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

Friday, December 09, 2005

Brooks weighs quitting?; Saints impacted by cold weather in S.A.; Comments made on Tagliabue press conference; S.A. mayor comments (UPDATED)

Saints starting quarterback Aaron Brooks is quoted in a story today,in response to more facility difficulties in San Antonio, as saying, "We move one more time and I'm quitting."

No word yet on whether Saints coaches or fans were trying to orchestrate another move to call the overpaid and underachieving Brooks' bluff.

The comment was spurred by freezing temperatures that forced the Saints to change plans from having a morning walkthrough at a parking lot to going through their motions behind the stands in the Alamodome, which is preparing to host the NCAA volleyball championships.

According to this article in the Times-Picayune, and
this photo by the Associated Press, the team had its walkthrough in jeans, sweats, jackets, and stocking caps.

After the makeshift walkthrough, the team went back to its dressing room - at a local high school baseball field.

The team is also working out in a weight tent in the high school baseball field parking lot, which has air conditioning and heaters powered by generators.

Saints head coach Jim Haslett was quoted in the same article as saying, "You don't hear anybody complaining. Nothing's like home, but this is the best we could do."

Too bad that "first class" training facility in Metairie is going unused.

Of course, there are other alternatives, according to wide receiver Donte Stallworth, who told the Times-Picayune, "I want to play all our home games in Rio de Janeiro."

Jokes aside, offensive lineman Kendyl Jacox was quoted in the same article as saying, "This is just awful. For us to be a professional team, to get bounced around like this, it's really unimaginable."

And, in this San Antonio Express-News article, kicker John Carney was quoted as saying, "This should be embarrassing to somebody. If the public knew this is how an NFL franchise operates, they would be shocked."

For the first time since NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue held a press conference in New Orleans earlier this week, wherein he proclaimed that it was highly likely there would be a split schedule involving Baton Rouge and San Antonio again in 2006, members of the team were able to offer their thoughts.

By far the strongest reaction came from offensive lineman Kendyl Jacox, who told the Times-Picayune:
"I don't think anybody wants a split schedule. We're tired of traveling for home games. I don't think it's fair to us. They say they're going to take care of us. Is that how you do it? No. It's all about money. Period, point blank. And I want them to stop lying and saying that it's not...(Tagliabue's) been saying a lot of stuff since the hurricane hit. I don't believe nothing he says. And you can quote me on that. I don't believe a thing he says."
When Tagliabue appears to be the biggest ally to New Orleans in this ordeal, comments like that are not comforting.

Another offensive lineman, Wayne Gandy, told the paper that it was nonsensical to have any games in San Antonio if the team is going to use its practice facility in Metairie.

True. Tell that to Tagliabue.

But Gandy also told the San Antonio Express-News, "LSU is not a home game. Home to a player is where he doesn't have to get on a plane. All he has to do is wake up Sunday morning, go crank up his car and drive to the stadium. That is a home game."

Of course, the most important part of this article comes further down - a poll of which I was unaware.

The Times-Picayune conducted a poll of Saints players recently on their scheduling preferences, which revealed the following:
- 33 Saints players would rather practice and play their entire 2006 schedule in San Antonio
- Six would rather practice at the team's facility in Metairie and play its games in Baton Rouge
- 15 were undecided or had no preference.

I wonder if that poll was taken again after visiting the training facility in Metairie versus that high school baseball field parking lot, whether the results would come out differently.

In any event, that's not good news for New Orleans. We can probably guess how Gandy voted.

As for San Antonio, mayor Phil Hardburglar was quoted in the aforementioned San Antonio Express-News article as saying, "We furnished a home for them once and, at their request, we will furnish a home to them again."

Check out those photos in the above post. What a grand home San Antonio has presented.

Hardburglar added, "And if they do choose to play here, we will continue to fill the stadium for them."

With San Antonio-specific choice ticket discounts and giveaways, no doubt.


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