September 04, 2005

Saints May Be Gone for Good: Owner Tom Benson is "leaning strongly" to a permanent move of the Saints to San Antonio, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "This is like pouring salt into the wound," said Louisiana state senator Mike Michot.

posted by rcade to football at 03:33 PM - 25 comments

Tangentially related to sports: Interdictor, a network admin who has been holed up in downtown New Orleans to keep his company's servers running, writes that some people won't leave the Superdome. "There are around 100 who will not leave -- they are entenched and being referred to as Die Hard Saints Fans jokingly by the authorities."

posted by rcade at 03:51 PM on September 04, 2005

What possible good could come from announcing this publicly now? Not that the Saints have been well-managed in the past, but this is the publicity equivalent of one of those 15 minute, Benny Hill-quality Archie Manning fumble clips from NFL Films.

posted by yerfatma at 04:40 PM on September 04, 2005

The Saints should go some where else maybe the fans will show up then. New Orleans(god bless the city) is a horrible spot for a professional team.

posted by ELWAY_FAN at 05:03 PM on September 04, 2005

this is the publicity equivalent of one of those 15 minute, Benny Hill-quality Archie Manning fumble clips from NFL Films. You're insulting Benny Hill there, mate.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:31 PM on September 04, 2005

I hope the NFL steps in and prevents any kind of permanent move from being considered, at least until the crisis is over and we know what will become of the city of New Orleans. Allowing Benson to exploit this disaster for a move would be a horrendous. I expect he'll back away from this idea as quickly as House Speaker Dennis Hastert did from his comment the city should be bulldozed.

posted by rcade at 05:32 PM on September 04, 2005

The Saints should go some where else maybe the fans will show up then. New Orleans(god bless the city) is a horrible spot for a professional team. It's a horrible spot for anything right now, but the point is, the city is already on it's knees, what is the point in kicking them while they're down? They've been through enough bullshit and people/agencies disappointing them this week without one of their "own" doing it to them, too. It's called tact, and Benson doesn't have it, I guess.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:10 PM on September 04, 2005

Talk about insult to injury...haven't the people of N.O. been through enouygh as it is? It's going to take at least a year to START the rebulding of the city, and now they are considering a move? Ridiculous. I've spent a lot of time in N.O, because I have family's a decent sports town. Rooting for the Saints might be one of the few things that keeps the people sane. And to say that N.O is a horrible spot for a team is like saying that Jason Elam got the field goal record because he was at home. (which he kinda did.)

posted by supersly26 at 07:11 PM on September 04, 2005

jerseygirl's right. It's a kick in the nuts, the ultimate cheap shot. I say STFU about it until the water's drained and the smoke has cleared.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:56 PM on September 04, 2005

Keep the Saints in town? For god's sakes, there's been enough suffering in the Superdome! Honestly, as a Saints fan for most of my life, the true purpose of the team is to bring laughter and a common bond of misery. Yeah yeah, it would be great if the Saints actually won a playoff game or something, but seriously, I think everybody in New Orleans really enjoys how fantastically they lose all the time. They're pretty much our lovable dumb pets in the South. In the hopes of bringing a bit of levity about the situation, here's some jokes I've personally heard from New Orleans evacuees/ Saints fans in the last week (yes, most of which lost homes and are grieving): What's the difference between the Saints Offensive Line and the Levees? The Levees held up for at least one blitz. They couldn't evacuate everyone? Couldn't they have started a Saints game? City would have emptied out in an hour. "Wow, that's the first time anybody from New Orleans has been in that endzone." ...etc. etc. Yeah I know, people horrifically died. But jokes help. That's why we need the Saints around.

posted by Stan Chin at 09:27 PM on September 04, 2005

Just unbelievable. The saints belong in new orleans. If he moves them I hope he leaves the name for a future new team. I attended one saints game last year. They lost (of course), but it was tremendous fun. It's also great fun to watch the saints in a small bar tucked away in the quarter, and I've done that way more... (thanks for the jokes stan chin, first time I've smiled in days)

posted by justgary at 09:38 PM on September 04, 2005

It is good to have some kind of a sense of humor still, even during a tragedy. On the news, I saw one sign a shop owner had painted on the boards he used to cover the door of his antique rug shop it read: Do not try it I am inside with 2 big dogs an ugly woman 2 shotguns and a claw hammer Looters will be shot!! I thought at least there is one person stuck there that hasn't completely lost it.

posted by jojomfd1 at 09:38 PM on September 04, 2005

I can't help but think that it would be way better for everyone concerned for the NFL to set up the stadium at LSU for the team and bus some of the refugees in for each game. It wouldn't cost any less than setting San Antonio up with the team, and the goodwill generated for the region and the league would be staggering. But that's the kind of thing that, say, a Pete Rozelle would do. Tagliabue isn't that forward-thinking, is he.

posted by chicobangs at 12:04 AM on September 05, 2005

Being a Cleveland Browns fan and haved lived and traveled around the world, there are traditions, cities, and sport teams that make the United States unique. I can not imagine baseball without the New York Yankees or the Atlanta Braves. I can not imagine basketball without the Los Angeles Lakers or the Boston Celtics. I can not imagine college football without Notre Dame, USC, or Ohio State. The New Orleans Saints and the Super Dome are an intergal part of American sports history and every effort should be made to restore and maintain that aspect of Americana.

posted by backntheday at 06:47 AM on September 05, 2005

I can't help but think that it would be way better for everyone concerned for the NFL to set up the stadium at LSU for the team and bus some of the refugees in for each game. Good call chico it seems that is exactly what the saints are trying to do.

