First, there's air resistance. Rush's spherically shaped body and slick hair will give him almost no drag. However, Howard has that huge head of hair and sunglasses, which will slow his progress drastically. Second, as you mentioned, there are the cigars. A few more drops in the bucket of heat generation. Third, there is ego. Rush could probably get away without using a balloon at all---his ego will lift him up high. Fourth, there is Snapple. All that caffeine will cause Rush to talk even more, propelling him into a vast lead. And finally, Rush has that "Up, Up and Away in My Beautiful Balloon" song ready. Now that's awesome power.

As you can see, really this is no contest at all. Howard will make a valiant attempt, but will start to lose ground over the Atlantic. Also, as he travels over Europe and Asia, no one will understand English, and with no one appreciating him, Howard will become disenheartened and lose major ground. By the time he gets to Hawaii, and his listenership is back, it is too late. Rush is already crossing the Delaware and is descending over Jersey.

Oh no! Rush is so confident of his win, that he starts telling the world how great he his. Excess hot air is being produced! The pressure in his balloon is critically high! BOOM! Rush plummets to the ground, but luckily his fall is broken by Morton Downey. Rush is across the finish line, and the remnant of his balloon drifts across the finish line as well. The checkered flag for Rush!

BRIAN: You've got a lot of nerve, Steve, calling me naive and then coming back with a response like that! Rush is huge!!!! He's got as much drag as a Sherman tank through vegetable oil! Stern's as thin as a rail and will slice through the wind (to combat the hair problem, he'll just put his quaff up in a bun and buy one of those cone-shaped-bike-breaking-away-quicksilver helmet things). Second, Stern's got PLENTY of ego! He hits on Baywatch models and thinks he's getting somewhere!! Third, if Limbaugh plays more than 4 notes of that 'Up, Up and Away' crap, he'll get dive-bombed by hoards of seagulls that are even more disgusted at this 70's revival thing than the rest of the world. Fourth, being over countries where they don't speak English will only boost Stern's spirits as he will be able to insult millions of people that don't look like him and he won't have to apologize since no one understands what he's saying! He'll be flying high! (pun intended)

But with all these things, it's basically a wash. Like I said, it all comes down to mv, and that's where Limbaugh loses it. (By the way, Morton Downey, Jr. is unable to make the call as he puts his foot in his mouth, as always, but this time he swallows it. He's rushed to the hospital to get it surgically removed, so his close friend, Richard Bey, comes in to declare the winner.)

The Results

Howard Stern (375)


Rush Limbaugh (343)

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Voter Comments

Rush Limbaugh will throw his emmense weight at Howard Stern, in an attempt to crush him. Howard Stern, however, opens his mouth in an attempt to bite him. But alas, Stern's mouth is so big that he inadvertantly swallows someone even as big as Rush! He dies from clogged artieries due to all the fat.

- Mike Stand

In the end, I judged strictly by loathsomeness. And---it's a gut feeling---Rush is more innately loathsome than Howard. Sure, Howard's fairly horrible, but he's more my kind of horrible than Rush. Rush claims to be cyberaware and all that, but c'mon---Compu$erve. Howard is just a dork, and proud of it.

- akturner

Why Howard? Because Rush's unbelievable girth would be more than a match for the rhetoric he spews. Rush makes it to Cali on an initial burst of hot air prompted by President Clinton breathing, but crashes into the Pacific Ocean and drowns. He is not, however, eaten by sharks, who have SOME taste.

- Bill Williams, University of Michigan

As much as I hate to predict it, Fuhrer Limbaugh will be the victor. As the two windbags cross over Chicago, Howard Stern suddenly crashes & burns as he did during his 6 month stint on our airwaves [WLUP]. He is run out of town & forced to take a greyhound bus to NYC. Unable to control himself & in a particularily nasty mood, he insults every passenger on the bus. He is kicked out of the bus in the middle of Amish country and never heard from again.

