Lu Anthony Holloway, Gallatin, Tenn.
I became a Saints fan in 1969 when I was at Tulane for my freshman year and I did see the fans walk across campus to Tulane Stadium with paper bags on their heads to cheer for their "Aints." And I've been a loyal, though long distance, and once "long suffering" Saints fan ever since. We live in Tennessee now and how we cheered when they won the NFC championship game. The next day we made plans to go to New Orleans to see the game. Saw it at Deanie's where we could listen to Bobby Hebert. Two pictures are attached - one of the group we were with at Deanie's (I'm the blonde on the far right) - but the other is the best - Loyal Saints fans who gathered in New Orleans for the Big Game - thanking their team - "Bless You Boys!" They were not anyone I knew - fellow Saints lovers - at a hotel near Deanie's.
Brian Fillebaum, Vicksburg, Miss.
We had the honor of being able to go to the game. No. 1 on my best friends and my sports bucket list. We look pictures often and talk about it even though we are miles apart now. Can't Beat da Saints!! Laully Guyton
My mother was a Saints fan from the time the Saints came into existence. She was a fan through the bad times and into the good. She would jokingly say that she would see the Saints win a Super Bowl before she died. She was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer in January 2010. She declined very rapidly from that point. When the Saints won the Super Bowl that year she could barely hold her head up but we had her propped on pillows so that she could see the game. When she was told that the Saints had actually won the Super Bowl, tears streamed down her face. She died a few days after the game. I will forever be a Saints fan, as was she, I was so proud of the Saints that day. They made my mother's dream come true. She finally got to see the Saints win a Super Bowl!
Terry Alario, Westwego
My friend Chet Hanks had lost his wife, Sylvia, at the beginning of the season, He and his dad had been original Saints season ticket holders. When his beloved Saints won the NFC he didn't want to go because he felt so distraught of his loss of the love of his life. I convinced him to go and he and his son Dustin and I, along with others went to the game. His father, Chet, Sr. never got to see the Saints win a Super Bowl after attending every Saints home game, but Chet did. He was so happy. Sadly, Chet passed away November 7, 2014 and won't get another chance to see us win again. I miss him dearly and know that the Saints Super Bowl victory was his best memory and mine.
Ann Torres, Chicopee, Mass.
My husband, Frankie, was a huge Saints fan, here in New England (I am too). But,he was a Saints fan even when they were known as the "Aints." Frankie was diagnosed with liver/bone cancer early December 2009.T here was nothing they could do for him, so we made a promise to each other that we would go home and live each day as "normal" as possible. And we did,just that. We had our last Christmas together (we put up our usual Christmas tree, which he loved) and we celebrated New Years', making a toast in our "wedding flutes." We tried to enjoy every minute of every day cuz we knew there wouldn't be many more.
My family had made a Saints football cake, finger foods and posters for the Super Bowl and we planned to have a little party. But the night before Super Bowl I was helping my husband into bed and his femur broke because the bone cancer had weakend his bones. I'll never forget the frightened/painfull look in his face. My family brought the party to him,in the hospital. They even put up "Saints" signs on the hospital door to the room and the walls. My husband was able to watch the game and see his favorite team win the Super Bowl!!!
I always believed that God played a big part that day,helping the Saints to victory and that it was a gift from the Saints and God to let my husband see his team win the ultimate game, something he ALWAYS wished for!!! My husband, the love of my life, died 19 days later, Feb. 26, 2010.
I promised him at his funeral services I would make sure he had his favorite Saints hat and a Saints T-shirt on, and he did indeed andthey went with him. Thank you New Orleans Saints for making my husband's dream come true by winning the Super Bowl that day!!
I continue to cheer for the Saints, wearing my T-shirts and doing the crazy cheering "rituals" my husband always did. I promised him I would "represent" for him and to this day I have kept this promise. I will be FOREVER GRATEFUL for the Saints winning the Super Bowl that year, the Last year my husband would be able to cheer his team on. Thank you sooo much!!
Maggie Fenerty, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
The best memory of the Saints Super Bowl is that I watched it with my dad. I moved to Canada four years before and came home to help my dad get ready for major surgery. A few months after the Saints win my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away a year later. To be able to watch the Saints win the ultimate prize in football with him is the best memory I have with him. He was so happy that night it was a night to remember. Unfortunately I flew out the next day so I missed all the celebrations back home but brought the celebrations to Canada!
Matthew Piechalski, Oakdale, Calif.
