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

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Terry Bradshaw, Saints owner?; Saints games may be in La. in '06; Hardburglar continues shamelessness

In one of the more surprising developments in the Saints fiasco, FOX Sports NFL analyst and former Pittsburgh Steeler and Louisiana Tech star Terry Bradshaw apparently is interested in helping buy the Saints franchise from Tom Benson.

According to this article in the Houston Chronicle, Bradshaw is quoted as saying:
"I've got people who are willing to put up the money, and I'm one of those. Right now I've got a cash flow problem, but we are willing to put up the money to buy the Saints. And Tom, you can go on back to San Antonio and take it easy with your kids and enjoy it."
Bradshaw is known for his goofy candor on the Sunday FOX NFL telecasts, but he is said to have been serious.

That would help satisfy many calls for Benson to sell the team to investors who would keep the team stationed in New Orleans. One example is national AP sports columnist Tim Dahlberg, in this piece entitled "Benson leave, Saints stay."

Another is's Skip Bayless, who wrote a nice column, "Benson should say good-bye," wherein he asks, "How could Saints fans ever forgive Benson?"

And there's columns like this, from the Chicago Tribune's Mike Downey, who visited New Orleans last week for the Bears-Saints contest in Baton Rouge. Downey noted the sparse crowd at Tiger Stadium (the no-shows included Benson), and cited that "Saints fans on TV said they stayed away because they did not wish to put one more dollar in Benson's pocket."

That is very accurate. A lot of people - die hard Saints fans at that - are that fed up with Tommy Boy.

Which makes it strange to hear recent news reports that the NFL has assured Louisiana that the Saints will play there next season, as noted here by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

How will the team fare, and how will the area be viewed by the rest of the NFL, if a faithful 30,000 are the only ones who continue to show up consistently in a 93,000-seat stadium?

Of course, the team is mired in its worst losing streak since Ditka was roaming the sidelines, with a quarterback whose name is seemingly deserving of a different spelling (Errant Brooks). But that's old hat for Saints fans; Benson's horrific treatment of them as second-class is not.

If the report is true, it is great news to hear. But it will also be intriguing to see how many fans come to the games if Benson's rhetoric and attitude do not change.

At any rate, Benson, his granddaughter Rita (an unfortunate name), and NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue met Monday in Washington, D.C. to discuss the team's future.

Interestingly, Tagliabue also is scheduled to meet today with The Governator from California and officials from Los Angeles to discuss that city's NFL future.

We shall see how that plays out. Everything is a huge question mark.

That's exactly how's Len Pasquarelli put it, in a fine piece of work entitled "Saints' future remains one big question mark." It's lengthy, but definitely well worth a full read for anyone interested in how things may progress.

San Antonio mayor Phil Hardberger (hereinafter referred to in this column as Hardburglar) continues his enslaught of trash talk to the region impacted by Katrina, saying Monday that "We put 65,000 fans in (San Antonio's) last game, (Baton Rouge) put 32,000 fans in theirs. What else do I need to say?"

I wonder if the owner of the Spurs ripped that city's longstanding support and openly tried to move the team, then went off on a local network camera, and then shot off an email disparaging that city, how many tickets would be sold to the next Spurs-Bobcats game.

Then, Hardburglar acted as if San Antonio was vital to the NFL, so much so that he demanded, "I don't want the commissioner to pick and choose and give us the smaller games, and put the big games somewhere else."

It's probably not wise to tell the NFL commissioner how he can or cannot run his league. Just a thought.

Then, in a stunningly bold statement that runs contrary to his own actions, Hardburglar stated, "If you want to do business with San Antonio, you have to treat us like first-class citizens. We're not second class."

Oh, really? Do first-class citizens like yourself openly pillage another city in desparate need and practically unable to defend itself, under an initial guise of helping a city in need?

A lot of words describe that, but first-class is definitely not among them.

That's why Hardburglar's photo (along with Benson's) is on a site called First-class activities don't generate such sites.

(Oh, and a note to, or to Hardburglar since this was attributed to him - NFL franchises play 10 home games each year, not six. Count with me - two preseason games plus eight regular season games equals 10. Demanding that you host all six Saints home games next year makes you seem, well, second-class by NFL standards.)


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