Saturday, December 26, 2015

Jeff Duncan is here to praise Benson and to bury him

Jeff Duncan six months ago told us we need to stop worrying and celebrate whichever Benson ends up owning the Saints.
The Saints are one of the NFL's great success stories. The city's support of the team post-Katrina has exceeded the wildest expectations. The team is more successful than ever.

Why would any NFL owner rubber-stamp a move out of such a viable market? Moreover, why would the league endorse a move that would further tarnish its already shaky public image? The answer to each is they wouldn't.

So, relax. Forget about relocation. Stop worrying about the Saints' future off the field and concentrate on their potential success on it.

The Saints aren't going anywhere -- regardless of which Benson ultimately owns the team.
Not sure what has changed for Duncan since then but today he really wants the Bensons out of the picture. Duncan writes, in a column addressed to Tom,
Your two organizations have lost momentum. The Saints are headed for a third losing season in four years. And barring a turnaround, the Pelicans are likely to miss the playoffs for the third time in four years since you took ownership. The clubs could use new ideas, a fresh perspective.

Your teams' faithful fans deserve better. And the reality of the situation is this: The best way to ensure the long-term success of the franchises is to sell them.
Notice in both articles, Duncan bases his argument on an assertion that there exists a "booming" New Orleans business environment. First, the healthy scene (Duncan's earlier column actually sort of thanks Katrina for this) is a reason to embrace the Bensons. Later, it's the reason we should dump them.

I don't really want to get down in the weeds of knocking that down right now. Suffice to say there's no one within 500 miles of New Orleans right now with access to the capital necessary to take Benson's multi-billion dollar sports franchises off of his hands.

But even if there were, would that really a satisfactory ending? Even in the best case scenario wherein a new owner doesn't move the team to Los Angeles, we still wind up  forking over millions in taxpayer funded subsidies and facilities to another parasitic oligarch.  As John Oliver explains in the video below, that is the real problem here anyway. 

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