posted by jojomfd1 at 10:04 AM on September 05, 2005

It's not a matter of public announcement (note this is a state senator leaking a private conversation) nor is it a matter of holding the city up. If the Superdome can't be salvaged (or can only be salvaged at tremendous cost), then New Orleans will have much bigger priorities than building a new NFL stadium. Old New Orleans had trouble supporting a team (I'm talking financially, contractual payments to the team, not fan support); New New Orleans will have no possibility of doing so in the short-to-medium run.

posted by mrbadexample at 12:47 PM on September 05, 2005

Right, because an NFL team could never afford to privately build a stadium.

posted by yerfatma at 01:24 PM on September 05, 2005

I don't know. Green Bay does alright, thanks to the NFL's generous revenue sharing system and a regional fan base that, while somewhere in the neighborhood of a third the population of the Lower Delta region, sure does love their team. The Pack had a couple of decades where they stunk before Favre came in. I don't see why the Saints could keep it going with more people to draw from, regardless of the condition of the product on the field. And again, I think the NFL would do good, from both a financial and a PR standpoint, to allow the Saints every opportunity to do just that.

posted by chicobangs at 02:53 PM on September 05, 2005

I think that texas has enough embarassing football for now, leave the fate of the saints up to the people who love and support it, and for the time being let's worry about how to rebuild new orleans, football ends in february, this will last much longer

posted by bharr_77 at 05:29 PM on September 05, 2005

When I read about the overflowing toilets in the Superdome, I'm afraid my first thought was "that's not the first time the Superdome has been full of shit". Yeah, I know, one way ticket...

posted by salmacis at 05:44 PM on September 05, 2005

I certainly have no problem with New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson considering moving his team permanently to San Antonio -- the Superdome is most likely irreparably damaged, 25,000 season tickets is not a very strong fan base, and of course, he owns the team, so he has the right to do with it as he wishes -- but my God, the timing. It's difficult to understand how any human being could be thinking about such matters when most of the city is still underwater. But it's not Benson's job to be thinking about the people of New Orleans. It's his job to run his business, and right now, any owner would be foolish to keep his franchise in a city that might not even exist in the same place next year, and especially one that wasn't doing a great job of supporting the team to begin. Those villifying Benson right now are convienently overlooking who leaked this story. Benson didn't call a press conference to announce he was considering the move -- a Louisiana state senator gave the story to the press, and suddenly nails are being handed out, nails that should already be marked for those in government who failed miserably in both planning for and responding to this disaster. Has anyone considered that perhaps not having to worry about a pro football franchise would be good for New Orleans right now? And why would the city and the state be concerned about the departure of the Saints when they certainly have much weightier issues facing them? Is the first priority of the Louisiana legislature really going to be making sure the Saints have everything they need? It shouldn't be, and hopefully it won't. I know the argument about the Saints being a part of the history of New Orleans, and how the government has helped the franchise through tax abatements and other incentives. That's hogwash. It's a business, and businesses move when it's best for them. As for money, the state of Louisiana would receive $81 million in rebates from Benson, money that could probably be put to better use than fixing the Superdome. And if New Orleans comes back bigger and badder than ever, does anyone think the NFL wouldn't put an expansion franchise there? Or someone else wouldn't move and take advantage of it? And so why would Benson be pilloried for considering what's best for him and his business? Ask yourself this -- if you were in New Orleans right now and someone offered you a chance to move to a better business situation, especially to leave the calamitous mess the Saints face right now, would you? If you answered in the negative, I suggest you probably wouldn't be running a business in the first place.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:36 AM on September 06, 2005

They were loking to move the team already, so this is not Benson trying to make hay from the disaster IMHO. Face it, the Superdome will never host another event. It would be like having Baseball at Auschwitz. Aside from the fact that repair would be about 1/2 the cost of a new stadium, the lingering memories of death, etc.... Quick question, when you go to a football game, do you ask your buddy, "Hey, the guy who killed himself, where'd he jump from?" Or, "Wow, he tackled him right where that little girl got raped." The city, which already barely supported the Saints, is only going to be in less of a position to do so for the next three years. I think the timing is crappy, Benson could have made the announcement after the season, or at least waited a month or two, but the Saints have no reason to return to Orleans. They had no reason to stay before this, and have less reason now. Personally, I'll be glad to not have the Super Bowl hosted in NO every three years. Hookers and gamblers...

posted by LostInDaJungle at 10:08 AM on September 06, 2005

like having Baseball at Auschwitz I see your larger point, but that's insane. Hookers and gamblers... the NFL?

posted by Hugh Janus at 10:18 AM on September 06, 2005

I see your point LIDJ, but you could extend the same reasoning for not inhabiting 90% of the downtown core as well. Should the Convention Centre be closed down as well? Perhaps because the Saints are supposed to be entertainment, and the venue would be forever remembered as.. well, at best unsettling, I may agree with you. Frankly I think that the fallout from Operation: Holy Shit Whatdowedo? is too unpredictable at this time. Move the team, don't move the team - I'm not sure any of it is on the minds of a lot of the residents yet. At best the release is just poorly timed.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:43 AM on September 06, 2005

Millions are still without electricity....and the seasonal religion that is the NFL can't distract anyone without electricity.

posted by garfield at 10:54 AM on September 06, 2005

Personally, I'll be sad to not have the Super Bowl hosted in NO every three years. Hookers and gamblers... Opinion: Please don't go, Mr. Benson

posted by justgary at 07:19 PM on September 06, 2005

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