Friday, November 22, 2013

People of the Georgia Dome

Last night, Derek and I gave his sister, Brittaney, her Christmas present.  Yes, I know it's not even Thanksgiving quite yet but what she wanted more than anything was to go to the Saints vs Falcons game.  And it's pretty much always held in mid-November.  And since the Falcons are having a year that could most kindly be summed up as crappy, tickets this game at The Georgia Dome were affordable.  So... early Christmas for her!

It was my first NFL game.  I had a great time!  The Saints won.  But at least the Falcons showed up for this rivalry game and made it fun to watch.  Final score:  Falcons 13 - Saints 17.

It's important to know that I've married into a family of fanatical Saints fans.  And have found their 'Who Dat!' and 'Geaux!!' terminology pretty amusing.  I wouldn't say it quite that way to them - they see the Saints, and really all things New Orleans, as a pretty big deal.  They all have team jerseys and wear them every game day.  Derek's mom even has a Christmas tree, that stays up all year, decked out in Saints colors and memorabilia.  So while they were there totally for the football, I had almost as much fun people watching some of the crazy fans a crowd like that attracts.  We were only steps from the car when a friendly gentleman asked "How you guys doing?"  Politely, I answered that we were fine and then inquired about him.  He paused and then said with the tiniest of stutters "I'm drunk."  Then he walked on up the sidewalk in the opposite direction from us with no telltale staggering.

He was far from the only person we encountered who'd over-imbibed during the evening!  See the top of a random stranger's head in the bottom of my picture?  He'd tipped back more than a few of whatever beer comes in blue aluminum bottles and, despite being a Falcons fan, was just incredibly happy to be there.  He hooted and hollered and danced in his seat whenever music played and at last call, tipped the beer concessionaire walking our section more than the bottle itself cost.  (And let me just say $7.50 for a bottle of beer qualifies as kinda sorta outrageous in my view!)

Righting the goal post
photographed by Cristi Ossim
At one point they had to pause the game for about 5 minutes to fix the goal post.  It was doing some drunken weaving itself...

Leaving the game, we were sucked up into a bigger huddle of Saints fans.  A lot of them had whistles and those party favors you blow into and were chanting "Who Dat?  We Dat!" and "Saints are goin' to the Superbowl!" all the way down the exit ramps.  It was fun to be in the middle of such a happy and excited crowd!

And I loved the costumes some people wore!!  Several of the women had these dainty little black lace parasols trimmed out with yellow and black feathers or had used gold glitter to make a fleur de lis on the fabric between each rib.  A few of the younger ladies donned gold sequined hot pants with their jerseys.  And one man, and both of his little boys, had long gold and black capes.

New Orleans seems to be more than a place... it's a whole different culture!  And those folks loudly and proudly carry it with them wherever they go!!

After we were outside and making our way back up to the car, a Falcons fan stepped in front of me.  He was decked out in head to toe red team gear, even with red facepaint.  He was complaining to his less flamboyantly dressed companions "I'm soooooo sick of always getting kicked in the teeth!!  Man... we're NEVER gonna win another game."  Then he went on to complain about the team's coach, who, according to the commentary on that sports talk radio channel Derek listens to, is too conservative with the plays.  (The primary example from last night:  At the end of the game, they were in a 4 and 15 situation.  He choose to try for a field goal that they missed.  Had they made it, they would have still been 2 points shy of winning.  Most fans and analysts think a better choice would have been to try for a TD.)

All in all, it was a GREAT night out!

No comments: