Put The Rumors Aside Folks, Saints AIN’T Moving To San Antonio

By Gregory Moore
Updated: September 5, 2005

New Orlean Saints;SAN ANTONIO – Put the rumor in the john and flush it seven times. Now repeat after me: “The New Orleans Saints AIN’T moving to San Antonio”. As a matter of fact if you want something to talk around the water cooler this week, this is the topic because evidently there is this unyielding rumor that maybe the Saints’ owner, Tom Benson, wants to move the team here permanently.

Well, Saints’ general manager Micky Loomis dispelled that rumor several times during a late Sunday afternoon press conference in downtown San Antonio.

“The New Orleans Saints want to be at the forefront of the rebuilding process of New Orleans,” Loomis said. “Our hearts, our feelings, our thoughts are with the victims who have been relocated both hear and in Houston but we want everyone to know that we will always represent the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana as the ‘New Orleans Saints’ during this season.” You cannot get any more definite than that folks on dispelling a rumor that Benson wants to relocate the team here. Call it a categorical denial if you want.

Call it a blatant slap in the face to whatever stories are currently floating but if there is one thing that both Loomis and coach Jim Haslett can agree on is the fact that as an organization, they are New Orleans bred, fed and led to overcome whatever obstacles are in their way.

For some who are in my home city, this may seem like a slap in the face but look at the situation from a different set of glasses for a moment. Replace the Saints’ situation with that name of your favorite team and the fact that your team has to play in another city that has been dying to get into that stratosphere of having a professional sports franchise.

How would you feel? Well if you are feeling like somebody is trying to steal something from your community because of a tragedy and you’re mad, then that is probably the exact resentment that could be felt by Saints fans towards anyone from the San Antonio, Texas area saying, “now’s our chance to showcase to the NFL that we can support an NFL team”.

You cannot be insensitive to a group of people and say such things on the airwaves but that is exactly what has been happening these days here in San Antonio. It was something that I had warned about in a previous article and yet it is something that I have detested the moment I’ve heard it on the local airwaves.

The speculation that the Saints could be playing home games in San Antonio has always been on the back burner when Hurricane Katrina struck but for anyone to come blatantly out and say so at this day and time is just not a kosher way of being a talking head in this town.

After some time, even the thought of maybe the Saints not being in New Orleans has to come forth but Paul Tagliabue would look like a total jerk in mentioning this today just a week after such a catastrophe.

So why would some in San Antonio want to speculate that the Saints could make the Alamodome their home away from home? Because it is something that this city has wanted ever since the building was built.

Let me reiterate my stance on this issue one more time: the city of San Antonio should not be auditioning for an NFL team at the expense of the New Orleans Saints, the people of New Orleans and the vast fan base that this team has. Such speculation is inappropriate, unprofessional if you are a sports journalist or sports talk show pundit, and just down right insensitive to the situation at hand.

What the people of San Antonio need to do is to show support for this team and come out and help these players, coaches and ownership group uplift the thousands of Saints fans who are in Houston and right here in San Antonio. The monies generated from such games here, if it ever happens, shouldn’t be a show of support for having an NFL team here but for helping a community rebuild while at the same time helping them have a pleasant distraction for a few hours.

That has to be the course of action in this day and age because if San Antonians think that the Saints are going to permanently be in this city, they are in for a rude awakening. The Saints are from New Orleans and they want the world to remember them for who they are now; not what they were just a week ago.