Another month, another amazing person that gets to share their story.
For those who don’t know, in this monthly series, called the “New Orleans Saints Fan Showcase” I turn to various New Orleans Saints fans to hear their stories. After experiencing and meeting amazing Saints fans throughout my lifetime, I figured it would only be appropriate if I shed the spotlight and turned it on some of the fans that help keep this fan base, team, and organization going.
This month, I had the pleasure and honor of getting to know Donald Silcio Jr. He is most notably known as Gametime Saint. Donald Silcio Jr. or @GametimeSaints on Twitter is an avid, die-hard New Orleans Saints fan. He represents the Who Dat Nation well and loves being a part of everything New Orleans Saints related.
Donald’s Charitable Contributions To His Community
Tyler: What started you to become involved in your local community?
Donald: I always had a passion for community involvement. I started coaching little league football and eventually took over the program. My interaction with parents from my community urged me to run for a director’s position on the property owner’s association board. (I ran for the POA board position to improve youth recreation by building new sports fields.) When I became a super fan it opened up other doors for involvement in charities.
For those who didn’t know, Donald was featured on NFL Network’s “Tackle My Ride”. Former NFL athlete LaMarr Woodley and car enthusiast James Torrez, the owner of Demented Customs, host the show dedicated to giving back to those who have done well for others.
The contributions Donald has made for his community are recognized. They are simply phenomenal. His actions allowed James Torrez to trick out Donald’s 1966 Ford Mustang GT 350 into the ultimate New Orleans Saints machine.
Former Saints DL John Jenkins, when asked to talk about Donald, used some of these words, “great guy, has a heart of gold, a heart of black and gold, very deserving of this opportunity”. The link to the official video can be found here.
Tyler: You were featured on NFL Network’s “Tackle My Ride”. What was that experience like for you?
Donald: It was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. I hope that the car will become a tool in my charity work. I feel very honored to have been chosen for the show. There are a lot of other great NFL fans out there.
Tyler: What do you enjoy most about giving back to your community?
Donald: Honestly, I enjoy seeing the smiles on people’s faces, especially children. If you’re not helping people you’re not living life.
Tyler: Obviously, you represent a lot of different charities and organizations in your conquests as GameTime Saint, what are the main charities/organizations you support? Or, what are the main contributions you provide to the city of New Orleans?
Donald: I’ve done work with Steve Gleason’s charity, No White Flags; Thomas Morstead’s, What You Give Will Grow; Pierre Thomas’s, I Can Foundation, Angel’s Place, New Orleans Children’s Hospital, and Kidd’s Kids Foundation. What I really enjoy is visiting handicapped and underprivileged children at Christmas time to surprise them with gifts. It’s more of a one on one experience where I really get to bond with the child and their family. I have been working on my new Foundation The Gametime Experience.
The charity Silcio mentioned, “The Gametime Experience” truly is an amazing organization. Donald is the founder of the charity. Tha charity focuses on that gives back to local children that have illnesses, or disabilities and truly giving them the time of their lives at Saints games.
Donald Silcio Jr. / Gametime Saint As A New Orleans Saints Super Fan
Tyler: How long have you been a Saints fan?
Donald: Since birth. My dad is a huge Saints fan.
Tyler: Obviously, you’ve been inspiring people and have been making people happy for some time. What inspired you to become a Saints Super Fan?
Donald: In 2006, when Sean Payton was hired, along with the addition of Drew Brees and Reggie Bush, I wanted to express my excitement and loyal fandom for the Saints. What a better way to express those feelings than to become a super fan.
Tyler: How many games both home and away do you think you’ve attended?
Donald: I have only missed 4 home games since I became a season ticket holder in 2003. The last 3 years I’ve missed 5 games total (home and away) I plan on going to 14 games (home and away) this season.
Tyler: What’s your favorite Saints game you’ve attended?
Donald: By far the reopening of the Super Dome against the Falcons in 2006. The Dome was electric.
Tyler: You’ve been a Saints fan for some time, can you recall your moments when the Saints won the Super Bowl, and how you were feeling?
Donald: I was there in Miami fully dressed as Gametime. To be honest it was like time stood still. Till this day I still can believe we won. It was an incredible experience!
Tyler: Living in Louisiana, obviously Saints fans have a different experience being in the Dome than fans such as myself (who live in NY) who watch games at home. What’s it like for you, getting ready before the game, and pregame tailgating?
Donald: For a Saints noon kickoff game, I get up at 5 am. I have to get my gear on first before I get my war paint on. By the way, it’s war paint not face paint or makeup. It takes me about 2 hours to become Gametime. I usually go to Champions Square and hang out, listen to music and get pumped up for the game. I usually go into the Dome about an hour before kickoff, I enter the Dome shouting Who Dat and giving fist pumps and high fives. Now it’s time for Gametime.
Tyler: Obviously being a fan of the New Orleans Saints is pretty great, what can you say personally about being a diehard fan of this team? Also, is there anything you’d like to tell the audience, the readers, anything about yourself, about being a Saints fan, or anything?
Donald: IMO the New Orleans Saints have the best fans in the NFL. We’re loyal and passionate about our Black and Gold. But we also take care of our visiting opposing fans. And let’s face it we have the best food in the world! Our tailgate food is by far the best in the NFL.
I wanted to take this time to personally thank Donald for being a part of this article. I can’t thank him enough for sharing his unique story with me. And I commend him for the work he’s done for his local community. Whether it be spending his time with children, or raising the spirits of Saints fans in the Super Dome, Donald has done it all, and it is truly amazing.