Benson forced to return to New Orleans

The most amusing part of this whole "Saints returning to New Orleans" story is where Paul Tagliabue mentions he received a memo from Tom Benson saying he "wanted to resume operations in our training and practice facility in Metairie." That's what you call a bold faced lie.

According to this article in the New Orleans Time Picayune Benson has no legal authority to move the team without prior approval by the NFL's owners. And the owners were not about to let Benson move the team to San Antonio.

"I don't think Tom Benson has a snowball's chance in hell of winning an antitrust suit against the NFL," said Gary Roberts, the deputy dean of the Tulane University Law School and a noted expert on sports law.

"Paul Tagliabue has outflanked Tom Benson," Roberts said. "Look at who's on the (New Orleans advisory) committee. It's a group of traditional, old-line people that are close to the commissioner and believe strongly in league stability. The commissioner has stacked the deck in his favor."

Roberts describes it better than I could, Benson was outflanked by the Commish on this one. Benson knows he can make more money keeping the team in San Antonio, but Tagliabue is more concerned about the NFL's image, which means keeping the team in New Orleans. Never mind that Benson will be hemorrhaging money by playing games in Tiger Stadium and the Superdome.

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