- Steve Johansson

They both start off equal through most of the race. When Rush hits the west coast with the liberals abound in San Francisco, starts to really move. As they approach NJ, Howard realizing that he could lose, remembers the flatulence factor and immediately begins to pass gas to catch up. Rush sees the finish line and believes to have it locked up, so he pulls out on of his cigars and starts to light up. At the strike of the match a HUGE explosion engulfs both competitors. A giant fireball plunges to earth right on Morton Downey Jr. All three persons are alive with all facial features burned beyond all recognition. During surgery to save the three all mouth openings are closed to help with the skin grafts. The whole world starts to get cold from the lack of hot air and the next ice age begins.

- Chip Kramlich

I chose Rush only because he isn't nearly as disgusting as Stern. I'm only sorry there wasn't a third choice, as in the Wesley vs. Barney matchup. What could this third choice possibly be you might ask?

It all comes down to physics. This is a fantasy senario, so we will use fantasy physics. Both Limbaugh and Stern have egos so large that they have their own gravitational pull. Weak minded, tasteless people (this is especially true in the case of Stern's fans) orbit them like moons. Small children and animals are pulled into their vortex and cruelly crushed by the intense physical forces to which they are exposed. There is no hot air, as it is all sucked back around them, creating a personal atmosphere unlike that of any reasonable being in the known universe.

The conclusion, once Stern and Limbaugh get within a mile of each other their egos will react catastrophically, creating a black hole into which all of creation will be sucked. The world will not end in fire or ice, it will end in another big bang caused by egos of a density usually seen only in stars and large planets.

- Donald Milliken

The race commences with Rush taking the early lead, commenting about the recent Bosnian crisis, and how he would have handled the foreign military operation better than Clinton has.

Howard, in the meantime, is yelling at Baba Booey to release the sandbags so that his balloon (shaped like a giant butt, so when flames are shot into it, kind of looks like Fartman) can get airborne.

After a rocky start, Robin Quivers starts plugging her new book and the Stern balloon easily catches up.

The first stop in Paris allows Rush to gain an advantage after Howard stops to check out a few of the local burlesque shows. However, Rush's lead is lost yet again, after Limbaugh takes a detour to Italy, to find "a huge tower of pizza".

In Moscow, Rush uses all his anti-communist propaganda to release more hot air, and pulls way ahead of the King of All Media, who, in order to speed up the balloon, throws Stuttering John out of the basket.

The race picks up to incredible speeds in Tokyo, as both participants are more than anxious to spew forth their opinions. Rush, on the economic policy, and the competitiveness of US automakers, and Howard insults the subway system, claiming that the poison gas used in Japanese subways should be used in the studios of Don Imus.

Big delays in Honolulu, though, as Rush is mistaken for a giant pig, and is served with an apple in his mouth to the king of some island. Howard, meanwhile, takes the time to enjoy the sights: grass skirts, nude beaches, and the like.

After both men insult the homosexual population in San Fransisco, it's a close race to Chicago. Disaster for the Rush balloon, as Mr. Limbaugh notices a Deep Dish Pizza Place and decides to stay there for a few hours. The Stern balloon then cruises onto victory.

Dittoheads everywhere demand a re-match, prompting referee Morton Downey Jr. to tell them to "ZIP IT!"

- akkapur

You are both forgetting the most important factor that guarantees Stern a win: Limbaugh's staff, mistaking Rush for his balloon, will attach the basket to fat boy himself, and will search madly for their glorious leader as the start time comes and goes, and Stern is already floating over the American Midwest. (damn that's a long sentence!).

So, as Stern (and Robin Quivers, of course) rockets his way to victory, Rush will be sitting there, tied up to a basket full of food that he cannot reach, and will simply be ignored.

Really guys, this one was a no-brainer.

- Bryon Thur

i think that the point is not so much who has more hot air (i see this as pretty even), but what happens at the checkpoints along the way. even so it is a pretty tough call.

LAKEHURST (NEW YORK CITY): before liftoff sterns will make an apointment at one of the finest hair salons in manhatten. as he reaches the altitude of the jet stream (west to east flow), he will will open his hair like a japanese fan and sail across the atlantic with amazing speed.

