During most New Orleans Saints games all eyes are on the field but Friday the focus shifted slightly as the Saints' organization and fans were honoring longtime public address announcer Jerry Romig.
Emotions ran high as Romig called his 446th and final game in his storied 44-year history as the New Orleans Saints public address announcer at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
He had 18 family members present at the game to help honor him and also a large media contingent that included every New Orleans TV station and both newspapers. "That's a New Orleans jewel right there," longtime broadcaster Tim Brando said of Romig.
"It's a combination of happiness and sadness," Romig said. "I'm happy that the Saints won. I'm sad that I'm not going to be a part of it anymore. I've had a wonderful ride and I'm looking forward to hearing my son do it."
As the time clock ran out fans were waving toward the control booth and snapping photos, Romig gave his final statement as the public address announcer: "Ladies and gentlemen, it's been fun. Goodnight. Love you."
The first Saints game that Romig called was the 1969 preseason contest against the Atlanta Falcons in Tulane Stadium. On Sept. 8, Mark Romig will take over his father's role and announce his first Saints game against the Atlanta Falcons.
"I've had a great coach in my dad for 44 years and I'm looking forward to working hard to carry on the excellence that he has created as a stadium announcer," Mark said. "I want to thank the Saints organization for giving me the opportunity to continue serving the organization like my dad has done for several decades."
Jerry said he is delighted that his son will continue the Romig legacy. The advice he gave to his son, "Be himself and enjoy it," Jerry said. "He knows how important the Saints are to the city. He knows how important that microphone is."
Jerry left the Mercedes-Benz Superdome smiling surrounded by family, friends and fans. "I'll go to bed thanking God every night."