WWL>Topics>>2-13-14 2:10pm Angela: with Tom and Gayle Benson

2-13-14 2:10pm Angela: with Tom and Gayle Benson

Feb 13, 2014|

Angela talks with Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his wife Gayle about their lives.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

The New Orleans Saints win or lose have given this community this state more thrills than any other entity. This team pulls this together in bad times and helps -- create so many good times. The saints are the players and the coaches. But at its core is the man who believed in the team when he bought it. Tom Benson has taken a team that didn't know what winning wines. And turned it into a Super Bowl champions. He did it methodically. By hiring the right people and never losing sight of the goal. And now he's established a new goal for his NBA team the New Orleans pelicans. One can only think this is how he has lived his life. Tom Benson is a self made man. Must've had dreams as a child growing up in New Orleans. Dreams as a young man building his future and goals of being a success. He has accomplished the mall. And now he and his wife -- have become a charitable force in New Orleans. Together as a team they continued to touch the lives of so many. Whether it's through their donations to education. Health care the arts or their church. Our community would simply not be the same with. Your wonderful people both the -- I'm so appreciate your coming on I know you're pulled in so many different directions. Giving us a whole hour Tom and -- means a lot. Especially this weekend. Because look what's here I'm gonna read a real quick quote. I love this bike and find us. It said in an AP article one of the people most responsible for bringing the NBA all stars back to the big east saint. Is the man who -- wasn't that into basketball for much of his life. He is Tom Benson and in New Orleans NBA fans and community leaders are grateful. And that is the truth is this wouldn't of happened if you hadn't gotten the team. So. Was it true that you really weren't tapping into basketball. All you know. And I was in high school by. -- low basketball. We I want to Palo issues was are now broad broad. And -- -- -- Always liked basketball -- but what I got in a football forgot about basketball attended through that then that. But the main thing was that we wanted to make Shula. At this club stayed in new laws it was so important -- community. Must say new all of -- really stretch out -- 150 in my house to not that it. When you look at what happens and just like today. Web sites is so -- also pelicans are so -- now and that. This wonderful serial people the actress. I think that. We gonna develop learned that true and. -- I don't think there's any doubt people are very excited about name so that's where it looks like. Well I -- switch a little bit -- football because yesterday of course you'll have to announce on. That for really beloved players had to leave and and it's understandable and again another quote I'd love to this from Will Smith. Sent out the message today. While it was my dream to retire as a member of the New Orleans Saints. I recognize that the NFL remains of business first I will always be grateful to Tom Benson Mickey Loomis and coach -- And I think that was sort of the resounding thought of all those players. That yes they get this happens in in football did you have -- of those very difficult decisions. Well you know low American he would never coach. Make the decision I talked a real bottom. A sure that this is what you wanna do America's about a club the shall we got to do you know so. I think that both of them. A really developed a great club here and they are we gonna even get better and and hopefully we'll be back -- no Super Bowl win. They'll look at that face and I know -- we will cut and Gail looks at that things and noticed that we will we will him I know you -- that there isn't any doubt you know this was a very special year. For the saints I -- the coach was backing at the new defense of coordinator that everybody loves. And down. And you were presented all the way up in Philadelphia you were present in that game ball. And I have to know what that moment it was for you. You know I was really tremendous is. The capital we will on an airplane coming home. If will become present addresses gave ball and -- -- the -- the first time -- -- capitalize especially like that than that. Everybody was cheering and everything like that on a plane you know on. I think. There's a very exciting new moment in time. And that I'm looking forward to this season and even gone a little bit further. Just a little bit further -- -- you know because it is. You win some you loose. And you know we we cheer cheer cheer and then you have some disappointments and how do you handle. A disappointment like that. That very good -- He's been used to yeah. I used it used to really care Maria. Island studio story. -- through. Accepted that I don't like it. But I accepted and that. A lot of audit of the game -- life in he's got a real. Work on -- not to come back from. That is the bottom line here and you say he's handling it better much better to hit. Early on