Time for a new wreath. I haven’t changed my door wreath since the Spring floral wreath, having forgone 4th of July (I’m having trouble celebrating our independence from the British as BP continues to crap all over our Gulf region). It hit me Wednesday that this is my first full football season here and I couldn’t be more excited to watch our world champions play and our city come alive for it. I love my first ever Who Dat wreath! (photo below)
I don’t know how to convey how seriously this city has always taken football. The schools closed early yesterday. Most offices closed at 2pm. Our beloved Superbowl champion Saints were kicking off the football season. The participation on any game day is so universal that, not only are everyone from infants to maw maws to the patrons at the lesbian bar watching the game, there is almost never any crime during any game because even the criminals would never miss a game.
Every year, the NFL throws a parade and concert for the Superbowl champions. People here can afford to be picky about parades and concerts. There was some grousing about the French Quarter being shut down to build a giant stage that wouldn’t be free to the public. And the floats were still made by Blaine Kern, the king of Mardi Gras floats, but many locals were turned off by the corporate sponsorship of each float. Some boycotted, which is too say – went about their business instead of walking down to the parade.
I love a parade. I love the Saints. And I love Saints fans. So, I went. But I did see their point as I caught beads that were packaged in plastic – twice. Plastic wrap on the beads and another wrapping inside on the rubber corporate medallions. I couldn’t help but think of all the petroleum it took to make all that rubber and plastic. And many of us were unwilling to wear beads medallions reading, “VISA” instead of Zulu, so we took the medallions off. I gave all but 3 of my throws to children.
And, the many of the kids in the marching bands were wearing Mardi Gras weather uniforms in 94 degree heat while drinking only corporate sponsored Pepsi (don’t they own a water company?). A kid finally succumbed to the heat or the sugar or both and passed out right in front of us, conking his head on the concrete. An ambulance came and it became clear that other kids were flagging so that marching band decided to choose the welfare of their kids over the opportunity to represent on national television. They marched off into the distance with the crowd cheering them on, hoping they found water and AC.
All of that said, I love a parade, I love the Saints and I love Saints fans. It was wonderful seeing the fans turn out in all of their regalia. I’ve never owned a NFL team’s merchandise, not even a coffee mug. Now I have a super-cute V-neck Saints retro shirt and a long sleeve Saints shirt for when it gets cooler. I’m even thinking of getting a bumper sticker and actually putting it on my car – something else I’ve never done. EVERYONE in this town wears Saints merchandise. I have no idea what the statistics are but I’m willing to guess that between shirts, jerseys, hats, keychains, lighters, flags, bumper stickers, etc., etc., etc., the average citizen here, including infants and maw maws, owns at least 5 pieces of Saints merchandise.
And this stuff is not cheap! Our local WalMart is as packed with $3 tank tops and $6 dresses as the next one until you get to the Saints’ section where the cheapest item is $14 and the cheapest shirt is $20. But it brings me great joy to drive through town on any game day and see cars festooned in Saints flags, infant girls with black and gold ribbons in their hair, grey haired elegant women in Saints T-shirts with black skirts and church hats, even a guy in a Saints yarmulka (photo below).
I feasted on an amazing bowl of pasta, better than my favorite pasta dish at Fred Segal in L.A, at Coops, a deceptively dive-ish looking bar with food to die for at reasonable prices.
Then joined a fairly large crowd at Lost Love Lounge where they had 3 TV’s, the largest larger than the screens at the Beverly Center movie theatre. People cheered, clapped, and drank $12 buckets of Tacaté (a bucket full of bottles).
As the clock wound down on our winning score, we spontaneously broke out into 3 rounds of Who Dat!?! It’s begun to sink in that we really did win the Super Bowl. That means it could happen again. And though it will never again be as special as the first time (you can’t pop a cherry twice) we can dare to believe that black and gold are going to the Superbowl – again.
Who Dat? We Dat! Believe Dat! 2 Dat!
Enjoy the many photos I took: