As I readied for my Facebook Live discussion with Kathy Finn, the author of the unauthorized biography of the life of Tom Benson, many questions jammed through my mind, that i wanted to know the answers to and which i suspected, our audience would also.
Just who was Tom Benson? How did he become a billionaire and one of the richest persons in the United States? Why did he purchase the New Orleans Saints? The New Orleans Pelicans? What qualities did he possess that launched his remarkable success, coming from such a humble background? Given Benson's reported lack of knowledge about football, how did he fit in with the other NFL owners?
How did a man, not born of wealth, somehow, start out as a car salesman, then a dealer and then a banker and then an owner of major sports franchises, do it? I mean, how did Tom Benson, who passed away yesterday at age 90, who owned the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, emerge as a billionaire, philanthropist and one of the most important men in Louisiana history?
Let’s face it. The owner of the New Orleans NFL football team and NBA basketball team, Tom Benson, was indeed, a Saint.
And now, he moves on to his next winning season and the state of Louisiana mourns.
by Jim Miller, former Exec. VP of the New Orleans Saints
Morten inducted into the Hall of Fame without me
I didn’t think Morten Andersen would ask me to present him when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. And he didn’t.
You see, I happened to be the Saints executive who announced that Andersen was being cut in 1995 and for a time wore the horns as “the man who cut Morten.” Of course, anybody who thought I had the authority to make personnel decisions probably also thought I gave financial advice to owner Tom Benson. But that’s beside the point.