Brownie Points: Benson apparently above NFL law - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Brownie Points: Benson apparently above NFL law

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Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2005 10:27 am

So Kenny Rogers goes after a cameraman and gets suspended (only after an appeal process longer than a Channel 8 pledge drive), but New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson registers a half-a-sack on a CBS cameraman in Baton Rouge Sunday and — after further review — boogies away scot-free?

The videotape shows Benson — who is about as popular in New Orleans as mold after trying to use Hurricane Katrina as an excuse to bolt town — going at it verbally and moving toward a heckling fan before being pulled back by his entourage.

But the NFL, which routinely fines its players for end zone celebrations and poorly worded quotes, lets one of its own slide for a much more egregious offense.


Wayne Gretzky personally anointed Krys Kolanos the future of the franchise when he scored 10 goals in his first 40 games, then beat Patrick Roy with a penalty shot that still ranks high on the Coyotes’ all-time hit parade.

But even the Great One’s patience has run out with Kolanos, who has four NHL goals since beating Roy in 2002 and has been in the press box more than most local media since. The effects of a nasty concussion are long gone and since telling reporters he was "a caged tiger, ready to pounce" two years ago, Kolanos has done plenty of talking but produced next-to-nothing — because, in his opinion, he’s been poorly used.

So with Petr Nedved injured, Kolanos centered Phoenix’s top skill wingers for 17 minutes in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Anaheim and will stay there during what Gretzky hinted was his last chance in Phoenix.

"Krys has said he wants the ball and he’s getting it. Now he has to produce," Gretzky said. "It’s his time to either be an NHL player or not. . . . If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk."


• All those young Suns fans waiting since June to see their heroes are still waiting. Tuesday’s opener against the Mavericks tipped off just before 9 p.m., (begin all letters "Dear TNT") and Thursday’s road game with the Lakers is an 8:30 p.m. start in Los Angeles.

• You can knock Dirk Koetter for a lot of things, but keeping the severity of injuries quiet shouldn’t be one of them. That’s Football 101.

• Remember hugely popular "The Dancing Dads" from last year’s Suns games? This year, get ready for a group of more um, mature ladies called "The Golden Grannies."

Of course, don’t count on them for the 8:30 games.

• Look for Coyotes Oleg Saprykin and Mike Leclerc to get more power-play time Thursday against the Kings, and for Ladislav Nagy’s time to be slashed until he finds a way to at least get his woefully erratic shot on goal.

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