Throughout this offseason, I have written about fun topics ranging from Saints bars around the country to game day fan rituals to the music selection inside the Dome. I want to discuss another staple of the Who Dat Nation. Fashion. Back in the day, NFL fans attended games in their every day clothing. Today, however, it’s common to see fans wearing jerseys, costumes, wigs, face paint, and flash tats.
In the crescent city, Who Dats boast one of the most creative, unique, and risk averse fan bases in the entire NFL. This is a culture that has spawned the WhistleMonsta, the Popes, Gris-Gris, Randy Elvis, and countless other super fans. But even if you aren’t a super fan, most Who Dats have a carefully planned arsenal of game day attire.
Fellow Section 602er, Andre Bohren has been rocking one of my favorite t-shirts for years. "I wear my Fuck The Falcons shirt under my Lance Moore jersey for every game. Sometimes I wear my gold lamé pants."
A fixture at the Maple Leaf Bar on game days, Kim Sayatovic makes sure that no matter what she wears on top, the foundation underneath is strong. "I have worn the same pair of black undies for every game since the year we won the Superbowl."
I watched every game at the Maple Leaf Bar the year the Saints won the Superbowl. It is a great Who Dat community with no shortage of awesome game day wear. Sometimes, though, it’s best to keep it simple and classic. "I wear my Pat Swilling jersey #56. It was the first jersey I ever got as a youngster," says Greg Robert.
Michelle Misuraca Ingraffia has a great response to a poor Saints start. "I always wear black and gold on game day. Sometimes a jersey, sometimes a Fleurty Girl or Dirty Coast shirt. I have also changed my clothes during halftime (if I’m at home) if we don’t do well during the 1st half of the game."
Many Saints fans, like Kacie Stillings Marler, discovered their game day fashion juju during the magical season of 2009. "I have a dress from the season we won the Superbowl. I bought it early on, but I can’t remember if it was before their first game or not. Anyway, when I bought it, I named it ‘My Saints are Going to the Superbowl Dress.’ Every time I wore it and got compliments, I made sure people knew its name. Sure enough, the dress was right."
My ex has a pair of jeans signed by Bobby Hebert that she refuses to wash, ever. My friend Marc Paradis rocks a fleur de lis yarmulke with a sleeveless Walgreens Saints t-shirt and wristbands. Another friend, Casey Valadie, invokes Louisiana’s reputation as a sportsman’s paradise. "The black and gold camouflage fleur de lis is always ready. Win or lose, you win."
One thing that stands out among Saints fans is their extreme attention to detail. The smallest item of flare, the slightest hint of glitter, and the largest of fashion risks are never lost on this fan base. Game day fashion has become such an integral part of the NFL experience, it has become even harder to distinguish where the fan ends and the fanatic begins.