Sunday’s news: the Saints suck, but San Antonio can suck it.
Tom Benson is the new most‐hated owner on earth, but strange as it may seem I can’t bring myself to hate him. Everyone’s owner is the worst owner in sports. Owners aren’t supposed to be liked (unless they’re Wellington Mara, it would seem, but then the Giants aren’t ever going to leave town). Owners are the ones who have no choice to consider the business end of things. They’re prevented from being sentimental about the game. Of course they’re going to be evil.
Thus, to what I’ve been saying all along: it’s the NFL’s responsibility to step in and be sentimental. Tagliabue is the one who needed to make a guarantee and then do whatever was necessary to fulfill it. And that’s more or less what he did. He also mentioned the possibility of league subsidies to the team, which is the exact idea I had six weeks ago, so it’s flattering to know that Tags reads my blog.
Now, regarding the actual performance of the team: we’re 2–6 right now. At this point, assuming it doesn’t affect the team’s chances of relocation one way or the other, I’d rather we lose out. Several reasons:
- It’ll give us a chance to weed out the crappy players who can’t be moved to play well in a shitty season.
- It’ll give us a high draft pick, one we need to spend on a new quarterback. Yes, it’s finally happened: I’ve given up on Aaron Brooks once and for all.
- It’ll present the opportunity for a coaching change.
I doubt #3 will happen; this hurricane will end up saving Haslett’s job. But anyone who thinks he doesn’t deserve firing has paid no attention to the team over the past few seasons: we were doing the same stupid crap before the hurricane. Ten penalties a game, drive‐killing fumbles, dropped passes — this is all par for the course. We’re not sucking in new ways; we’re just sucking to a greater degree.
I have to disagree with my predecessor on a few things, but overall, I liked the article. As far as hating Benson, I have no problems at all with hating that shmuck. He is the worst owner in sports not only because he wants to move the Saints, but because he won’t hang on to the tallent we need to win. Of course some would say that over the past few seasons we have had the personel, but thats not entirely true. Defense wins championships, and ever since our last playoff victory our Dfense has varied from sub-par to downright horrendous. What tallent you ask? Willie Roaf, 3 straight Pro Bowls with the Chiefs. La’Roi Glover, fourth straight Pro Bowl with Dallas. Jake Dalhomme, who lead the NFC South rival Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl. Also, as far as free agent signings go, who was the last big name signed to the Saints? When was the last time a Saints team has gone out and signed a big-time playmaker out of free agancy? The fact is that Benson does not put up the cheddar needed to field a winning team.
What the NFL needs to do is come in and buy the team from Benson, build a New Stadium on the rubble of the Superdome, and make the Saints a publicaly owned team. The NFL has the power and money to do this, and it is PR GOLD. If the saints end up moving, the NFL looks like the league that gave up on the city that has been devastated by the worst natural disaster in US history, because the NBA is gonna stay. However, if the NFL comes in and makes a commitment and follows through, then the League has just done 2 Billion in charity, and the country will eat it up. Talk about a tax right off.
The issue that would make most people question a move like this, is whether or not New Orleans will be able to fill a stadium consistently with the population decrease that is innevitably going to follow this disaster. New Orleans has filled a stadium for almost 40 years, when the team has seen no success to speak of. The Cubs got nothin on us. As for the city, I firmly believe that New Orleans could end up beniffiting from this storm. I see it as an opportunity to fix all the problems with the city that have kept people and companies from coming to New Orleans in the first place. The Public school system that desperatly needed restructuring can be retooled. Louisiana government will be under the National magnifying glass, and hopefully some new stronger leaders will come forward and lead New Orleans through these dark times. Housing projects could be renovates, and we could see a major change in the social dynamics in New Orleans. Tax breaks, subsidies, and the cheaper land costs will make New Orleans prime for new buissness. Lets not forget that new Orleans greatest asset, the Mighty Mississippi.
I don’t care what anybody says, there is no better place on earth for the Super Bowl to be played then in New Orleans. Without a New Orleans Saints team, there will be no new stadium in New Orleans a stones throw from Bourbon Street and an instant post-game party. Still, the NFL is taking a gamble on keeping the Saints in New Orleans. But since gambling is a New Orleans institution and has been for centuries, the NFL needd to come roll the dice in the Crecent City.