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

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Nagin seeks ‘Cleveland plan’; NFL chimes in on S.A. talk; Shameless S.A. giddy; Benson blasted by columnists

According to this AP sports story by Brett Martel, New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin lashed out at Saints owner Tom Benson Wednesday, indicating that he’s ready to give up the present team in exchange for a future NFL expansion franchise with the same name, logo, and colors.

Nagin called it the “Cleveland plan.”

“We want our Saints; we may not want the owner back,” said Nagin, in response to this week’s developments involving Benson moving the team to San Antonio.

“I'm ready to go to the NFL and to (commissioner Paul) Tagliabue and say, 'Give us the Cleveland plan,’” in reference to the league granting an expansion team to Cleveland shortly after the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996. “Whatever the Saints want to do, you let them leave, but they can't take our logo, they can't take our name, and you give us a promise to give us a franchise when this city's back.”

Nagin continued, saying, "For them to be openly talking to other cities about moving is disrespectful to the citizens of New Orleans, disrespectful to the Saints fans who have hung in with this franchise through 30-something years under very trying times.”

Amen to that.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello entered the league’s first comments since the Saints-to-S.A. discussions heated up this week. Aiello noted in a New Orleans Times-Picayune article by Josh Peter that “[t]he mayor of San Antonio does not control the future of the Saints.” He also attempted to downplay San Antonio mayor Phil Hardberger’s comments, saying, “I would be careful about claling that news since it wasn’t said by Mr. Benson or anyone representing him.”

The same article pointed out that any franchise relocation requires support from at least 24 of the league’s 32 owners. Aiello also added, "There are many issues regarding the future of the Saints, and we are in the process of working with Mr. Benson and the club to begin addressing those issues.”

San Antonio, shameless as it has been, seems to be celebrating Benson’s firing of VP Arnold Fielkow as a tell-tale sign that the Saints are now theirs.

This article in today’s San Antonio Express-News pretty much sums it up, and even adds a bit of trashing of Fielkow to boot. The author, Tom Orsborn, even goes so far to say that Benson has “decided dollars and common sense had to take precedent over sentimentality.”

Poor fool, those San Antonio-an-ites...ah, heck with it, let’s just call them what they are - looters. If they do land Benson permanently, they too will become well-versed in his slimy, pathetic slavery to the almighty dollar. History has taught Louisiana that to Benson, money takes precedence over anything - even helping to save a city he allegedly gives a damn about.

Come to think of it, maybe San Antonio and Tom Benson deserve each other. Neither give a damn about anything but themselves.

Ole Tommy Boy must be avoiding the press at all costs these days. No need to re-hash what’s been said in the following must-read columns, but suffice it to say that I am in total agreement with all of them:

Cowardly move shows Benson’s truest colors, Jim Mashek, Biloxi Sun-Herald
Benson new beast of N.O., Bob Tompkins, Alexandria Town-Talk
From bad to worse: Benson’s apathy a backhand to N.O., John DeShazier, New Orleans Times-Picayune
From bad to worse: 'Faith' misplaced by Saints owner, Peter Finney, New Orleans Times-Picayune


Blogger Joe R. Estrada said...

Come to think of it, maybe San Antonio and Tom Benson deserve each other. Neither gives a damn about anything but themselves.

San Antonio welcomed about 20,000 evacuees. We supported them with our money & hospitality. SA Folks came out in the thousands to help. SA's priority was to provide for the evacuees, anything else was secondary. Let me tell you about whom we are, a real estate investor offered a vacant building to one of the evacuees to begin a Cajun Kitchen Restaurant. It’s shown on the local media. That place is always busy; I expect they will be successful. Local government, Church leaders have provided for those families who decided to stay find homes. At least 20% to 30% have stayed, as a result of what the metro area can provide.

9:28 PM  
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