he would not speak to anyone for three days but now he's he says and he's he understands it. That's just the way it's somebody's going to lose and somebody's gonna win the -- ought to know. But you've learned to live with that and help him silently in and teaches gets quiet with me. With the office he discloses his -- But it means to small quiet and but it took the stand absolutely when you care so much about something there is disappointment and you feel the disappointment as much as he does you issue can go and catch the ball more in that -- -- you can only be there and supporting. Helping to steam it's. Because -- -- what happens today to. Years ago that he has some jerk reaction from things you know you get man and a might do things that you shouldn't have done. Today AM. I'll learn a lot that I don't do that now -- -- him. I accepted by Adam I don't like it anymore but accepted that -- known. Hopefully and I -- and nature real action -- Losses. And a -- ended its benefit his -- not to be so upset. By getting that upset it's hurting him in sides and I try to encourage him not to get that -- And then you get to the Tories say will we're gonna look forward to next week extra -- and and -- net she -- or next year whatever gains. And I you know basketball. It used to be one football season was so we rested for a long time that this happened and how we don't have any regret we go from one Nikola. Gail and I really enjoy it. We try to make every game and that. Vietnam but the saints I think we've made every game. And we hand with the thing because they aren't meant it with that pavlik insists it's them. We're married nine now there's an endangered appellate panel and and they've got to be -- -- -- the front he Judy owners here -- there room. We do we really like Ian and we like -- the players and the people that. Say and I I know -- so well and Gail has come so far and in our enjoyment of sports. He is this is what you've done for her town and the -- Brighton to ride in her world that your. You know what a lot of people don't realize is that we have a lot of all the business. Fit and that's a lot of good taxes have known that. And hit two. You know we in the banking and as the automobile. Real estate business that few other things so. It's. Very interest in life but I gotta say that of dissension pelicans. -- for a slow lawyers that they -- -- -- -- as well but they've dropped the third. I -- well lucky for us lucky for the city that we have you and the pelicans in the saint. Everybody stay with -- we're gonna continue our talks with Gail and Tom Benson right after this. I'm Angela on WL. Our very special guest today Tom and -- Benson. I know everyone knows that you grew up in New Orleans but what was what was it like for you growing and. Very interest -- and that. You know I grew up -- closest say rock park. Some. Went to school -- there. Want to cherry Charlie stone CO -- which is still layer of the -- still doesn't look the same to me when I visited. And -- them. But. I used to my apparent to give me some money for cough -- of full of street called ride two. But the tunnel want to high school. Was saying now malicious and now broke the Martin. Day. And I would walk to school keep the money and walk home sort of have to spend money has a more spend money anyway and that. So basically that's our grew up Britain and not. Always found a job at the school that's what has been asking what was do you -- your first job. There was a gosh Mars are closed and -- In shipping department. Help would have put. Packages together you know. At least from there anyway in net. We were practiced that. Put in and out of and vision ago to where -- that are grown to. When you got your first check did you feel like wow I'm rich did well it from there I want immunity offers because alike that are much more. You know just work in an Osama. But when I got into the office an opportunity was there for me to work you have -- school after school. And I would put in a little maybe -- on Rollins and -- there counting stuff. Who was old type machines and and they. Sony paid me the same amount of money you know make -- network and a full time because I kept up the work. But I would worked you know all day Saturday and and -- or go to on Sunday but -- and then after school on. So from there you know. Go on -- room. Loyal foot a year and -- and navy. Or two is it close to -- man at -- retirement. So early on about ships optical in the Pacific. So of her very interest -- came back in that. People all worked for a that -- won back to -- In. Asked him what to know give me some. Information about life and stuff written would -- about this accounting thing and shall I if you wanna make some money this is -- big dispute that but did you Beckett dice -- So -- start looking around an opportunity came -- border in the automobile business. So I want there is an office manager or something like that. Discover grown with that. Followed by Newmark -- -- bill and that so we grew to better is removed. Had a big stored in Houston and I don't know in the San Antonio. And them are really did like San Antonio spent. A lot of time over -- -- to have little problems