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, December 14, 2005

Benson tells staff that training facility still occupied by FEMA and National Guard; Manning comments; Report: Haslett asks to be fired

WWL radio reports this evening that Tom Benson has told Saints employees at a meeting in San Antonio today that the team's training facility is still occupied by FEMA and National Guard troops, and that employees must stay away from New Orleans as it is "unlivable."

WWL radio's Bobby Hebert and Kenny Wilkerson sports show is still discussing the situation at this hour. Wilkerson has contended that many employees had to cover their mouths to keep from laughing at Benson's comments.

This may be the biggest indication yet that Benson has gone right off the deep end in his disdain for returning the Saints to New Orleans.

First, it is without any dispute that the Saints' training facility in Metairie is pristene and in first-class condition, and is ready and waiting for its rightful suitors to return. FEMA and the National Guard are not occupying the facility in any respect. This comes just over a week after NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue personally toured the facility and deemed it in "first-class" condition.

Second, to say that New Orleans is uninhabitable is a direct slap in the face of those who are presently living there or who are returning there.

Benson's direct, irrational lies to his staff may be the biggest occurrence to date in the Saints' ongoing fiasco.


Saints legend Archie Manning appeared on the WWL radio program with Bobby Hebert and Kenny Wilkerson, and had the following comments about Benson's antics today:

"That's the most unbelievable thing. It seems to me they could've been back here (in New Orleans) for the open date. The mood, disposition, and attitude of the coaches and players would be 200 percent better. We know why he (Benson) didn't - he wants to move the team over there (to S.A.)."

"The team is getting some bad info if it's blaming Tagliabue."
And, finally, on whether the Saints should play any games in San Antonio in 2006:

"No. I don't think so. I know the NFL doesn't want to be in S.A., I can guarantee you that."

The NFL Network is reporting that Saints head coach Jim Haslett has asked Benson to be fired, or he will step down at the end of the 2005 season.

More to come on this...


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