Friday, November 04, 2005

Two tall tales from Benson today. (Warning: Hypocrisy alert)

This one from New Orleans.

BATON ROUGE, La. New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco have agreed to postpone two deadlines for either side to void the team's lease of the Louisiana Superdome.
The first of those deadlines, which possibly would have allowed the team to void the lease because of damage caused to the dome by Hurricane Katrina, would have fallen at the end of this month.

The team says the agreement to postpone the deadlines until 2007 means that the Saints and N-F-L officials will be able to work together on planning for the 2006 season without potential lease termination disputes.

In a letter acknowledging the Saints proposal, Blanco says state officials also agree the two dates for terminating the lease needed to be moved back "for the benefit of the state, the Saints and the loyal fan base of the team."

Pretty straightforward, huh?
But this is what the San Antonio paper has to say.

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson remains deeply skeptical about the franchise's future in New Orleans, despite mounting pressure from the NFL to bring the team back to Louisiana for the 2006 season, sources close to the situation say.

The sources, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of discussions between the Saints and the NFL, describe Benson as outraged by the intervention of league commissioner Paul Tagliabue in the matter and hardened in his desire to explore relocation options, including San Antonio.
. . . . . .
The sources speculate the Saints may agree to extend the deadline until late December or possibly after this season to postpone a showdown that promises to provoke bitter reaction in Louisiana, where the team has three more games to play this season. The Saints' final game at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge is Dec. 16.

Benson, the sources say, still plans to invoke force majeure, if not by Nov. 29 then by before the new deadline. Some state and city leaders in the private and public sectors say they would welcome the move.

"The (New Orleans) economy is in shambles," State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, said. "It's a matter of Mr. Benson making a sound business decision for himself and the NFL."

Talking out of both sides of his mouth. Who do I believe? -- without a shadow of doubt, I believe the S.A. paper, and the worst of Tom Benson.

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