He had another chance to clarify the Saints' situation — they're in it for the long haul or they're out of here — when he met with the media at Louisiana State's Tiger Stadium before the first Saint game played in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina blew through. But he continued to tiptoe around the issues, and in the process he left Los Angeles hanging. Again. Once and for all, just tell us whether we're getting a team.
Why can't the man just make a commitment?
This guy certainly doesn't believe Tags.
Saints relocation efforts? What’s Hardberger’s next act, seducing the woman whose husband’s in a coma?
That’s essentially what he’s doing here, and Benson – for all his poormouthing about keeping the Saints in New Orleans – is apparently amenable to it. This despite the fact that he’s given New Orleans little except years of lousy football. This despite the fact that New Orleans has given him 36 straight sellouts anyway.
Even Paris Hilton would blush at this sort of crassness.
The "Los Angeles Saints" sounds bad enough. But that the league could use a natural disaster as its window to put its plan into motion? That's the biggest slap in the face to the people of New Orleans since they heard Condoleezza Rice was busy shopping for shoes on 5th Avenue while the Big Easy filled up with Lake Pontchartrain.This is hopeful.
"We're going to make every effort to keep the Saints as Louisiana's team," Tagliabue said.
But he didn't promise they'd be here for good.
"People who overpromise and under-deliver, I don't have great admiration for," Tagliabue said. "People who under-promise and over-deliver, I admire."
It's as if he never considered the third option, the type of pact people honor every day simply by returning phone calls or paying bills: making a pledge and sticking to it. If Tagliabue said anything that would align him with Saint fans, it was his not-so-subtle swipe at Tom Benson's ownership.
"In my judgment as the commissioner, that business model for the Saints needs to be changed," he said. "I think that a fresh look has to be taken at the lease arrangements, the master agreement arrangements. From my perspective, they were flawed.In other words, by depending on the state to make Benson's franchise profitable, the Saints neglected to enlarge its fan base.
"Governments don't buy tickets to football games, people do. The business community does."
Ian O'Connor of USA Today weighs in.It's worth reading thw whole thing.
"We're going to do everything possible to make sure that there's a New Orleans Saints," Tagliabue told The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune. "But people larger than us — and institutions larger than us — are going to have to succeed in making sure there's a robust, healthy New Orleans. ..."It's good to see that Saints fans are getting so much support from media around the country. They know that if Benson moves this team, their team might be next.
Sorry, Tags, but the NFL can help rebuild New Orleans by being a leader, not a follower.
And, of course, it's always good to hear that the local team owner will not be disciplined by the league for pushing around a reporter and attacking a fan.
Is this the kind of owner that San Antonio wants?
NFL not expected to take action against Benson: New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, who grabbed at a TV camera and was videotaped getting into a verbal confrontation with a heckler near the end of Sunday's game in Baton Rouge, La., likely won't be subject to any NFL disciplinary measures, a league spokesman said Monday.That story is everywhere today, all over the net from here to Canada.
Finally, Dave Dixon is a man worth listening to. He's been with the Saints and the Superdome from the beginning. OUr problem, he says is that we have been very unlucky in our owners.
The man largely responsible for New Orleans getting an NFL franchise in 1966 as well as the Louisiana Superdome in 1975 is fed up with New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson.Read the whole thing.
Dave Dixon, a contemporary of Benson before Benson bought the Saints from John Mecom Jr., in 1985, said the saddest thing about the Saints' sad sack history is that they are 0-for-2 in owners.
"We've really had two disappointing owners in John Mecom and Tom Benson," Dixon said from a family member's home in Memphis, where he evacuated before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and ravaged the Superdome on Aug. 29.
. . . . . .
"But the main thing about Mr. Benson is that he never knew anything about football and still doesn't," Dixon said. "He doesn't even have the knowledge of the game that a typical fan has. Not even a fan would've hired Mike Ditka to be the coach (in 1997). You don't hire a fired coach. Then he fires Randy Mueller (in 2002)."