||05-19-2012 12:12 PM
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson's actions tell the story much more accurately than his words
The only thing brighter than his tie was his smile -- and his outlook for the 2012 season.
"We're going to make history," Benson said. "Our goal this year (is to) win the Super Bowl in our stadium. Nobody's ever done that before."
Benson joined all-time rushing leader Deuce McAllister, longtime Saints broadcaster Jim Henderson and special honoree Steve Gleason in the most star-studded class in the Hall's 25-year history.
Benson was kinder, softer and humbler as he greeted the media at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. He thanked wife Gayle, granddaughter Rita Benson LeBlanc and the dozen or so executives who attended in support. He even thanked the crowd for the warm reception.
"Sometimes in the past 25 years I haven't gotten quite that warm of a reception," he joked.
There was a time, indeed, when Benson wouldn't have received such a warm welcome. Only a few years ago most members of the Hall of Fame selection committee were steadfastly against Benson's induction. Some still oppose it.
Benson's actions before and in the months after Hurricane Katrina were undoubtedly destructive. Whether you believe he was trying to relocate the Saints or not, he and team officials were, at the very least, guilty of poor judgment. Their actions needlessly strained the already fragile psyches of the club's loyal fan base.
Although it would be nice to hear Benson be a little more forthcoming and apologetic about those days, words have never been one his strengths. Besides, his post-Katrina actions have spoken much louder.
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson's actions tell the story much more accurately than his words - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com