saints (n.) - NFL franchise presently based in New Orleans; boondoggle (n.) - an unnecessary or wasteful project or activity; saintsdoggle (n.) - the Saints' potential relocation situation in New Orleans, and the resulting boondoggle by Louisiana to keep the team from leaving

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Benson: Saints wins mean more than donated money for relief effort

Okay, so I was wrong. Tom Benson has spoken recently.

Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut.

This comes from an excellent piece entitled "Save the Saints" by Sports Illustrated's Mark Bechtel:
"I can't help but wonder what the hell is wrong with Saints owner Tom Benson...

[O]n Monday, at a press conference to announce the Saints would play three games in San Antonio, the mayor, Phil Hardberger, beamed that the games would bring the city a $9 million windfall. He was asked if any of that would be donated to relief efforts in New Orleans.

His response: 'That would be the Saints' call.'

So Benson was asked the same question. And here's what he said:

'Well, we've already established a relief fund through the league and the Red Cross ... [The Saints] winning football games is going to mean more to the relief effort in the Gulf South than money can ever do. You don't know how that win [23-20 over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday] lifted their spirits so much.'"
Isn't that a bit of a stretch? Everyone, call off your Red Cross donations and just give your money to the Saints. Those people suffering in the New Orleans/Gulf South region need football wins, not financial help.

Which provides insight into Benson's reasoning for wanting to keep in place a bum deal for Louisiana that forced the state to use much-needed taxpayer funds to line his golden pockets. Football wins mean more than education, housing, health care, and so on - at least so long as it helps his own bottom line.

Now it means more than helping fund the relief efforts?

Someone should tell him that these are people, real people, affected by real events. This is not some mark in the L column. It's one of the worst disasters in history. Houses have been destroyed and jobs ruined. Many have lost everything they had. Some people are still separated from their families. Sure, football is a great diversion, and Saints wins do mean a lot in these trying times, but come on, Tom. Get real. Wake up.

And that's what the hell is wrong with him. He just doesn't get it. This comment might be more classless and disgraceful than any other he's ever made. And that's saying something.

Besides that, it's too bad the Saints winning football games for its Louisiana fans doesn't mean more than money to Benson. Apparently nothing does. Otherwise they'd have won more than one playoff game in their history.

So, it goes without saying (or debate) that Bechtel's idiot of the week award also rightfully went to Benson: "I don't know that anyone's going to out-idiot Tom Benson at this point."