A reqiuem for a complex man

Close your eyes for one second.

It’s a Sunday in late September at the Superdome and you’re walking into the building with your kids to enjoy yet another monster truck event.

Before the event starts, your son notices in the crevices of the Superdome a black-and-gold banner, a lonely one that has collected dust over time.

While he munches on his popcorn, he asks you a question.

“Dad, New Orleans had a football team?”

You say yes, but then you realize that thirty years prior, the memories of Archie Manning and Tom Dempsey were shipped away to Jacksonville, where they’ve won two Super Bowls.

Now before I go any further, I will say that monster truck shows are in fact, fun to be at.

But let’s be clear, that’s the harsh reality this city would have faced had Tom Benson not stepped up in 1985 to save the Saints for the city.

As opposed to living and dying with each play on fall Sundays, a generation of kids would have been relegated to watching games featuring the Dallas Cowboys or worse, the Atlanta NFL franchise.

Like any person of his stature, Tom Benson pissed off a many person.

In some people’s eyes, he was a miser, a cheapo, a man that tried to yank the Saints out of town when he couldn’t get what he wanted from the state.

But the good that he did for the city and the region at large outweighs those things, which in turn created a complex legacy for a complex man.

That being said, Mr. Benson did what was written in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Rest on, Mr. Benson.

You’ve finished the race.


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