METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - In his 33 years of owning the Saints, Tom Benson's team won a Super Bowl and made 11 playoff appearances. After his passing, his widow, Gayle Benson, is now the sole owner of the Black and Gold. Gayle was by Mr. B's side every day at the Saints facility, and knows how to keep the winning tradition alive.
Gayle Benson: My husband talked to me all the time about these teams, and how much he loved them. I've been with
him for 14 years, and I knew his love for them, we talked about it all the time. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to come to work every day. I get here at 8:30 in the morning, I leave here at 5:30-6 o'clock. I go home and I'm exhausted, which is good. Then I go to sleep, and start over the next day.
Coach Payton started with the Black and Gold in 2006. He's the most successful coach in Saints history. All he's known is Gayle and Tom on Airline Drive. The transition from Tom to Gayle will be smooth going forward in his eyes.
"Well we already miss him, by now we probably would have had a few different sitdowns and just chatted. We will miss him daily and yet Miss Gayle and the leadership in our building have done a great job of really carrying the torch in a fashion that he would be proud of," said Sean Payton.
Mickey Loomis mirrored those thoughts as the GM enters his 18th season with the Black and Gold.
Loomis: Well, it will definitely be different. It will be different for me because I spent a lot of time in training camp, probably more time during training camp with Mr. B than any other time. He loved training camp, being around the team and seeing the progress and talking about it for hours sometimes. Mrs. B has been fantastic. We've kind of gone along without missing a beat. She's been very supportive," said Mickey Loomis.
The Saints left an empty chair for Mr. Benson at this years draft. His office remains untouched in the Saints facility.