My dear friend offered my boyfriend and me a pair of Saints tickets for tonight’s pre-season game vs the Titans! I have never seen the Saints play in a home game. I know it’s pre-season, but as I’ve mentioned before, Saints fans get up for all games, pre-season or not. I went to my first NFL game last year, in Baltimore, where I saw the Saints lose to the Ravens. It was sad and it was COLD–football is not supposed to be played in the cold!
It does seem like everyone here loves the team. Miami and D.C. (the only other places I’ve lived) are filled with transplants who already have a team they follow or people who just don’t care about football (granted, I haven’t been to Green Bay.) At the 504ward dinner the other night, I asked the New Orleanians at my table (in this case, I’ve defined them as people who were born in the city) if they were Saints fans. Somebody responded, “Do you have to ask? Everyone is a Saints fan!”
I think there are so many fans because the Saints are the oldest pro franchise in the state and New Orleans has so many Louisiana-born citizens. Becoming as Saints fan is part of loving the city and adopting it as your hometown. That’s easy for me to say though because it’s only in the past handful of years that I’ve followed the NFL. I like the Dolphins to do well, but I don’t care if they don’t (although I feel sad for my brother, the biggest Dolphins fan in the world.) I’m ripe for the picking!*
There are other cities, such as Chicago or New York, where if you move there you might purchase a Cubs or Yankees hat as a sign of city pride, but not really follow the team. You’ll pick those teams because they are the media favorites, ignoring the much more exciting White Sox or the down-on-their-luck-now-but-I-still-love-them, Mets. But I haven’t seen that here. If you own Saints gear, you are a fan. Because why wouldn’t you be? In other cities I’ve encountered the accusation of becoming a bandwagon fan, since their 2009 Championship, but here no one thinks of that (as far as I’ve seen). A New Orleanian IS synonymous for being a Saints fan, and they are both welcome you and encourage you to join the community.
*It wouldn’t be a post written from me if I didn’t mention that I will NEVER become in LSU fan. Go Gators!