Ah, football

For as long as I can remember being a football fan, I've been a Saints fan--comes from growing up on the northshore, and from the fact that, except for a very short period of my youth when the Jazz played in town, there was no other professional sports team there. (You could make the argument, based on the Hornets' record last year, that there's still only one.)

But quite frankly, I'm a little tired of their shit, and I'm not talking about their performance on the field (although they have underachieved the last couple of seasons).

More to the point, I'm tired of owner Tom Benson's shit.

I'm tired of his bellyaching about how the state doesn't give him enough money to keep his team in New Orleans.

Look--the Saints are a profitable team, despite the fact that they play in one of the most economically depressed parts of the country. In fact, they were in top quarter of profitable teams last year. Louisiana has been very good to the Saints over the years, supporting them even when they were so bad people wore bags over their heads at the games--they were at the games, you see, paying for tickets to see a team that was so bad that they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when no one else had. For almost two years.

And they were there for the good years as well, when Jim Mora was coach, and in Haslett's first year, and even since then, when they've been promising and yet haven't fulfilled that promise.

This is not the first time Benson has poor-mouthed the state. We've practically given him the Superdome, and yet that's not enough. He wants a new stadium, he wants subsidies, he wants cash, or he may just take his team and leave for greener pastures, like, say, Los Angeles, a city that has twice lost teams and doesn't seem all that eager to acquire another one. (I suspect it has something to do with the fact that it's not as easy for a celebrity to be in the spotlight as it is, say, courtside for the Lakers.)

So here's what I have to say to Tom Benson. Take them. Take them to L.A. or shut the fuck up, because I'm tired of hearing you bleat that a state that has major problems in terms of education and health care, and that has one of the highest cancer rates in the country, needs to pay you hundreds of millions of dollars for the privilege of being home to your fucking team.

I am a fan of the New Orleans Saints, and I hope they don't leave, but if I have a choice between having a home team (in my heart, since I don't live there anymore) or watching my former home improve the lots of its millions of citizens, I'll lose the team in a heartbeat. I can always adopt a new home team.

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