Well, there it was! New Orleans Saints visited London and recorded a very good shutout win ‘away at’ Miami Dolphins – who had given up a home game in return for hosting a future Super Bowl final. It did end up differently for me than I was hoping for, but as previously written: after months of Rita LeBlanc [part of the Saints] intimidations towards ANYONE who wanted to organize a London based event, or simply to stage an interview, with me resulted that the week was ‘taken away from me’. See here my previous article that sums it all up ‘nicely’.
For those who think I only have picked Jay Romig his name from out of the air, click on the name and you’ll see I definitely have been handed his email address (enjoy yourself). Ignoring me and intimidating others on the road, and this all because I have my own blog and an own opinion. Noticeable that if my writings, including tweets on Twitter, were ‘unfundamental’ they wouldn’t be so aggressive in their behavior.
Part of the Saints visiting week was that I would meet Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com , which was something I dearly looked forward to, as I have wondered a few things about his journalism. Freedom to write opinions, yet: with the power struggle between owner Tom Benson and his granddaughter Rita LeBlanc I got aware that Duncan had choosen sides. Below an overview.
On Jan 22 2015 Rita LeBlanc announced a lawsuit against her grandfather Tom Benson that he was ‘incompitent’ to control both the New Orleans Saints and NBA franchise Pelicans. A more detailed overview of that lawsuit can be seen HERE. The original plan was that Mr Benson’s only remaining daughter of 3 would get 60%, grandson Ryan 20% and Rita the other remaining 20%.
When Mr Benson discovered that Rita had moved half the administration over to San Antonio, who since 2008 already have a SA Saints youth development team by the way, Benson fired her from the Saints and scraped her and the two other mentioned out of his will. Saints belong to New Orleans and no place else.
With SA feeling ‘burned’ (Feb 21 2015, *wink wink*) because they could not (2005) more the franchise over on a permanent base after the team had to move away for a season due of the hurricane Katrina damage, and also because they have failed to tempt the Oakland Raiders to come over (they are now Las Vegas bound), the city still has a very desperate desire to have a NFL team of their own.
It is well known that a large chuck of Saints employees took side of Rita, as Tom is of course way older and in order to secure your job to be safe after the relocation they now also know THEY will be on the firing line when their secret double agenda will come out. One of them is a journalist who since that lawsuit was filed in became ‘a bit’ anxious.
Duncan reports about an ’emotional clash’ (physical attack) by Rita on Mr Benson and his wife Gayle on Dec 21  – but only writes about it on Feb 28. Funny when dozens have witnessed it it takes two months before mentioned it – and of course over a month after the lawsuit was submitted.
It took a few months but on June 12 (all still in 2015) Duncan reports “The Saints aren’t going anywhere regardless of which Benson owns team” which, as I already wrote, is a blatant lie because a) the reason LeBlanc was fired and b) the lawsuit in order to push through her planned relocation. Being a lot taking place behind the scenes, time passing by with tipping fingers on the dest awaiting the development.
Things seem to be ‘not working’ as planned and on Dec 28 Duncan started a campaign “Should Tom Benson sell the Saints/Pelicans?” in which he hosted a live chat with readers. A smart move to seek views by others (not mine, of course) to gain some info that might help his ‘master’ Rita with ‘new ideas’.
Skipping the calendar again, it is getting obvious that Team Rita are on the losing side, and so is Jeff. In a fiersy article on Aug 17  Duncan attacks Tom Benson with “Selling Saints, Pelicans the greatest gift Tom Benson can give to New Orleans”. Ehm, really? We all know how important the Saints is both to the the pride of an own football team but also the HUGE economical impulse the sports are generating to the wide region. Selling Saints means ‘welcome to Texas’ as a result, and that can’t be allowed to happen.
On Feb 4 of this year, Mr Benson has agreed a settlement which reads “a winning proposition for the city and people of New Orleans and fans of the Saints and Pelicans everywhere”, which means the ownership will be passed on from Mr Benson (87) to his wife Gayle (67) with from there a further new structure to be worked on so that teams will remain where they are now.
Being of course well into it, I very cheeky tried to get in touch with Rob Ryan, who was sacked in 2015 (and just read the article again if interested). My signed for letter was received but sadly no response received. Why did I wrote him a letter? If someone knows the interior of the Saints [during that period] and could be very useful in order to clean the franchise up, it is him. That’s my opinion. And I do know that it is a giant wasps nest within the organisation – see their use of aggression to anyone who wants to get involved with me. Oh dear! (Am I overreacting? No. People who have followed me all year long and read my previous blog posts + tweets know).
Prior to the ‘in London’ week I decided to block Duncan, as I already realised that he has a spine of an Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl lead. As see below the communication I had with him, who has since his last Twitter private message (June 22) fully ignored me.
So, the Team Rita journalist, as you can clearly see, he has even silenced my tribute article to Dusty. Not even showing a slightest bit of respect.
Now that Duncan has been put on his place I wish to tell about the Saturday, Sept 30, in which I had taken a Dusty photo with me to ‘bring her to London’, as that I promised her when the announcement of the Miami fixture was officially moved to the British capital.
As people [my followers on Twitter and so do some locals where I live] know I’m still missing Dusty, with a lot of her friends we keep in touch and as a unity we fight for justice to happen. When I arrived in the centre of London I first went to the Waterloo area. After two coffees I went up to cross the River Thames and made my way to Piccadilly Circus, on the bottom of Regent Street. What warmed me was many people were looking at the picture and many smiled and some even thumb up to show appreciation. They might now know her story, they could see me in my Saints coat on a mission.
It got quite close to me: home (New Orleans) came home (London and I started to feel emotional. I moved away via Soho (another coffee) and ended up near Highbury & Islington several hours later sipping all but alcohol (I’ve quit a while ago) with people even coming by to ask about the picture and I also had some long chats as well. I’ve kept my promise and I hope Dusty her family and friends feel proud and most of all supported I spoke with my heart.
I'm a 36 years old guy living near London who's a loyal fan of the New Orleans Saints. I got connected due of Katrina, when watching the news it felt like a 'personal attack'. Hard to describe, but ever since my love for the city and the wide area started to grew. Being connected with other fans via Twitter make that feeling even stronger.
I am not going to write very often, yet. I need to grow (I used to blog about 'soccer') back into it