Rouses Everyday - September & October - page 10

After all, what other team, in any professional sport, has as it’s
mottos: “Faith!” and “I Believe.”
That says a lot. In fact, that says it all.
In South Louisiana, and across the Mississippi Coast, football fans
bank on the coming season like no other place; you can feel the
fever rise up, the temperatures start to go down, an electric buzz is
in the air and there’s a cosmic communal shifting of mood, attitude
and ambition.
Around here, autumn doesn’t just mean football season. In this
town, in this time of year, it means Saints Season. Let the people
come together, let the masses gather ‘round the public squares and
taverns, families gather ‘round the hearth, close the shops and
foundries of toil and hard labor and all pledge fealty and tithe their
spirit-souls to the High Holy Church of Who Dat.
Yeah, we love our football around here. It’s blood. It’s history. It’s
knowing, understanding, unshakable pride of place and people,
unwavering trust, gratitude and remembrance.
It’s identity, community and, yes — faith.
And it’s personal.
Around here, Saints fever is in the air and in the water. It’s unavoidable.
To deny it is to stake a bold claim as an outsider. To embrace it is to
plant your flag in the terra firm of the Who Dat Nation.
You could have moved here two weeks ago, it doesn’t matter. All
very city loves its football team, that’s a given. But in some
places, the NFL franchise is the very heart of a city’s identity.
In Green Bay, for instance, the Packers practically are the city. In
fact, the residents of Green Bay comprise the shareholders who
the Packers.
That’s commitment.
In Chicago, an entire culture, complete with it’s own accent, fake
Mike Ditka-moustaches and a lot of help from Saturday Night
Live, has evolved around “Da Bears!”
Around the world, when people think of Dallas, Texas, the first
image that comes to mind is, well — the Cheerleaders. But they’re
a vital part of the Cowboys football organization — those hot-
pantsed, halter-topped ambassadors of goodwill like no others.
And in Washington, D.C., the fans are so rabidly attached to their
team that they’re willing to face global scorn just to keep it from
changing its name.
Remember, after all: The term “fan” is derived from the word
“fanatic,” which Webster’s defines as “unreasonably enthusiastic,
overly zealous.”
And then there’s the Saints. And New Orleans. And a bond so
unique, emotional and blood-oathed, that if there is one place in
this great land where if the NFL team moved away, that city just
might lose its religion entirely, just might never recover its mojo
again — it’s New Orleans.
The Original Pinettes Brass Band playing at a Rouses tailgate.
in that
Chris Rose +
photos by
Frank Aymami
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