I bleed black and gold like the rest of the Who Dat Nation! I've kicked my wife out of the house because she said the Dolphins might win in 2009 when they took a commanding lead in the first half. I've forbidden random 12 year olds from entering my house on game day because I saw them wearing another teams colors in the neighborhood.
The point is, I love the Saints and I don't care what trouble they're going to experience with the fines, penalties, and suspensions. If the Saints go back to a team that can barely break even in a season I'll still adorn myself in black and gold garb on Sunday even though I'm going no further than the right side of my living room couch. The Saints keep me going throughout the week because they give me something to discuss with my coworkers, friends, and family. There's a whole lot more to it than that but it's not something easily described in words.
When my sons were little I used to take them to the playground and run them through the monkey bars and sand pit and track as if it were an obstacle course. I would bring them to local football games and explain what was taking place on the field. I would even diagram a simple run or pass play and then go practice that play in the yard. I did all of this in the hopes that my sons would surpass my football potential and maybe play for the Saints one day.
All of those hopes were crushed, when my wife convinced my oldest son to join the band instead of the football team by pointing out that I once broke my neck playing football. My younger son, on the other hand, couldn't play because his grades weren't up to par. Now that they have finally shown some interest in football, my oldest son is close to graduating high school...and my youngest still has bad grades.
So when my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby girl last summer, I knew the chances of me seeing one of my children in a black and gold uniform went from slim to none. Until I noticed something that I found amazing. During last year's preseason games I would watch my daughter while my wife took a break. I figured it wouldn't hurt since it wasn't the regular season, but here's what I discovered.
When I would change the channel to a different game my daughter would start crying and would stop as soon as I changed back to the Saints game. I thought it was a fluke but week after week her reaction was the same. It was like the black and gold uniform was a baby magnet. Now my TV hasn't had a football game on since the end of last season, so I've been waiting for this preseason to see if she still reacts the same way.
The waiting is officially over for me and it turns out my baby girl may be an even bigger Saints fan than me. You see, I was playing Madden NFL one day and she woke up from a nap while I had about a minute left in the 4th quarter against New England. I didn't want to turn the game off because I was so close to finishing, so I sat on the floor with her in my lap and threw some toys out for her to play with. If I could hold the Patriots on two more plays I could kneel the ball and game over.
Well as soon as she heard the announcers she perked up and started watching the TV. She laughed as Cameron Jordan sacked Tom Brady for a huge loss. When the game zoomed in for the replay she stood up, which is pretty amazing since she's is only 8 months old and at the time was not standing on her own. She stayed zeroed in on the screen through the end of the game and sure enough when the screen went blank she threw her usual temper tantrum.
Maybe she'll be a Saintsation one day and my dream of seeing one of my kids in black and gold can still come true. Maybe not! Either way I'm the proud papa of a Saints fan and the black and gold runs in the family veins.