Tom Benson died today after being hospitalized. He was the most unassuming pro football owner back when he took over the team from John Mecom. At the time, some of us knew Benson as a car salesman or a dealer or as a banker.
We also were told he was not knowledgeable about professional sports. But, apparently, he could size up and choose people. He selected Jim Finks as General Manager and Jim Mora as head coach. He obviously also had a gift for making money.
For those of us who remember the embarrassing string of horrible football seasons our ungodly Saints endured, he brought hope where there was none. He brought winning where there was none. And when the New Orleans professional basketball team was close to moving on, he brought a commitment to the City of New Orleans region and to Louisiana, thus, the NBA Pelicans.
The City of New Orleans region and the State of Louisiana will surely and sorely miss Mr. Benson. He did so much for this area for education and healthcare. He dug deep for us when he needed to do so. And, he opened up his heart for all of us to enjoy his vision and his warmth.
Mr. Benson, rest in peace.
Early this morning, a person was killed on Iberville Street, right next to Bourbon Street, in the heart of the French Quarter. This area is the lifeblood of New Orleans tourism, the city’s most important industry.
Below are tweets about Tom Benson, the man, the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelican teams owner