PARIS: unfortunately, although warned to be on his best behavior, sterns will let slip that france is a third world country. while true, this will infuriate the french, who will down sterns' balloon with a couple of heavily armed mirage fighters. fortunately, sterns will survive, as he is too thin to of a target to show up on radar. rush will catch up and use his conservative rhetoric to pose as charles de gaulle's nephew. the french, overcome by their love of the man who masterminded the maginot line and was overrun by the nazis, will send him on ahead.

MOSCOW: rush will stop for food at the moscow mcdonalds. this will give sterns the weeks he needs to apologise profusely and repair his balloon (with the help of the highly technically minded french). while i don't want to minimize rush's ability to gorge himself, there just isn't that much food in russia. therefore, rush will still have a moderate lead when he leaves for tokyo.

TOKYO: sterns has closed the gap, using his hair-sail advantage over the siberian wasteland. unfortunately, his rodan-like hairstyle alerts the japanese military as he approaches tokyo. hypersensitive to monster attacks, the japanese down him with surface-to-air missiles. he will survive (see PARIS), but will again need to repair his balloon. rush will have long left the country, being infuriated with the small food portions, high prices, and public transportation.

HONOLULU: rush will make a brief stop for food. oahu is a small island and the food reserves will be depleted quickly. i have to give the u.s. military enough credit to identify that sterns is a baloonist and not a russian backfire bomber. rush will lead, but sterns will close the gap.

SAN FRANCISCO: after the gruelling pacific legs, i see rush with a slight lead. assuming that the bay area liberals do not kill rush and use him as a float for a parade of some sort, rush will make a quick exit, sensing his life is in danger. sterns will invariably stop to be the grand marshal of a gay rights parade of some sorts.

CHICAGO: as the rail link to the bread basket of america, chicago offers rush a chance to truly fill up. he will have acess to more rice, wheat, corn, and other complex carbohydrates than anywhere else in the world. This is the first chance rush has had to get a decent meal over the entire trip, and he will make use of it.

FINISH: its tough to call, but i have to give the edge to rush. i think that rush will overtax even the food transportation network of the chicago area and have to leave for new york to avoid starvation.

i have got to get a life.

- jeff

Momentum and air resistance are valid issues, but what about endurance and stamina? After all, we are talking about a round-the-world trip, a substantial distance by any measure.

Howard Stern has hardly been a model of consistency in his career; witness his run at the New York governorship. Rush, however (as he and his followers are so fond of reminding us), is right. Always has been, always will.

The result, then, is clear: Stern won't even make it to Moscow before he gets distracted. He'll head off north or south; feel a need to broadcast an accurate, feeling account of the turmoil in Bosnia; turn back west to find some Baywatch chicks, etc. Rush, meanwhile, will steadly plug to the east (right on a map!), finishing well after Stern has forgotten the race altogether.

- Robert Travis Dunbar

I couldn't vote on this because I think that the volume of hot air created by each competetor would cause the respective baloon to rupture.

- Tim Motoh

The name of this game is HOT AIR. Rush could inflate a battalion of balloons in very little time, which he will probably have to do to support his anti-slim fast waistline. Also, the worldwide trip would kill Stern who only talks if he believes it will get some bombshell to rip her top off. That said, I see Rush lapping Stern several times before Howard plummets to his death in the Atlantic. - R. Lee

- Ron Hetrick

Stern charges ahead all the way to Honolulu, where, celibate for three weeks and desperate, he lunges after 20 girls at the beach, keeping himself occupied for five days. Limbaugh wins, but is sued for 30 billion dollars in damages caused by his shadow blocking the sun over much of the midwest and destroying the year's harvest.

- King

My vote has got to be for Rush... I too was almost lulled into voting for Howard because of the mv factor; Rush will win because:

-- The man loves to talk.  He never has guests which might infringe on his
   own wisdom - Howard Stern uses anybody (or any body) including groups of 
-- To overcome the mv factor for stopping on target, all Rush needs to do 
   is to pause while he rattles his papers.

