Tom Benson was a no-show for New Orleans' game against Chicago in Baton Rouge, La., staying true to his promise never to return to the city where last week he swatted at a TV news camera and argued with a heckling fan.
Benson's granddaughter, Rita Benson LeBlanc, did attend the game. LeBlanc, who carries the title owner-executive, is Benson's heir apparent.
After the Saints' loss to Miami a week ago, Benson fired off an e-mail to NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue saying his trip to Baton Rouge was a "total disaster," adding that he and his family members could have been injured or killed and that he would no longer attend games in Baton Rouge either this season or if any Saints games are scheduled there in 2006.
Saints spokesman Greg Bensel later said Benson wrote the e-mail out of frustration and still may attend one of the remaining games scheduled for Baton Rouge. Bensel did not immediately issue a statement on Benson's behalf during the Chicago game.
Fans booed when a public address announcement mentioned Benson while soliciting donations to the Saints' Hurricane Katrina relief fund.
* SAVING HIS SEAT: There was an empty seat near the 30-yard line amid the sellout crowd in Arrowhead Stadium. Security promised QB Trent Green it would stay that way all afternoon.
Four days after laying his father and number one fan to rest, Green played through a pain that does not get noted on the injury report.
Ever since their son joined the Chiefs in 2001, Jim and Judy Green had never missed a game, coming to the stadium hours before kickoff and tailgating with other fans. Jim Green died unexpectedly on Oct. 27 at age 58. He was buried Wednesday.
"I put a little sign, or a little tribute on the seat and kind of taped the seat so nobody would sit on it," Trent Green said.
-- From News Services