And no I’m not just talking about the lockout. It’s actually a little jewel that I saw on a t-shirt while in a New Orleans Saints themed memorabilia shop. What followed next would start my brain clicking.
The shirt in question had what looked like a beer bottle label in the center. Inside the label the shirt had the slogan, “New Orleans: A Drinking Town With A Football Problem”. I called several of my friends over and we chuckled profusely.
I took a picture and showed my wife and family members who also delighted on the play of words. One of my dry humor friends had to kill it. In a confused tone he remarked, “Gene, I don’t get it. Isn’t it supposed to be A Football Town With A Drinking Problem?” Somewhere in the distance I swore I heard crickets chirp and a hawk scream. He didn’t “get it”.
If you chuckled when you read the slogan, then you “get it” and are a true member of Who Dat Nation. The slogan on that shirt speaks volume for the many Saints fans that have truly seen the “football problem” in New Orleans for over 40 years.
If you are trying to get your Captain Crunch decoder rings out to solve the riddle, then your passport to Who Dat Nation isn’t valid. Fair weather fans don’t need to bother asking for admittance in New Orleans.
Our football problem began in 1967 when the New Orleans Saints franchise was started as an expansion team. Tulane Stadium would be their home until the end of 1974.
In 1975, the Louisiana Superdome would be the permanent home of the Saints. Also permanent would be many seasons that would produce the legendary “AINTS”. These were fans that wore the famous bags over their heads so they jokingly wouldn’t be recognized.
For many Who Dat’s, this is where your passport got stamped. If you were a loyal Saints fan, you still went to games or watched them on T.V. or listened intensely on the radio. And that was no matter how bad it stung.
I was born in 1974, so I missed a small part of the trauma. Thanks to my grandmother who I called “Mammy”, she infected me with Black and Gold Fever at a young age and I relished it.