I have been mocked and laughed at for being a Saints fan since I was a kid growing up in northwest Louisiana. While most of the kids were rooting for the Cowboys or 49ers, I was sporting my black and gold. I couldn't even get a Saints jersey in north Louisiana because they didn't sell them anywhere. They have a Cowboys store in the mall for gods sake. I had my one and only Saints hat that my dad got me at some sports show and I wore it everywhere. I felt like soldier behind enemy lines in my own state. Most states represent and embrace their home team. Not up there. North Louisiana's veins, especially the western part are filled with Cowboy blood and I never understood why. I would ask people all the time "What part of Texas are you from?" or "If you love Dallas so much, why don't you just move there."It really angered me as a kid, as a teen, and even more now because a lot of these same traitors are now wearing Brees jerseys and screaming "Who Dat!" I couldn't even watch the Saints games on Sunday because the Cowboys would always get the television spot if they were playing at the same time. It is hard being a fan when you have to watch the game through sports highlights and newspaper articles but my black and gold blood runs deep.
I moved to Baton Rouge in my late teens and was shocked and surprised at what I saw. There were people walking around with Saints jerseys, Saints bumper stickers, and even Saints tattoos. I was in heaven. I got to meet other people that shared my passion and also my frustration with the team. I had never gotten to experience this before. Why wasn't I born in south Louisiana? I would have enjoyed my first 20 years so much more if i had. So I got to indulge in the proper Saints fan experience in the years following moving to Baton Rouge. Going to the dome, watching the game every week (my prayers were finally answered), talking Saints football in sports bars, and getting to celebrate wins (and pointing fingers during losses) with other fans. I was really nervous after Katrina hit with the talks about the team moving. I was even more uneasy when the Saints came to play at Tiger Stadium. I don't know how many tickets were sold but the stadium seemed to not even be 1/4 of its seating capacity. Then I started hearing the whispers from people saying that the team was a waste of time, they never win anything, or who cares if they leave. I care. I started having flashbacks of northwest Louisiana. But this is South Louisiana. I kept telling myself "This is Saints country." Why are people saying things like this?
You know the rest of the story, the team stayed, improved, and won a Super Bowl. This is where my childhood hatred came back and multiplied. My friends (Cowboys fans) who gave me a hard time when I was growing up are now....you guessed it.......Saints fans! Running around with their jerseys and chanting Who Dat. I was dumbfounded, utterly speechless. You cannot do that. What is wrong with you? They all would have some lame excuse of how they became Saints fans, which usually sounded like "I've always liked the Saints, I just never showed it." Yeah right, I know the truth and you know the truth. You realized that your army wasn't winning the war anymore and you wanted to be on the winning side. You are a poser, you make me sick, and are tainting something extremely important to me. A Cowboys fan in a Saints jersey just makes me sick to my stomach.
But it happened in Baton Rouge too. The same people who were calling for the Saints to leave the state are now riding around with their Saints hats on, and flying flags out their window. Just for another example, I worked with a guy who was a Tampa Bay fan. We would go at each other hard all week leading up to the TB vs NO games. I can't count how many times this guy talked trash about the Saints. Not light trash either, he talked horrible smelling, been out in the Louisiana sun for three weeks trash. I ran into this guy not too long after the Super Bowl. I smiled maliciously and was just getting ready to rub it in his face and then I looked at his arm. This poser had a Fleur De Lis tattooed on his upper bicep. I was like no, no, no, no.....wait a minute. I tried to explain to him the many reasons that he should cut that off of his arm and that I would be happy to help him. He proceeded with the lame excuse of how his grandfather was a Saints fan and he was being a Saints fan for him. Why weren't you a Saints fan then? Is it coincidence that they just won the Super Bowl? If Dallas starts winning again are you gonna put a star on the other arm or under the Fleur De Lis? I hope I'm not alone in this but this bandwagon fan base has really got under my skin. First thing I ask someone who claims to be a Saints fan is"are you pre Super Bowl or post Super Bowl?" Then I'll start talking about past disappointing games or plays just to gauge their facial reaction. A real Saints fan can tell if you are true fan or not. The Super Bowl has healed much of our pain but all the years of heartbreak is still scarred in our faces.
In closing, I like that the Saints have a stronger fan base than ever before. I am glad that they get the respect now that I always wanted them to have. I have no problem with new fans. I just want you new fans to know that you are apart of our army now. There is no retreat, there is no surrender, and you cannot switch sides. I want you posers to know that it doesn't matter how many items of black and gold merchandise you have, you are not a Saints fan! You are a mockery of what we represent. I do hate that I can't get cheap Saints tickets anymore. I haven't been to the dome in a couple years now. Which might be a good thing because I am notorious for picking fights with opposing fans, lol. I hear that northwest Louisiana gets to vote now online if they want to watch the Saints or Cowboys game. I'm guessing the Saints are winning that battle because my family seems to get to watch the game every week. I still think they should be annexed and given to Texas. There is nothing that properly represents the state of Louisiana there.(Especially the stupid Cowboys store in the mall if it is still there) It is like a colony of Texas. Am I wrong for feeling that way? No, it feels too right to be wrong.