Tom Benson is a Liar. Period.
WWL Radio reported that ever-increasingly delusional owner Tom Benson told Saints employees in San Antonio yesterday the team's practice/training/office facility in Metairie is currently still occupied by FEMA personnel and military troops. Furthermore, he told them that New Orleans is "unlivable" and that they should stay away.
First, lets deal with the current status of the practice facility. I decided to take a little excursion out to Airline Drive this afternoon. Lets see what I found there . . . . (Click on each picture to get larger version.)
Yep, unbearable, inhumane conditions on Airline Drive. Man, I wish my lawn looked that good. Is Tom Benson insane? Seriously. The commissioner of the league, Mr. Tagliabue, comes to New Orleans last week and states in his formal press conference that the practice facility is in "first-class condition." Then, a week later, Benson tells his staff the facility is not usable. Look at these pictures and then look at the pictures of the team practicing last week in a parking lot. Meanwhile, this facility (mostly paid for by the State of Louisiana, coincidently) just sits unused.
As for the second point of Tommy Flanagan (oppps, I mean Benson) concerning the livability of New Orleans . . . Could he insult the million or so of us currently here in Metro New Orleans anymore? I've already stated in an earlier post that the overwhelming majority of employees/players of the team do not live in areas catastrophically flooded. They live in Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Tammany--areas that didn't sit in water for three weeks. A friend told me he heard on WWL that the number of players adversely effected by the flooding is now stated at five. Even within the City of New Orleans, there are areas that are most certainly livable as I live here. And I am saying that as a father with a wife and child here as well. In the unflooded areas, is it completely back to normal? No. Are all daily conveniences back up and running? No--not all, but many are. But does that make things "unlivable?"
With his insults its like he wants us to despise him--and his team. Hmmmmm . . .
Tom Benson has just become a pathetic old man who now has to resort to just making shit up. Its really sad to see. In 1985 he's hailed a hero, a savior--someone who deeply cared for and stepped up to the plate for his city. And now he's become just a pathetic, greedy old man. If someone would have told me in the mid-1980s this guy would become a worse owner than John Mecom, I would have laughed and said no freaking way. Well, look where we are now--and its just gets worse and worse every day.
I think we all understand the economic realities of the NFL and its very possible New Orleans may not be a viable NFL market anytime in the near-future. Fine, I think any rational person understands this. But the way this all is going down, basically by orchestrated sabotage, is unforgivable. Thirty-eight years of unparalleled loyalty and devotion to a mostly losing team and its all going to end this way. Forget what happened to Baltimore in the 1980's with Jim Irsay and the Colts and to Cleveland with Art Modell and the Browns. This looks to culminate in a new low.
By the way, for excellent coverage on the ongoing Saints fustercluck/debacle, saintsdoggle is an excellent updated daily site.
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