If this is true, Tom Benson should be banned from the NFL and all NFL fans should boycott the sport: The Times Picayune is reporting that (scroll down) New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson is leaning strongly toward moving the Saints permanently to San Antonio permanently.

In the context of post-Katrina despair, I can’t imagine this being true. In the history of bad timing and suicidal PR, this would take all-time, hall-of-fame honors. Frankly, NFL football is the only sport I follow with a passion. Yet, if the NFL allows the Saints to move away from New Orleans permanently in this context, I will announce my complete disgust with and loss of interest in the sport. Moving the team for the season is understandable, but permanently. Not now. Not in this context.

In fact, if I were NFL commissioner, I would announce that the Super Bowl will return to New Orleans at the earliest possible date.

Update: From the Washington Times: “The Saints already were thought to be the leading candidate to become the NFL’s next team in Los Angeles, a dream commissioner Paul Tagliabue wants realized by 2008. Saints owner Tom Benson, who conveniently has a home and businesses in San Antonio, has fought with Louisiana officials for months over the state’s contribution to a renovation of the 30-year-old Superdome. The Saints’ lease runs through 2010, but Benson can get out of it by paying $81 million. With the state facing so many more important needs, money for fixing the Superdome truly might be gone. And then so might the Saints. “