Editor’s Note: Right now, there is a lot of looking forward into the unknown, and we at ViaNolaVie also want to offer you some views from the rear-view mirror that will make you smile. The following series “Who Dat? Saints and Sports in NOLA” is a week-long series curated by Emily O’Connell as a part of the Digital Research Internship Program in partnership with ViaNolaVie. The DRI Program is a Newcomb Insitute technology initiative for undergraduate students combining technology skillsets, feminist leadership, and the digital humanities.
From the dismal seasons of the New Orleans “‘Aints” to rallying a hurricane-stricken community to a 2009 Super Bowl, the Saints have inspired a shared passion amongst New Orleanians that is unique to the city. Now that we’re in the doldrums of the NFL offseason, let’s reflect on how the Saints have influenced New Orleans culture, and as NOLA’s enthusiasm for sports continues to grow, we can look forward to a new era as the Pelicans look to make their own unique mark on the city. No matter what team you cheer for, New Orleans’ unique engagement with sports perfectly captures the fun-loving passionate spirit of the Big Easy. There is an art to selecting your Saints jersey. Read below for your jersey-horoscope to make sure that your game day garb matches your inner Saints fan style.
This article was originally published on January 18, 2019. Also, if you are wondering what it means to be a die hard Saints fan, check out Megan Pecks’s story.
Most of us know the symptoms, treatment and recurrence of SAD – Saints Affective Disorder. (You can read about the syndrome here.) We also know the psychological torture of MAD (“Maybe Again, DearLordPlease”).
We 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 us 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!).
The rule above does not apply to jerseys worn in homage to former greats who have left us. My son-in-law wears a No. 99 Norman Hand jersey in tribute to the great defensive tackle who sadly died in 2010. Wearing a Will Smith or Iron Head Hayward jersey likewise honors the fallen. And that just shows reverence.
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. 41, Alvin Kamara: You belong in the always-have-faith crowd. He’s young, he’s aggressive, and we always think that THIS YEAR will be the one. There’s a reason his jersey was this season’s early top seller.
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. 13, Michael Thomas: You’re cocky, but have a redeeming sense of humor (remember Thomas’s Joe Horn flip phone moment?). 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, Marshon Lattimore: You’re a creative type. You thrive on turnovers and forced fumbles. You like making things happen.
No. 7, Taysom Hill. This is the flashy new guy, the trickster, 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. 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. 92, Marcus Davenport: You’re intense. You don’t like to think too deeply about things, but just get it done.
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. 6, Thomas Morstead: Old faithful. You will hang in there no matter what. Morstead is a grinder and, like him, you are in it for the long haul. You know your football.
No. 49, Zach Wood: You are deeply committed to family. Because only a deep snapper’s relatives would choose his jersey.