Most of us have spent the past week recovering from SAD – Saints Affective Disorder. (You can read about the syndrome here.) The long recuperation offered ample time to ponder all things Saints … and to gear up, mentally and physically, for another bout of masochistic NFL immersion on Sunday.
I can’t do much about the mental wear and tear of Saints fandom. But the physical preparation for Sunday’s game — sorting through several decades worth of Saints jerseys, from a minimalist gold fleur de lis on a black background to a handful of outmoded fan favorites (Ricky Williams, anyone?) – made me realize:
What you wear on Saints Sunday says a lot about you.
After a great deal of careful research and lengthy interviews with deeply intellectual experts, we offer the following guide to Saints jersey selection.
True fans pick defensive players. Anyone can opt for the offense, but wearing a defender’s number denotes a keener affection for the team. Or a keener case of insanity.
White or black? Black is slimming. Black is the home team. If you are going to a game in the Dome, technically you should wear black.
Pink? No. No. No.
Pro bowl jerseys: Just don’t.
Camouflage jerseys we don’t quite understand.
Throwback jerseys: Not too soon. Way back is OK (Archie Manning, anyone?). Otherwise, they should only be worn by former flower children or those wanting to go retro. It also hints that you’re cheap (Darren Sproles jerseys half off!).
Don’t ever buy a kicker’s jersey … unless you are related to the kicker. Then it’s OK. Otherwise, there is no excuse. Total dweeb territory here.
And those people who have their own name on a jersey? Narcissists, all. You are simply annoying the rest of us.
But really, none of the above matters if: You are a true, die-hard Saints fan (and aren’t we all?). Do whatever helps the guys win — juju, voodoo, number games, your great-aunt’s name on your jersey, pink, blue, or glitter (yes!).
If you wear No. 9 (Drew Brees) – You are traditional, always swimming in the mainstream. You jump readily on (and off) the bandwagon. You may not even be a Saints fan.
No. 80 (Jimmy Graham): This is for people who trend toward the cocky. They know a little more about football than the people who buy No. 9. Safe, but a tad more adventurous.
No. 76 (Akiem Hicks): Aggressive people tend to go for pass rushers. You ADHD types like the fact that this player is always on the move. Like your jersey’s namesake, you never stand still.
No. 10 (Brandin Cooks): Cooks is the flashy new guy, someone for the X-Men crowd. You like to think you are cutting edge, always in search of the next best thing. Or maybe you’re a hipster.
No. 94 (Cam Jordon): You know football and you appreciate a hard worker. You represent the working (wo)man. Call this the work ethic jersey.
No. 82 (Ben Watson): You’re a purist, opting for the best but most traditional tight end on the Saints roster. This is your dad’s tight end. Old school all the way.
No. 22 (Mark Ingram): You’re an optimist. Or an Alabama fan, which amounts to the same thing. These are people who live on hope.
No. 23 (Pierre Thomas): Old faithful. You will hang in there no matter what. Thomas is a grinder and, like him, you are in it for the long haul. You know your football.
No. 12 (Marques Colston): Here’s someone you could bring home to mom — so humble, so good, so underrated. This jersey is for people who root for the underdog, and who like to be in the wings instead of the spotlight.
No. 32 (Kenny Vaccaro): This guy appeals to those who are more than mere fair-weather fans. He’s the Brandin Cooks of the defensive crowd. Young, hip, daring.
No. 28 (Keenan Lewis): You are a diehard New Orleanian. You love your city, and will never leave it. Lewis is the guy who will play for the hometown no matter what. Think Friday Night Lights.
No. 31 (Jairus Byrd): You belong in the always-have-faith crowd. He’s new, and we always think that THIS YEAR will be the one.