All in all, the biggest reason Rush will win is that he will make it into the Jet Stream, and stay there until his "phone-guy" (I can't believe I forgot his name) tells him to rattle his paper or play the condom song - ensuring he lands on target at each check point.

[I won't be able to go to sleep tonight until I remember that name... Rusty? Buddy? No, that's not it...]

- Andy

Bo! That's the name! Now I can rest easy!

- Andy

Rush will win. He stopped over in chicago to buy some baked beans and spam. Everyone knows that Rush + spam + beans = lots of farts. Rush will be able to provide his own propulsion and by lighting his farts (Those matches aren't just for cigars) he will have a supply of hot air that can't be matched ! When he has to stop momentum wont be a problem. Rush will just turn around and let fly with a giant blue flame in the opposite direction, thus slowing him down. Howard wouldn't even dare come close ! All the flames coming out of Rush"the flaming fatty"limbaugh's backside will scorch if he comes within farting range , and since it's Rush farting fart range is at least 20 miles. Rush will come into New York and win by at least 20 miles.

However , there will be mass destruction as a result of Rush's efforts. Firstly New York will be consumed in a giant fireball, when Donahue asks Rush "How did you beat Howard." Rush borrows Donahues lighter and demonstrates *vooooshh* *kaboom* , no more new york.

The gas remaining in the atmosphere after rush's round the world farting spree, will accellerate the greenhouse effect and after three weeks , everything on the surface of the earth is burnt to a crisp.

The moral of the story is , dont play with matches. Especially if you fart a lot.

- 'ME'

This is a most interesting race since the combined quantity of hot air would be enough to feul a race around the universe... This is how the events will be reported on the CBS Evening News with Connie Chung -- after she gags Dan Rather and holds him hostage until she gets her job back:

The race started with much promise for supporters of both racers. Limbaugh was seen writing crib notes on a variety of controversial subjects in case the air got too thin and affected his remaining 11 brain cells to the point that he was unsure of his opinion. Stern was busy entertaining a collection of bimbi in his wicker basket in honor of his eventual triumph over that "fat doodyhead".

The race started with both subjects expounding on a variety of subjects to get their balloons afloat. As they started to head across the Atlantic, Limbaugh took an early lead by ranting more than Stern, causing him to rise higher and use stronger winds to propel him along. Limbaugh reached Europe first, but having never been outside of the US, Limbaugh got lost and spent a frustrated hour yelling louder and louder at "these damn uncooperative foreigners", in hopes that they would eventually understand English. During Limbaugh's stop in Ireland, Stern landed safely at the first checkpoint in Paris. Several French bimbi were invitied into his basket for a "refeuling party".

Both competitors were even upon arriving in Moscow. Limbaugh, having been mistaken for a Moscovite, was allowed to proceed with great fanfare. Limbaugh was heard to say "Stupid commie suckers" in order to take off. Stern was greeted with typical Moscow bureaucracy and was detained by Russian bimboskis until his papers were in order. Although Limbaugh was the first to arrive in San Francisco, he could not continue his journey because gay rights activists had tied themselves to his baloon. Stern arrived and by the time he had been noticed as a homophobe, he had already departed for Chicago.

Stern decided to enlist the help of Chicagoans by touching down and hurling insults at Oprah Winfrey and the Chicago Cubs. Winfrey and Cubs fans generated enough wind by flapping their gums that Stern was halfway to New Jersey by the time Limbaugh reached the penultimate checkpoint. Deciding that the only way to beat Stern was to start talking about democrat-endorsed socialized medicine, "like those puckheads in Canada". It is estimated that Limbaugh reached a top speed of Mach2 and and he was neck and neck with Stern as they arrived at the New Jersey border. In a final attempt to win the race, Limbaugh mentionned Hillary Clinton's name. His effort would have worked had it not been for the fact that the accumulated hot air finally melted away the ozone layer and allowed billions of UV rays to fry Limbaugh's greasy hide. Limbaugh and his ballon fell to earth like so much BBQ'd bacon and Stern landed on top of Morton Downey who was using a can of Micatin for breath spray, to combat his chronic case of athelete's mouth.

