Benson, 'Satantonio' catch more grief
According to this AP article, this describes some of the New Orleans reaction:
"A taped-up refrigerator with rotting contents was left on a sidewalk. On it was a message scribbled in spray paint: 'Do not open. Benson inside.' Down the block, another abandoned refrigerator courtesy of Hurricane Katrina carried this comment: 'Saints lie to their fans.'"Not to be overlooked, creative LSU students have dubbed San Antonio "Satantonio" in flyers making their way around campus.
Those same flyers have a sketch of Benson with devilish horns.
It goes without saying that Tommy Boy has done himself no favors under the spotlight. The same article above notes that "Benson said in a written statement last Friday he has not decided on the Saints' future home. When reporters at his suburban home asked him what he had to say to the team's New Orleans fan base, he told the visitors to get off his property."
Which pretty much says it all.
(I believe it was Benson himself who, after Hurricane Katrina, asserted that Saints wins meant more than money to help lift broken New Orleanians' spirits. As for silently relocating the team...)
Things like these are probably why the NFL formed a committee to keep an eye on Tom Benson.
Stating the obvious, one fan is quoted in the above story as saying, "He doesn't have the courage enough to face the fans themselves and tell them what's going on."
"What's going on" makes these times very tough to be a Saints fan. Shreveport Times columnist Scott Ferrell briefly summarizes the events of the last several days, and the impact on Saints fans, here. The agony of Saints fans can be captured in one sentence from Ferrell's column: "They've given their hearts to a professional football team -- unfortunately it is one with a lousy owner."
(At least he got part of it right. If Benson has been a lousy owner, Bob Kraft of New England has been halfway decent. And Bob Irsay is just below average.)
One final note: Sports Illustrated's Roy S. Johnson says that Saints fans should have a chance to say good-bye to their team in New Orleans next season.
Unless "Satantonio" somehow renames itself...