and the them make a long story short. Haven't run -- -- full Wallin. -- -- came along so -- that you stay here and run a stool. And net. Might work out and that's what I did in. -- pair of part of it Medicare -- me more and more and a -- real border at all. And just have grown from there on that one Tom we have thirty some watched the automobile stores around the country. You always knew though that business was going to be your life ball we have -- love that -- you know. And it was I mean you've been named now. One of the 300 richest people in the United States and in such an accomplishment. Not knowing that started in saint rock and started with that. Behind the scenes it gusts -- in the year -- year working working working. And that is a phenomenal accomplishment but did you ever see yourself at this position. No. A really didn't you know alternate. Tell you the truth coordinate very interested in sports. I was more inches in basketball at a high school and a time. -- long rule them. Mark cause and who's my age. You know how much the same time what the high school together and callers ago and he via. He played on a team. Motorola had a great -- -- that arm I would want to that your temperature to -- And that. So -- -- variations should know me I used to go to Tulane game though. And then. One of them mainly when it looked like that. The -- truly rule it's. There -- -- particular body out there. So we're on our blue John a group. And make sure each day so want to she'd government. Who was governor -- was at Qatar. And -- The -- while was the group's student person. But you and thank heaven I mean that was a big turning point for the city that the saints would stay as it is that the pelicans are -- And yet it goes back to your basic. Understanding of business. -- you take a chance I guess with everything but. One that you studied so you must've looked at both of those properties and sent the saints and the pelicans this is worth the investment. Also for the -- You know I think that. We looked out of from a business standpoint and said simply we can improve columnist and what they do want -- say you're. Did you 50% are proceed for putting gained I don't remember exactly now alert was put. We got a -- we got to make sure we sell out every game. By doing that we're gonna have a lot more interest from radio we're gonna -- from television. And -- So essential work and I shall we did you know we kept development that and and it and it worked to. So we pay a lot of attention to our customers. To make sure that they enjoy what do you do when you're note today we show up the pelicans. And we haven't exactly done great. But they'd they'd have the feeling that we worker hall. -- -- congress absolutely and but you know gale gave you a great compliment when she was on the program months ago and she said nobody can read a spreadsheet like Tom Benson. That that's a gift I mean just to look do you just have an innate sense of knowing how to make a business work and succeed. And that that is not not everybody has that. Well you know be an accountant. Is very important -- you can read to balance sheet Nolan profit loss statement know what's going on. Sales are down on expenses -- two cars and this is not the other and the some things that lead to a profit. And properly used to building your organization you know. -- could pay to keep two people more money. If you make a better profit. You can -- -- -- mushrooms so. That's very important and I think that to him I know was important me and -- -- built a business for Chenault. Did people ever young people come to you and saying tell me how to become a millionaire. Yet there are -- don't just get ready to work seven days a week about twenty dollars a day and you are right. Hope everybody heard that we're gonna take another break we're actually gonna go to the newsroom and Chris Miller will be right back our very special guest Tom and -- Benson. And I think everybody. Just marvels at the incredible succession it had in your life that you burnt that you worked hard for and I think they'd be interested to know. Is there a process you go through when you decide I want to buy a car dealership where I want to by the saints I want to. Buying property. Well. Yeah yes because -- -- the first thing you do is you know you have to have good people around you. You have to trust them up -- very important that you can trust him. And then -- got to believe in you. And you gotta believe and -- and what that. From there makes it a lot easier because. A lot of times. We'll look at soft and announced on. But good regional Ohio that we shouldn't get involved. -- we don't you know and not so. I'm very open. Who. And people talk we -- them. Not as much as I used to but I have a meeting. Is to have a meeting every week -- -- Today. Mostly Dennison. And -- moments and do that. With the staff and everybody. Comes in the same thing and then out of business you know and not a solemn. First thing is good communication. When you got more than one bit as a -- -- yourself for a player. Is very important at their communication can be good. People about it -- got to feel. -- communique which you and you've got to feel it you can communicate with them. When when you talk about surrounding yourself with good people. Just for instance what was it about Mickey Loomis you -- that said this is the right man for the job. You know what. This very important feel a depression and it didn't work in what was very tarnished. And in don't try out of -- shooting. And that. Thus the top person -- don't Russia Shinto. And that. Give you an idea. Unfortunately. The general manager erupt before him. And some other people -- war and with close what him and Mickey was part of that team. You know we let them all go some number of years back. Everybody except -- And -- them. Opting to he earned his respect. And that I think steps. And today. And I know when he says something to me. You take it to the bank. -- that type of person. And so we can get along real -- not trust him a great deal. And that's what I -- is Smart too and that they'll bring us more sometime and if you can't trust him. On summers' statements marked on my own money trust -- talk about. Working trust directing. -- with puts an awful lot of time marketplace he works or seven days a week still lows today in that. We go from football basketball which is involved in our way east play basketball -- using college. And that. So. It's very fond relationship. Went in selecting coach Payton. But what stood out to you. Well instant if you recall of the hurricane Newser Ron after the hurricane regard him. And that the next year when we came back. There was still -- old story and show warrant Durham. News golfers still look the mesh there. But. We interviewed him we interviewed. Two -- three other coaches. And Adam. He never entered had been a head coach in -- -- only your systems. Analyst wanna vote pro should that had been a head coach. Then. I was phobic concern an actor maybe he would have enough -- experienced. -- -- though stuck his neck out. That I'd like to have him I think he's the guy for this club. Shall. Alike you know him and wrong nobody you must second choice. And that. I mean maybe you shouldn't say a second charge but he. You warned of the -- there room. And Mickey said he'd he'd liked him and he thinks he's the Vatican do at forest. So all along with that and that them but he certainly has -- Well they took us to the Super -- -- -- he took center usually do it again you know. Not necessarily saints or even pelicans that in your life. Have you ever had. Make a decision in -- look back now and say you know that was the wrong decision. Through them. Argue that a half an -- That I know a great position. Ali -- -- momentum. The wrong decision. -- -- We tried to bring a hockey team here. That was a bad decision. In also. Would bring in hockey team in San Antonio. That was a bad decision to the NFL with a Soriano if you like that have undergone a make some mistakes huge event though live with a total other get too down. And I think that. Thank goodness you gotta make the right decision more times in a wrong decision. Absolutely -- right decision is called dale Benson yeah that's right stay with us everyone will continue with Tom and Gayle Benson right after this. We are back with Tom and -- Benson. And that we kind of alluded to something town that I think we need to elaborate on the and that is how your life has changed since you married. About a year on the spot now. Spot -- up there would have us but it. A -- -- -- tell you what. She keeps us balked about life leader of she's so wonderful -- bottom. Two children were closed aware of an effect. Which I enjoy very much and that. She's not pushy about sanctions. Though in Europe and Asia will bitch you don't want to go out every night and she's okay with Patton. Ought to do putting some time and that. We got a great relationship notes. The sultan you dream -- and I think that to them. Hopefully it's gonna continue. A long time. In a about. I don't they're going to be -- a -- I thank you. That is a magnificent statement not from gale even the -- has nothing but compliments about -- And and your relationship but from others who have noticed. How you are so respectful today on how you treat her and it's a pleasure to watch it not everybody has that and it makes it very very special. We have a very special relationship we really do we left Iowa. You know make light of a lot of things because you can't be serious about everything all the time you just need to lighten up some towns. -- Well that brings us really to. Together as a team you really have impact in the community through the giving you've done. Whether it's still oil low or -- Cher or to the arts as we talk about certainly to your church. And and those decisions are made together. Yes here. You know usually that comes through in town will bring them home to me. And we'll talk about it and me to do whatever we can would have a particular organization working on -- You -- a lot -- -- -- But it it brings us a lot of pleasure. To be able to you to help but the people. And I think you know he Nancy can you. Always comes back to. And no matter what you do in life I feel like when -- give back you always. You -- receipt. And I just have always felt that way and I think