This is another in our continuing series of essays answering the question “What do the New Orleans Saints mean to you?” In it, Alexander J. Hancock of NOLA Eater explains Saints fandom—and New Orleans itself—as an essential part of our cultural identify.
So, I’ll be completely honest. I have no real reason to love the Saints, especially not with the obsessive intensity I feel for them. I live in New Orleans, but I haven’t really lived here for that long. The truth is, I didn’t even grow up a football fan. I’m from Baltimore, born only three years after the Baltimore Colts’ alcoholic owner, Bob Irsay, packed up the team in a bunch of Mayflower moving vans and stole away to Indianapolis in the middle of the night. For a couple of years in the early ’90s, we had the Stallions, a CFL (yes, Canadian Football League) team. They’re now the Montreal Alouettes. And when I was 10, Baltimore did to Cleveland what Indianapolis had previously done to them and stole the Browns. But by that point I was a devoted and obsessive soccer player, and there was little room in my life for football.
But then in 2008 I moved to New Orleans, and the Saints started to mean something to me. For one, I watched more football than I ever had before and learned to love watching games—any game with any team—in bars with friends or at home alone. So I started to understand and appreciate the sport to the point that I think I’m a relatively knowledgeable fan. But that’s not really it. The Saints mean so much more than that to me. To be only slightly hyperbolic, the Saints are my life.
This. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Many thanks to the folks at Saints 11 for posting.