It was the middle of the second quarter. I was on my feet shouting through my cupped hands, probably lambasting the Saints offensive line’s play no doubt. Out of the corner of my eye, a young man in a tan Saints shirt with an official looking lanyard approached our sparsely populated section high up in the end zone.
"Do you want a chance at winning a cruise?" I looked at him and asked, "me?" After insisting I was the lone Saints fan he had in fact singled out, I posed the question my fiscally responsible 90 year old grandmother would ask if in the same situation. "Do I have to pay taxes on it?"
After a little back and forth with the young man and a quick financial business meeting with my friend beside me, I said, "what the hell? What do I need to do?" I was told to stay in my seat for the entirety of the third quarter and that, at some point, this young man would come fetch me for my big debut on the new fancy Jumbo Tron recently installed in the Dome.
A few minutes into the third quarter, I noticed a nervous looking female intern scanning our seats, so I raised my hand, and she motioned for me to come to the landing of Section 602 where I own season tickets. The challenge could not have been more straightforward. Keep an eye on the football on the screen which will be shuffled among three Saints helmets. When the dust settles, name the helmet under which the ball rests.
Thanks to my athletic hand eye coordination, I was able to follow the ball with ease. The final shuffle almost threw me for a loop, but I had a good idea which helmet was correct and plenty of other fans helped me choose with confidence. "3!" "Congratulations, you’ve just won a Carnival Cruise!"
I ran back up to our seats, hugged my fellow Section 602ers, and we all agreed that this was probably the highlight of the game, and, sadly, if the Saints play continues, perhaps the highlight of the season. What I really want to bring attention to, however, is how awesome it is that the Dome is making a concerted effort to include fans from ALL sections.
In the past, due to ease of camera shots, the lower level has always dominated on camera time as well as having been offered more opportunities to win the sweet contests featured each game. During the preseason game against the Steelers, though, I noticed cameras migrating all over the 600s. Another friend who has owned season tickets for years, told me he had never seen a "commoner" from the 600s win anything, let alone get on camera.
So, tip of the cap to the organizers in the Dome for installing a more inclusive experience for all attendees no matter where they sit. As I sit on my lounger cruising my way to Cabo, I’ll never forget about my fellow Plebeians who are some of the most die hard fans in existence. It’s finally true; in the Dome, we are all equals with an equal chance to have the best fan experience ever.