The Who Dat Nation

A Season of Redemption

Jermal Greenberry Data News Weekly Contributor

Saints Football is Back
It’s like Christmas Day! The first day of summer. You can feel the excitement in the air. The anticipation of a City ready to erupt like a volcano when it reaches its boiling point. It can only mean one thing Saints Football is back!

Black and Gold and the Road to the Super Bowl
The expectations for this New Orleans Saints football team are high. A year ago, the Black and Gold were one game away from appearing in their second Super Bowl. Unfortunately, due to a blown call by NFL officials the Saints suffered one of the most devastating defeats in its 51 years of existence.

This is something that’s left a bitter a taste in the mouths of both the Saints and its fans. But Saints fans’ have put the “no call” game behind them with their eyes set on Miami. This year they will play host to Super Bowl LIV. The Saints are no stranger to South Florida. Nearly a decade ago, Payton, Brees and company capped off an amazing 2009 season, capturing its first championship in franchise history with a win over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.

Fans Excited About Upcoming Season
But let’s not get too carried away, this team has a tough schedule ahead of them. With the season opener against the Houston Texans. The Saints haven’t won a season opener since 2013. Saints’ fans believe that their Saints will open up with a victory over the Texans representing the NFC in their second Super Bowl appearance.
Fans such as, Daphne and Pat Casmier are lifelong Saints’ fans and season ticket holders. They both believe that the Saints will win the Super Bowl in Miami.

“The Saints are going to the Super Bowl says, Pat Camier. And we are going to be in Miami as well. The Saints won it all there before, maybe it’s destiny to win it there again.”

Talking with fans like Pat and Daphne Cashmere, reminded me of what makes this City and its’ team so special. The connection between this organization and its fans is by far the best in the NFL. I have been fortunate to visit other NFL cities but the fan base here in New Orleans is beyond like none other.

“We feel as though we are a family here says, Daphne Casmier. Through the up and downs. When they were losing, we always stuck by them. Now that they are winning, we are just happy for our boys. This is why we pack the dome each Sunday because the Saints is our team.”

From Worst to First
The Black and Gold were once a team with a losing record year after year but continued to have loyal fans even if they wore brown paper bags over their faces during the 1980 season. But the Saints have become a team to be reckoned with in the National Football League, beginning with the purchase of the team by the late Tom Benson in 1985.

Since then, the team has been competitive and during the era of Sean Payton and Drew Brees, the Saints continue to be contenders to make it to the big game and this year is no exception as expectations are high.

The Who Dat Nation: More than Just Football but A Way of Life
Opey Coulter, a native of Jackson Mississippi, is a season ticket holder that commutes three hours to the Mercedes Benz Superdome to cheer for his Beloved Black and Gold. He loves Saints Quarterback Drew Brees so much, that he named his son Brees Coulter.

Coulter’s connection with the Saints began at an early age. He would attend church afterwards Coulter and his father would watch the Saints.

“That’s the only time I would hear my dad use profanity on Sunday’s during a Saints game, says, Coulter. My dad and I watched every game until his passing. I was raised on Saints football. Now my son who’s three-years old is learning about the Saints. I hope he continues the tradition when he becomes a father.”

Like Coulter, the Saints are not just a football team, it’s a way of life. There’s one thing that brings this entire community together and that’s Saints football.

The Saints fan equity ranks among the best in the league. This statistic focuses on the outreach of the organization and the social platform the team allows on different social networks. The Saints do play in one of NFL’s smallest media markets.

Still the Saints fan base should only continue to grow with more success on the field. The franchise has won two division titles in the past two years and are favorite to compete for this year’s Super Bowl.

With the enthusiastic support of the Who Dat Nation, and Drew Brees playing at an elite level the Saints has all the tangibles to go marching into Miami.

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