The New Orleans Saints Go Marching On

By Punch Correspondent Victoria Vaccari

The (Mercedes-Benz) Superdome is the loudest, most terrifying stadium for an away game in the nation.  The “GET LOUD” and “MAKE SOME NOISE” signs that flash for every defensive play certainly don’t meliorate the situation either for the ten or so Detroit Lions fans I can see from across the stadium.  While I can detect looks of fear on their faces from my seats, it’s impossible not to feel the electricity running through my own team’s die hard fans shaking the stadium as the Lions unsuccessfully attempt to drive forward.  Turnover.  This is where we get even louder.

I haven’t lived in Louisiana for six years now, but I still call them my boys.  The Saints are truly the spirit of a city that, like a phoenix, has risen from the ashes — or the depths, if you will. Our postdiluvian football team is our pride.  And it is an impossible phenomenon to describe without painting a black and gold picture of New Orleans on game day.

It begins around 8am on the given Sunday; Mondays are much less rowdy here. Bourbon Street bars open and black and gold jerseys pour into the city from all directions. Colorful street performers dot the French Quarter on every corner, and face painters design elaborate fleur de lis’s on spirited locals.  Around noon, local eateries such as Drago’s, famous for their delectable chargrilled oysters hit capacity — and every diner is wearing their colors. Game time in itself is a mass exodus from downtown to the Superdome.  And oh the things you will see. My personal favorite from this past game was the Saints themed Amy Winehouse, complete with WHO DAT interwoven in her beehive and gold go-go boots.

The fans themselves range from young to old, rich to redneck — but that is exactly what makes these games such an important part of our culture as a city. My 81-year old grandmother jumps up and screams when Marques Colston catches a beautiful touchdown pass from Drew Brees with the same energy as my 12-year old little brother, who can tell you every player and their stats for the season. There are the sorority girls from LSU, who dress up in gold platform heels and wild sequin tops, dancing in their rows every time zydeco music (or Ying Yang Twins) plays in the stadium.  And then there are the tailgaters, who fire up their grills and cook for any fellow Saints fan they befriend outside the Dome.

In New Orleans (and for those of us outside the city), it isn’t about loving the Saints, it’s living the Saints. Football is a part of Southern culture and always has been. Every time I come home for a Saints game, I’m blown away by the dedication and love of our fans, and the impact this team has made when the city needed it most. Good luck in San Francisco, and WHO DAT!

***Victoria Vaccari is a born adventurer who escaped the swamps of Louisiana for a more glamorous life in DC.  When she’s not studying or learning the art of political fundraising, you can find her reading or writing poetry, watching foreign films and searching for the perfect cup of tea in DC. Facebook: facebook.com/victoriamarievaccari Tumblr: demaralcielo.tumblr.com***

About Pamela Sorensen:
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.
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