Saints owner talks Katrina

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there was the thought that the Saints were done in New Orleans, and that owner Tom Benson finally had his excuse to move to Los Angeles or San Antonio.

Today, he disputes there was ever truth to that.

“It was different than most people think,” Benson said. “It was just a matter of working through the circumstance. At the time, New Orleans needed the team there. At no time did we look any place else.

“We moved to San Antonio because we couldn’t play (in New Orleans), and we practiced there and everything. But that whole year, we continued on working on getting back to New Orleans. I think that as we look at it, it was the right decision because it certainly has been a great thing for New Orleans.”

A few minutes later, Benson was asked a question while the paper-bag Saints were being referenced … What was the toughest time for him as an owner? The reporter, at least I sensed, was doing something on how sorry the Saints used to be, but Benson couldn’t give him the answer he wanted.

“The hurricane problems (were most difficult),” Benson said. “That was a tough year. Everybody was concerned. Our staff was working out of a basement. I’ve got to give them all credit. I see a few of them out here. They were there.

“Just think about how tough it was to operate a club when you’ve got 200 people, and all of the sudden, you’re operating out of a basement. I think it made us a better club.”

And a pretty good story, too.


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