Saturday, November 23, 2013

Who Dat Say They Gonna Beat Dem Saints!

Last Sunday was game day in New Orleans, and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the hotel courtyard. When I finished, I went up to get my things together to take to the game. Jim stayed to finish his coffee.
And if you look closely, you'll see that he is hard at work with coffee, computer, iPad, and Blackberry.
We got in the game day spirit by enjoying some of the beautiful cookies Darci made for us to take along on our trip.
My brother Ted sent me this text the night before the game. He and Cheryl went with us to a game there a couple years ago, and he might be just a little bit bitter about the 62-7 loss his beloved Colts suffered that day in the Superdome.
We got to the stadium early, and enjoyed the plaza and Champions Square. Jim always receives lots of compliments on his pants, and he is asked many times where he got them. It always amazes me that with all the wild outfits we see in NOLA, his striped pants cause such a fuss. He doesn't mind, though, and I think he enjoys the conversation starter.
We were there before they even opened the gates for Champions Square.
There he is! :)
This is Benson Tower.
We were among the first to enter the Superdome, and our club seats allowed entrance to the Bunker Club Lounge below the stands. They have food and drink available, comfy couches, and flat screen TVs. You can even watch TV while you wash your hands in the bathroom!
Jim enjoyed his beef tenderloin sandwich.
A panoramic view of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

When the players came out, I took a photo of Garrett Hartley, the place kicker. Little did I know that he would be the star of the game. Well, behind you-know-who, that is.
And there's Drew now, taking time with his fans to sign lots and lots of autographs.
He signed,
and signed,
and patiently signed some more.

Reminds me of this throwback photo from his Purdue days, when our little boys were the ones waiting to get an autograph. On this day, Drew said he would sign one item each. Adam wanted him to sign both his jersey and the cast on his broken arm. I could see Adam make a quick decision, and turn for him to sign the back of his jersey. When that was done, Adam turned back around and held up his cast. Of course Drew signed that too. Good guy then, good guy now.
And after the signing was done, it was time to get down to business.

Pre-game chant.
Pre-game handshake from coach Payton.

The opposition.
San Francisco's number 41, Raymond Ventrone, came over to the Saints sidelines to visit with Steve Gleason, who you can just see to Ventrone's left.
Steve Gleason will always be remembered for his blocked punt on the night the Superdome reopened for the first time after Hurricane Katrina. Steve played for the Saints from 2000-2008. In 2011, he was diagnosed with ALS. Steve, along with his family and friends, started Team Gleason, No White Flags, to promote awareness of ALS. He is an inspiration to his team as he continues to pursue life despite his diagnosis, and works to challenge scientists and researchers to discover new treatments and a cure for ALS.
Soon it was time for the coin toss.
And the WHO DAT chant, led by Parys Haralson.
When the game started, Steve Gleason moved to the section right next to us.
Coach Payton comes back to the bench after an injury to Jabari Greer.
Rob Ryan had to get the defense together to make the necessary adjustments with Greer out.

Huddle up.
Jimmy Graham.
Receivers discussing the game plan.
Drew watches the action on the jumbo-tron.
That's Coach Jim Harbaugh over there in the black shirt. We have a football from his days as a Colt, where he signed his name and wrote 'Captain Comeback' underneath it.
Drew and Pete make a plan.
That's Colt McCoy over there on the far sideline. He's the backup/clipboard holder. :)
When a big bad outside linebacker clotheslined Drew Brees, the refs had to take a minute to sort things out. The crowd, of course, was outraged. You can't do that to our quarterback!
The game came down to the wire, which prevented me from taking more photos. (You can be thankful for a close game.) In the end, the Saints scored on a last second field goat by Garrett Hartley to win the game. Yes, I do believe in kickers. I do believe in kickers.
Post game handshakes all around.
These three young ladies, who sat in front of us, were happy with the victory.
Marques Colston became the all-time Saints receiving yardage leader during the game. Who Dat Marques!
And Sir Saint had some Who Dat love for Hartley after that big kick.
Saints win!!!
After the game, we went back down to the Bunker Club lounge for a bit. This couple came rushing over to ask Jim where he found those pants?! See what I mean? Turns out they are the parents of the Saints punter, Thomas Morstead. We had a nice visit with them, and assured Mr. Morstead that he would look quite dashing in a pair of pants like Jim's. :)
Walking back to the hotel, we passed this Jimmy John's. You know who brought Jimmy John's to NOLA, don't you?
Bourbon Street after the game.
We had dinner at Arnaud's, complete with Bananas Foster.
Monday morning, we did a little more shopping in the French Quarter. For $650, you can have this paper mache replica of Drew Brees.
Some beautiful ironwork.
St. Louis Cathedral.
So pretty.

And a selfie of us before heading back to the hotel and home.
We had a great time, as demonstrated by Jim's Who Dat snooze on the way to the airport. Good-bye for now, NOLA.

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