Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Another reason to hate Tom Benson (and Texas, for that matter)

Snippets from a USA Today piece. I didn't make the last part up, and you can view a bunch of stories of how the mayor of Satanonio is trying to lure the Saints away here

Tagliabue must keep Saints in New Orleans

The defining moral crisis in the NFL has nothing to do with two boats of Vikings sailing the always active waters of jock entitlement. Lake Minnetonka is not even a ripple in the ocean of sleaze that threatens to sweep the New Orleans Saints from a city of fractured levees and broken hearts, a city that should not be left to beg for the mercy of businessmen not inclined to give it.

Paul Tagliabue cannot allow one of his owners, Tom Benson, to use a great American tragedy as his ticket to ride. This isn't a fleeting commissioner's concern. This isn't David Stern fighting to get his NBA players out of throwback jerseys and into sport coats.
The NFL likes to say it is about community, the United Way, all that jazz. Bolt New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and nobody will take that claim seriously again.

"The NFL's commitment to public service," Tagliabue says on the league's website, "is as strong as the league itself."

Prove it. When you arrive at Sunday's Saints-Dolphins game at LSU, assure the fans their Saints aren't going anywhere. Start selling every owner in the league on the ethical imperative of returning the team to New Orleans.

Benson needs three-quarters of his fellow zillionaires to approve a permanent move to drier land and bigger luxury suites. That should be a 31-0 vote against, a crushing rebuke of a man who has hardened his standing among the worst owners in sports.

Though Benson hasn't said he's splitting for sure, he's done nothing to dismiss the belief he's as good as gone. Benson fired an executive who was all for staying put. Benson released a statement saying the Saints' future would be settled at season's end, but he'd already been unmasked by San Antonio's mayor, Phil Hardberger, the vulture circling over the thrashed Superdome shell.

Like Benson, Hardberger lives in a house with no mirrors. Either that or the dog ate his conscience. Once the gracious host with the most to offer an orphaned franchise, Hardberger is pursuing a forever commitment from the Saints with Barry Switzer zeal. His recruiting pitch?

Forget Katrina. Remember the Alamodome.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?