Stop the Talk about the Saints Leaving New Orleans

Recently, some statements have been made by Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis when discussing whether the Saints would return to New Orleans for the season opener against Tampa Bay and by Howie Long on the Fox pre-game show on this past Sunday. Both of these individuals statements questioned whether New Orleans was a realistic long-term home for the team.

I just wanted to say something about this before it gets too far.

This kind of talk isn’t fair. No one questions whether northern California should have professional sports teams despite their tendency to have earthquakes and forest fires. No one questions whether the Florida NFL franchises should be located in hurricane-free areas either.

If Mr. Benson is thinking about selling or relocating the team, there are better times to have this discussion. With Hurricane Ike’s approach, New Orleans may be facing the storm that we all expected Gustav to be. Right now is not a true test of the importance of a sports team. We are also at the beginning of what looks like a wonderful season for the Saints. Why spoil something good by creating a sense of fear?

This is the time when the team should be telling the fans how much they are appreciated. We have suffered through the off-season and the preseason. We have been waiting anxiously to see the explosiveness of the offense and exactly how tough the defense can be. We are buying the tickets, the jerseys, the bobble heads, and the key chains. Let us enjoy the team and the season without worrying about whether we’ll have to go to Los Angeles to see Reggie Bush play next year.

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