Before Donald Trump decided to run for president of the United States, there was another job he coveted. An anonymous Lagniappe reader sent me a transcript of a phone conversation between Trump and New Orleans Saints’ owner Tom Benson. Trump’s first choice was to make the Saints great again.
Secretary: Mr. Benson, Donald Trump is on line two.
Benson: Donald, how are things in the Big Apple?
Trump: You know, Tom, I’m rich; I am very, very rich. I built a phenomenal company. I own the best properties around the world. I wrote a best-selling book. I have the top-rated show on cable TV. And I have a fantastic family with amazing, amazing kids.
People love me, but I’m bored. I’m very, very bored. I can’t even say it; it’s a terrible thing, but I am tired of winning. I need a new challenge.
Benson: It sounds like empty-nest syndrome. Maybe you need a new wife.
Trump: I’ve done that twice; it’s too expensive. I need a new challenge; that’s why I’m calling you.
Benson: You’re calling me for excitement? That’s crazy. I’m 89.
Trump: Not you, your football team.
Benson: The Saints aren’t for sale. I’m not even sure I own them anymore.
Trump: I don’t want to buy your team; I just want to manage it.
Benson: Manage the Saints? What do you know about football?
Trump: The Wharton School of Business doesn’t have a football team. But if it did, I’m sure I would have been a phenomenal player. I play golf; lots of golf. I’m a good golfer, and my resorts have the best golf courses in the world. They are phenomenal. But golf is boooor-ing. It’s a low-energy game. They don’t even let the fans cheer! I want something high-energy; something exciting.
Benson: Well, golf isn’t football, and I have a manager.
Trump: Yah, right. A loser; he’s a looooser. The Saints are losers. I mean, they were once a great team. They won a Super Bowl and people loved them, but now they are losers. I want to make the Saints great again.
Benson: How do you plan to make the Saints great when you know nothing about football?
Trump: Football is all about making deals, and I make fantastic deals. I’m probably the best deal-maker in the world. No, I wrote The Art of the Deal; I am the best dealmaker that ever lived. You guys are lousy deal-makers. What idiot traded Jimmy Graham? And what did you get for him? A center: what’s-his-name. Jimmy Graham could catch the ball; all a center does is snap it: they spread their legs, bend over and snap the ball. How hard is that?
Benson: We also got a first-round draft pick. We’re trying to build up our defense.
Trump: You have no defense, Tom. You can’t keep anyone out of your end zone; opposing teams back their trucks up and tailgate in your end zone. If I were your manager, your defense would be soooo strong. It would be like a brick wall; a huge beautiful wall no one could get through. If you don’t have a strong defense, you don’t have a team.
Benson: Where are you going to get the money to pay the salaries of all these new defensive players you want to get? The NFL has a salary cap.
Trump: The other teams will pay for them. They’ve been ripping you off so bad for sooo long. Everybody loves playing the Saints — their ratings go sky-high because the Saints have a great quarterback and an exciting offense, but you have no defense. They beat you sooo bad, and their fans love that. But I’ll refuse to play in their stadiums unless they give us more of their television royalties. We’ll just play all our games in New Orleans.
Benson: The NFL rules don’t allow that.
Trump: That’s what lawyers are for, Tom, and I have some of the best. I’ll also sue the Seahawks to get back Jimmy Graham, and while I am at it, I’ll make the Eagles give us back Darren Sproles. There must be something in those trade contracts — some small print here or there — that we can get them on.
Benson: I hate lawyers. My kids are suing me.
Trump: That’s your problem. With me as manager, the Saints are going to have sooo many wins the fans will get tired of winning. You’ll have to change the name to the New Orleans Winners. I never did like “The Saints.” It’s a terrible name for a football team. It sounds wimpy; low-energy; like they are so nice they never do anything wrong.
A football team should be named something like “the Vikings” or “the Raiders.” And that Super Dome, ugh, all I can think of is all those homeless people that were in there doing who-knows-what after the hurricane. I mean, did they sanitize the whole place? If I’m your manager, I’ll renovate it; it will be sooo luxurious and the dome will be covered in gleaming bronze. Of course, it will be known as the Trump Dome.
Benson: You know, Donald, you paint an exciting picture, but I think the Saints will stay with someone more traditional, you know — someone with experience managing a football team.
Trump: Suit yourself, Tom. I never did like New Orleans; its full of stupid people. Who builds a city below sea level anyway? The French! You can’t even bury people in the ground. And Lee Harvey Oswald and Richard Simmons went to the same school there … What does that tell you about the city? I’ll just have to find some other way to put excitement back in my life. Maybe I’ll run for president. America is run by morons, too.