When I was in high school, it seemed like nobody was really interested in professional sports. College, obviously, with the Tide and Auburn, and the Scholars’ Bowl team had a strange affinity for the Detroit Pistons of the late 80s as role models, but by and large, the rank and file of the school seemed solidly disinterested in athletics for money.
For some reason, I know not why, there were Saints fans. More than a few.
Similarly, in 1993, Fox took over the NFC contract and the Birmingham affiliate, Channel 21, had a contest to select Birmingham’s Unofficial Official NFL Team. Given the time, you would think Dallas. Or the Redskins, traditionally the team of the South for forty years pre-television. Or maybe Green Bay, home of Don Hutson and Bart Starr. Or hell, maybe Atlanta for proximity.
Nope. It was the Saints.
My best friend from high school moved to New Orleans circa 1996, and jumped in with both feet. Team Black Swan East was based there for years, and are fully immersed. Even people from the Crescent City who live here, who I didn’t think would be into sports that much, were Twittering things like “can’t stand still can’t stand still can’t stand still” for the entire fourth quarter and dressing their children (okay, child) in black and gold and speculating that tickets for the Super Bowl are worth liquidating the college fund and jetting to Miami.
Look, I realize I am a Redskins fan until I die and cannot be saved. I do not claim to have so much as a green card in Who Dat Nation – maybe a 2-week visa, if I get enough Sazerac down me. But for the first time in I have no idea how long, I have a legit rooting interest in the Super Bowl – and would, even if Peyton Manning’s Indianapolis Dolts weren’t in the picture.
Get Seth Green on the line. It’s time…
WHO DAT SAY GON’ BEAT DEM SAINTS!!!