This week on Canal Street Spotlights, we interviewed Franz Warnholtz about how he became a New Orleans Saints fan, his favorite players/moments, and more.
CSC: Please tell us a bit about yourself and where you are from?
FRANZ: I was born in Mexico in 1966, my great grandfather was German and arrived to Mexico in the late 1800’s, which explains my name. I married my high school sweetheart and have 2 fantastic daughters. I am a Chemical Engineer with a Master in Sustainability and speak 4 languages, joined P&G while still in college, and just finished a 32-year long career, where I had the chance to live in different countries and travel extensively around the globe. Currently retired, consulting occasionally, and enjoying life hoping for a Saints deep run in the playoffs this 2023.
CSC: How and why did you become a Saints fan?
FRANZ: This is a long and somewhat funny story… my dad played football in College (TE for UNAM, circa 1959) and was a diehard Steelers fan. I grew up watching NFL football with him on Sundays, and I did not find joy in rooting for the same team, and those were the years were in Mexico everybody was either Steelers, Cowboys or Raiders fan, so I just didn’t want to join “everybody”… as I was in my “team quest”, one Sunday in 1981 we were watching the Rams dismembering the Saints… still, I was completely captured by Manning’s efforts on the field, and how he ran for his life and still made plays. At the time I was reading the 3 musketeers, and the fleur de Lys was an important symbol (and my favorite Christian symbol), and the Black and Gold unis made the whole equation just click for me, so that year I declared myself a Saints fan… it was really difficult for many years, and I confess I even tried pulling for someone else, but those Saints teams were lovable (and many times, laughable) losers… it took many years for our team to put a decent season, and I was there to enjoy the good times! I attended my first game in the Dome around 1994, and have been there at least 20 times… I remember my first time, against the Giants, I simply approached the ticket booth and got a ticket with no problems, and we lost that game horribly… it took me at least 6 visits to NOLA to finally witness our first W (vs the Panthers) in person in the dome, and even that one was bittersweet, Ricky Williams left the game hurt…
CSC: Who is your favorite Saints player? (Past or present)
FRANZ: My favorite Saints players… That is a difficult question… the easy answer is Drew Brees, he will probably be the face of the franchise forever… the Dome Patrol, Ironhead, Aaron Brooks, Deuce, Colston, loved them all, definitely up there, but the one I loved the most and I thought was incredibly underrated was Pierre Thomas, nobody has ever been a better screen runner, and has the heart of a lion, humble and selfless, and always came though when needed.
CSC: Favorite moment in Saints history so far?
FRANZ: My favorite moment in Saints history is, Easily, Ambush (yes, at the exact moment I almost had a heart attack until the ball was “White Ball”!) followed closely by Tracy Porter’s pick 6 to seal the SB… however, my special game was the playoff win over the Eagles, I was there at the dome when Deuce ran all over them to victory, that was so sweet, and French Quarter rocked that night.
Thank you again to Franz for taking the time to chat with us and feel free to follow him @KaiserF57 on Twitter.
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