we continue to do. I've known -- for many years and have known that. Her faith is such an electrical part of who she is and I get a sense Tom that that is what you two. Can you all kind of talk about that what faith is in your lives. Faith is. Believing. That it is a better. Place the -- elated when you Cohen. And it's knowing that everything you do today. Is going to be okay. Because you know that god is can take care of what ever problem you. I was just sharing with town this morning someone gave me yesterday. Mother. Of knots. And it's the blessed mother who his knots and she releases all of your problems. In your life. When you have faith in her. And that god is -- -- everything. -- -- -- a little sign that says. Good morning this is god. I'll be handling everything for you today. And it's really true meaning and sometimes we feel like we can control of the day -- I mean we make no little plans and then. God changes imminent we move on. You know -- important it is when we met at church that yes I was a great there you go under and a what and -- it was a -- on Monday morning that was a very unusual. Time. And that. -- -- issue was freedom. Mr. born -- beautiful girl I got to meet her. Phil launched. After the masters no one of -- to made excuses sheet of fresh. But who are new. And CN wallet and I got introduced to a and them that's where it all stalled. But what a perfect place -- too many perfect place to start I think that's -- this in -- meets them is in ushered. Authorities say in apps and you were surrounded by priests -- -- can take a bit. It's always so nice to see so many of them the priest that your football games yes I mean they're cheering you on -- and we know the group of nuns are more in their freeway. I'll tell me your thoughts on that we were talking in a commercial. Your thoughts for young people today. Well but you know work. I think that it they got to take advantage of the opportunities usually have today what a wonderful. And I mean that. Not only in of the vendors -- over. The world. Moaning. While food and so forth. But also I knew life wouldn't then you got to pay at the bottom of the years go by real furnished. Even as young person before you know it you're an old person. And -- He got to realize. The -- in bed awaiting forest. As a garden that. And you can't forget that and if you do I think you know problems. And more problems than most people can handle. So I would encourage everybody to. Take time. To -- Gordon. Asked for his help steel and -- do that every day. And that. I would encourage people to do it had nothing to them. They only have a good life -- people can't them make my lots and lots of money. But you can have a very nice good life that we can be very satisfied what you do -- can be happy. And before you know -- gold bar pretty fragile and talked about a guy and knows. But you're still you're still in business you're still creating you're still doing incredible things. Both of you and you're giving this beautiful party for the NBA tomorrow. That's not just for the NBA that is for the city of New Orleans to say yes it really years and you continue to contribute in so many ways. We wanna make sure that the NBA comeback as you know. The first time ever had this game here. That Durham. Oh I've been reminded it was a shortcut into the first 212 good stuff. This is the one that's gonna be remembered. And as a new group and our own net so. It's very important liked to -- -- we get this back often. As good city good photos state and it's good for the people here -- this is what we about it -- it comes here. Love -- should our. Government and invited envelope to calm anxious. There was a conventional. Paul audio or just become -- They've really. Talk about new homes for all over the country enough must tell people from the -- hold or they wanna talk Cuba. Which is wonderful now. It is wonderful. What would you in -- sort of final moments here your hopes for this city especially business wise. I think that Durham. What Rossi. A city Shuler has the right direction. Favored got a lot of good people looked. During that whole community today is getting loans to. The no matter what the actual warrant -- ago. Nobody's jealous of a -- parting. And I think everybody in real in the work together and to be very happy you'd. It is of the -- people. Be as successful. In that don't sew up that this community dome shows that offer of bright. You know and a football burden of basketball opens. With -- either the players. A black four options. And yet it's sort of Martin argued there. Other whites. And the relationships are just great if you're -- locker room achieved people. Joker in and talking to each other and a return. True today who's got shall what -- better than one -- a youngster. And that dome is just wonderful nothing is gonna continue to get better -- better to them. Well I cannot thank you both to -- enough. For spending the whole hour with this and continued success to both of you and he ends -- thank you for what -- -- doing to make this community better Galen Tom Benson and we'll be right back. Well we have our code word coming up for a 1000 dollar cash contest run activist.