When the Saints…

I have never been much of a football fan. I watched my first Super Bowl six years ago and only decided to care about the Patriots because my boss was cheering for the Panthers because he thought I cared about the Patriots.

Then I got married. And nothing changed. My husband cared about football even less than I did. My father-in-law was apparently the quarterback of his high school team but never cared that much about pro-football. I am sure that this had nothing to do with the fact that Mississippi does not have its own professional football team, nor with the fact that the New Orleans Saints just were not that inspiring. Anyway, according to Josh, his family never watched football other than the one time his parents made the children watch a game so that they would not be entirely clueless.

And then we moved back to Mississippi. And everyone was so excited about the fact that, for once in team history, the Saints were playing well. Very well. I did not care to follow any of the games, but I told Josh that we sort of had to cheer for the team given their name. He agreed and added that the team colors are actually some of the most appealing visually when it comes to clothing; and who can complain about the fleur-de-lis?

Then there is the fact that you have to feel badly for the people of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It rather stinks when your whole area is destroyed by a hurricane and everything takes years and years to rebuild. So it is really nice for them to have the happiness of football. I do not know whether it is the fact that winning is a surprise, or the results of Katrina, or something else entirely, but I have never seen complete communities as excited about a team in the way that they are here. And yes, that includes being in Boston when the Red Sox finally started winning. That was a different sort of crazy..

If all that were not enough reason to cheer for the Saints (and really, how could color preference not be enough to choose a team?) the issue was firmly settled yesterday. No, it was not the fact that the Saints won the game against the Vikings, it was what happened in Church.

The evening Mass apparently started just before the Saints game and the priest took note of the fact without mentioning the half-empty church. The homily was short (smart pastoral move, no?) and when the cantor announced the recessional hymn, the pianist broke in with “would it be inappropriate if we sang ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ instead?” The priest said “that would be fun” and the congregation sang it with glee.

And so I asked myself what other team could possibly sing such a song in Church? The only thing that I could come up with was the Steelers with a twist, or being lifted up on Eagles’ wings, or maybe something about Jesus riding on a colt? But really, none of that can come close to belting out “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Since we do not have any songs praising Cardinals, I think the matter is closed. I am officially a Saints fan.

How could it be otherwise?

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5 thoughts on “When the Saints…

  1. Sarah

    Well, you know I have to disagree.

    BUT, I love this post! And my 5 year long-term-it-didn’t-work-out-boyfriend-from-college is from NOLA, so I used to have a Saints’ t-shirt, once upon a time. :)

  2. Katie

    “would it be inappropriate if we sang ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ instead?” The priest said “that would be fun” and the congregation sang it with GLEE. (You mean, the show?? I for one, am in full support of a well-rehearsed Glee hymn.)

    Notice how my attention is diverted to anything but sports??

    1. Rae Post author

      Well, considering the fact that my husband and I think that we can be Saints fans without even watching one game, I think that you would fit in rather well with us.

  3. Erin

    Fun post! I was cheering for the Vikings. Since I cheer for states with less memorable (and sizable) disasters (MN had awful flooding – nothing has happened in Seattle…) I always get frustrated when we all have to cheer for the NY teams after 9/11 and the Saints after the Hurricane. Now we have to support all teams with players with any Haitian roots. Nope – I just want to see the Vikings (or the Seahawks) win something. Please!! Time for college basketball :)

    PS – Vikings are purple!! Everyone loves purple!!

    1. Rae Post author

      Coming from the Boston area, I never heard the idea that one was supposed to cheer for teams from areas that had suffered. But no one ever said that Boston sports fans are nice, eh?

      And I am afraid that I know even less about college basketball than I do pro-football, so you could probably convince me to cheer for anyone. :-)

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