- HotBranch!

At the beginning of the race, Rush would decide to abandon the balloon entirely, with the hope of gaining speed by losing the unnecessary weight of the balloon, and using his own flabby sphereical shape for transporation. Rush filled his pockets with Twinkies, and made the descision to stop at each of the checkpoints (and every town in between), and have non-femi-nazis cook him dinner.

Even with all of his pit stops, Rush commanded a huge lead. Stern's hair created so much drag for him, that he averaged only 2 miles per hour, which allowed Rush to make hundreds of pit stops to eat dinner, reload on Twinkies, and preach his right-wing propaganda to everyone along the race course.

This worked great until after Hawaii....

Rush, with a 3000 mile lead, was sailing over the middle of the Pacific on his way to San Francisco, when he realized something. He was in 5000 mile stretch of open ocean with no source of Twinkies. Then he fell into the ocean, and the resulting splash wiped out 26 coastal cities, and required an immediate disqualification for getting Morton Downey, Jr.'s hair wet, who was waiting at the San Francisco checkpoint.

Three months later, after catching the jet stream, Stern sailed across the finish line, only to find out he had been replaced on his show by one of the over-stressed, dismissed O.J Simpson jurors.

- 'Mr. Cody'

While there are many factors that will have some impact on this race - will they be able to talk for hours without continual affirmation from a well picked audience?, Rush's weight vs. Howard's drag, etc, etc - the real question here is navigation. I mean, neither of these guys could correctly point to Florida on a map of the US, and they'll be appoaching Europe at mach 2 in search of Paris. They don't stand a chance of finding it on their own. They'll have to land and ask for directions. This is where the race will be decided.

Neither one of them will deal well with talking to someone who responds in a foriegn language or even in English with a strange accent. When in a face to face verbal confrontation with someone Rush is likely to become flustered and confused and sweat alot. He won't know what to do when someone challenges his assertion that "Paris isn't thataway" and will probably flee before the person can give him decent directions. Rush will make two or three pathetic attempts at getting directions and then quit, lost somewhere in the Himelayas. He will never be heard from again, but there will be rumors that he has become a Tibetan monk.........

Howard, on the other hand, lives for verbal confrontations. He won't understand what the person said, and will probably insult the person quite a bit, but he will be able to recognize the direction in which the person is pointing. He might even get someone to climb aboard for a round of aerial butt-bongo. What's more, the whole interaction will give Howard fresh ammunition for riduculing whoever he happened to talk too (especially the French). This, of course, will only increase his speed. After 15 hours and over 100 stops to ask for directions, Howard is back in Jersey. Soon after, his radio show will be broadcast in several european cities-do to the popularity of butt-bongo.

- TB

In my day, engineer's actually studied rather than put stupid things on the net. At least you could have done something worthwhile. By the way, how much of your work is done between 2-6am? Ahhh the old glory days. Have fun.

- An alum

Back in your day did they have the net? Did they have computers? Not to worry, most of this work is done between 2-6 PM. We're graduate students. -Eds.

Actually, neither of them wins because the UN in a rare act of decisive unanimity authorizes a SAM strike while both of these blow-hards are over the Atlantic. Upon the news of the downing of these two bubbleheads the world broke into a thousand year period of peace, proseperity, and rejoicing. The new Golden Age was only slightly diminshed by calls of outrage from Greenpeace protesting the pollution of our oceans by throwing such garbage as Stern and Limbaugh in. But at the time of missile contact Stern was ahead by a nose.

- Nemo

Even though the race is definitely close, Rush will probably win. Howard's head is just too big, and he will probably waste too much time trying to pick up lesbians with stupid talents for next New Year's Eve. That will make up for Rush eating too much Pizza Hut "Backwards Crust" pizza during the flight. The final outcome: Rush Limbaugh by a book.

-Charles W. Kraebel

If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

Boris Yeltsin v. Ted Kennedy
Ross Perot v. Montgomery Burns
Tasmanian Devil v. Paul Bunyan

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