After serving as the public address announcer for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for 44 years and calling 445 games, long-time announcer Jerry Romig will call his final game on Friday, Aug. 16, as the New Orleans Saints face off against the Oakland Raiders in a preseason match-up. Jerry's son, Mark, will continue the Romig legacy as he will begin his stint as PA announcer at the Saints' regular season opener against Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 8.
"Jerry has been a part of the Saints family since our third season and we couldn't be more grateful for his passion and love for the Saints as our PA announcer," said Owner/Chairman of the Board Tom Benson. "We are thrilled that his son, Mark, will carry on the Romig torch as our fans have an incredible affection for Jerry and his trademark call during games. Jerry's voice is embedded in our game experience and we know that fans will enjoy Mark as our new announcer as he carries on his father's legacy."
Friday's game will mark Jerry's 446th game as announcer as he has never missed a home game. Through last week's preseason win over Kansas City, he has made thousands of his trademark calls including 1,014 "Touchdown, Saints," 1,352 "It's Good!" calls for field goals and extra points and 4,157 "First Down, Saints" calls. In addition to Saints games, Jerry has announced four Super Bowl games in New Orleans, as well as every Sugar Bowl and BCS contest.
"It has been such a great honor. I have been honored by the leadership of this community, the Superdome and the Saints organization to be the voice of the Superdome," said Jerry Romig. "I've enjoyed every moment – there have been some great moments. There will probably be tears on Friday. I'm going to miss it; no doubt about it. I'm a fan and I like to keep that in mind all the time. I've been blessed–somebody has been watching over me to have kept me in front of that microphone for such a long time."
To honor Jerry for his dedication and enthusiasm, the Saints will present him with a Super Bowl XLIV ring during pre-game of the Saints' home opener against the Falcons. Additionally, the house control booth will be renamed the "Jerry Romig House Control Booth" in his honor. Fans can relive some of Jerry's most memorable games on NewOrleansSaints.com, as the site will host a season-long video series called, "First down…Saints." A new video will be published prior to each home game.
Jerry's first game as PA announcer was August 30, 1969 at a preseason match-up against the Atlanta Falcons at Tulane Stadium in front of over 69,000 people. Jerry announced many exciting Saints plays at Tulane Stadium, including the infamous 63-yard field goal by Tom Dempsey as time expired to give the team a win over the Detroit Lions in 1970. During the season opener in 1971, Jerry called first-round draft pick Archie Manning's professional debut as he ran out the clock to give the Saints a win over the Los Angeles Rams.
In 1975, the Saints moved into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome where he called some of the most memorable plays in team history, including many extra points and field goals made by Saints' Hall of Fame inductee, Morten Andersen. The most memorable for Jerry was Andersen's game-ending field goal to give the Saints a playoff berth on New Year's Eve in 1990 with a win over the Rams.
"Dad raised my brother and sisters and me on Saints football, and now having this unique opportunity from the Saints organization to follow in his awesomely large footsteps is both daunting and an honor," said Mark Romig. "I will work hard to live up to the excellence that he has set for stadium announcers everywhere.
For Jerry, the City of New Orleans and Saints fans, the first game in the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina was a game that will never be forgotten. On Sept. 25, 2006, the Saints beat Atlanta 23-3–a victory that included the "blocked punt heard around the world" as former Saints safety Steve Gleason blocked Michael Koenen's punt on the fourth play of the game. Jerry also announced the Saints' 31-28 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship to give the team its first trip to the Super Bowl. Kicker Garrett Hartley made a 40-yard field goal in overtime to give the Saints the win and a trip to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, Fla., where they won their first world championship.
"For the past four decades, Jerry Romig has been the voice that has transcended generations of fans attending every beloved home Saints game, in addition to numerous major sporting events in the Superdome," said Saints Owner/Vice Chairman of the Board Rita Benson LeBlanc. "Jerry is part of the social fabric of our Saints community. His voice is unique and symbolic of many great moments of Saints history at the Superdome. Today, we celebrate Jerry's tenure and welcome his son Mark to the microphone as a continuation this family legacy. We are proud of Jerry's time associated with our team and we wish him nothing but great health moving forward."
A lifelong Saints fan and native of New Orleans, Mark serves as President and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC). He leads the city's official leisure travel promotion agency, responsible for enhancing the tourism industry through effective marketing and promotional programs.
Mark is an established public relations and marketing professional and is accredited (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America. He has been involved in a variety of historic and milestone events throughout his career, including the 1984 Louisiana World's Fair, U.S. presidential nomination attempts by Elizabeth and Bob Dole, the 2006 Sugar Bowl (only Sugar Bowl game ever to be played outside of New Orleans due to Katrina) and the wildly successful Idea Village New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. Active in their community, Mark and Jerry served as Co-Chair of the Media & PR Committee for the New Orleans Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee. Mark graduated from Brother Martin High School and attended the University of New Orleans, where he received his B.S. from the School of Business Administration (School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration) in 1978.