New Orleans Saints fans, players, coaches, and pretty much anyone else who knew Zach Strief got emotional at his retirement announcement last month. And for good reason - Strief was a rock for twelve years in New Orleans, protecting Drew Brees, playing at a high level, and setting a great example of behavior for his teammates and community.
Now we get to celebrate Strief’s decision to step away from football with a big retirement party. Strief is hosting family, friends, and the public (free of charge!) at his Port Orleans Brewing Company in New Orleans’ Uptown district this Saturday from noon until six in the evening, with live music from the Rebirth Brass Band. Strief’s brewery and its attached eatery, the Stokehold, will also be open for business.
Ian McNulty of the Advocate explored Strief’s story in greater depth than I’m able to, and I can’t recommend his article enough. It’s great insight into Strief’s plans for his business and family now that football is behind him.
So get out there and celebrate a career every NFL player hopes for, much less a seventh round draft pick from the Northwestern Wildcats. He was able to step away from the game having won a Super Bowl ring and knowing his quarterback’s safety was in good hands - protected by guys Strief mentored like Ryan Ramczyk, Andrus Peat, and Terron Armstead.
Personally, I’m otherwise occupied, but I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Saturday than toasting to Strief’s honor before heading to the Smoothie King Center at four to catch the New Orleans Pelicans completing their playoffs sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers. If you haven’t been keeping up with this insanely fun series, the Pels have turned up the heat with Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo, and Nikola Mirotic looking like stars alongside Anthony Davis.
It’s a great time to be in New Orleans. Here’s to you, #64.