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John DeShazier's Super Bowl XLIV memories: Saints fans took over South Florida

The Black and Gold Nation invaded Miami area for the game


John DeShazier, senior writer for, covered the Saints' Super Bowl win as a columnist for The Times-Picayune. To help celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Saints' triumph he is recounting some of his favorite moments from the week.

By the time Super Bowl XLIV was set for kickoff, you'd have had a hard time believing South Florida wasn't New Orleans.

I mean, Saints fans stormed the beaches – and the bars, and the hotels, and seemingly every other place that had a front door that swung open – and took over, to the point where there was nowhere to turn without seeing swarms of them.

Not all of 'em had tickets to the game. Not all of 'em had a place to stay (I heard stories of people sleeping in cars and vans, which must've made for some innovative logistics when the time came to shower and answer nature's call; OK, that's a visual better left alone). Some probably brought their own food and tailgated for a week.

But all had one thing in common: There was no way, after years of cheering the Saints through lean times and finally prosperity, that they weren't going to be as close to the game as their finances and connections would allow when the Saints finally advanced to the Super Bowl.

So those who weren't able to hit the Super Bowl equivalent of the lottery by scoring a ticket to the game, still crammed into every available venue in order to see the game.

If, somehow, someone would've been able to enclose South Florida, I believe it would've sounded a lot like the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for most of the week, and especially on Sunday.

Photos submitted by Saints fans from Super Bowl XLIV. New Orleans Saints photos.

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