I was 14 the year they won the Super Bowl. I remember a few hours before the game my brother was playing around with me an told me they gave the Colts a 10-point lead before the game even started. Then they did ended up getting that 10-point lead I started getting nervous. I remember feeling a little down at the half, we needed to start the second half off right, an when they did that onside kick I bet they could hear me screaming all the way from California! As they stared climbing back I was getting more an more nervous looking at the clock, knowing Peyton Manning he would drive the ball down the field an score leaving no time for us. So when it was 24-17 an they got the ball back I worried, but then it happened! Peyton tries to find Reggie Wayne but Tracy Porter jumps the route and takes it to the house!!
Harry Wadsworth, Mandeville
After the most amazing game I've ever watched, I was driving home and started honking out of joy. I realized I wasn't alone. Everyone in Big Easy was doing it, I couldn't believe it. I've never heard that much honking in my life, or honking for such a reason. After 15 minutes or so my horn slowly died out. It was worth it though, and I'd do the same thing once we win again!
Tara McCartney, Missouri City, Texas
I met my husband in Houston in 2000. The fact that we were both from Louisiana and Saints fans helped us hit it off and a year later we were married. Every football season we watched almost every Saints game on TV, going to sports restaurants to watch it when we couldn't get the game at home (bringing kids along after 2004). In 2002, he brought me to my first Saints game in New Orleans against Tampa Bay. We won! It was so much fun! But the Saints being the Saints, that season along with most others ended with disappointment and my husband yelling "Damn Saints!" at the TV. I always thought the Saints would win a Super Bowl in our lifetime, and he always said I was dreaming...especially after the post-Katrina season. The 2009 season was so exciting to watch and the Super Bowl game was the perfect ending to an AWESOME season! Sadly, my husband passed away two years later of a brain hemorrhage. I'm glad I have the memory of watching the Saints games with him, especially watching the Saints win the Super Bowl in "our lifetime!"
Quinn Ford, New Orleans
My favorite play is the interception by Tracy Porter, second favorite is a tie between Lance Moore scoring upside down and the onside kick.
My favorite memory is seeing the sea of people walking up So. Peters Street toward the French Quarter after the game and the line of people high-fiving each other on Bourbon Street.
My favorite line overheard late on Bourbon Street after the Vikings lost was by a guy in a Vikings outfit, horns and all, saying "He never had this much fun losing."
However, in my opinion, the best moment of all was experienced by my boss after the Vikings game on the drive home. He is a season ticket holder from season 1, does not care for music, never seen him dance, doesn't go out, does not take chances. As he drove up Earhart toward home he ran into a bit of traffic near Broadway. As he put it, there was a guy in an Indian suit dancing in the street and the only way a car could pass was for the driver to get out and dance with him around the car! He did it! So the only way to see Buddy D in a dress or my boss dance with a Mardi Gras Indian was for the Saints to go to the Super Bowl. Wish I would have been on Earhart that night.
Maureen Flax, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
I was in the best possible place on earth to see my New Orleans Saints win Super Bowl XLIV. When I got the feeling that my team was going to be in the big game my husband and I booked a hotel room in Harrah's in New Orleans. It was the most magical experience I have ever witnessed. People were crowded around the TV's and even sitting on the floor. Beads were flying and drinks were flowing. After the game clock ticked off the last second a total eruption of unadulterated joy broke out on the casino floor. Saints fans from all over the country were hugging and crying, myself included. A marching band was even escorted through the casino. And of course they were playing "When the Saints Go Marching In." I could not have imagined a better place to be than there with the real fans. Bourbon Street was alive, people high-fiving each other and singing and chanting "Who Dat" I was so thrilled at being able to go down from New York to see my team win and the next time they are there, I hope I can repeat that experience.
"Sweet Victory!! Finally!! Thank You God!" were the words screamed by my father as Tracey Porter picked off the great Peyton Manning. It was an amazing moment for our entire family. See, my father was released from Tulane a few days earlier because his heart was failing and he wanted to relax at home during the SB. We threw a small party. Family and friends and Who Dat momentum!! My father passed away in 2010 as he lay in his final days he would often say, I'm leaving this earth as a Super Bowl champ and we would laugh. He raised a home full of faithful Who Dats, and we will keep his legacy going. Rest Easy Pops.
Michael Shonk, Colchester, Conn.
A little background:
I grew up in a primarily non-football home. My father is a Penn State grad, so I'd see the occasional college game on TV, but no major NFL team. The bulk of my extended family lives in Eastern Pennsylvania, but I was never convinced on the Eagles, for whatever reason. Sports in general were a lost cause to my youth.
That all changed when I was a retail manager at GameStop. A fellow manager in my location, Jason Riddell, was a huge lifetime Saints fan. I mean, huge. He bleeds black and gold.
As we are all aware, Madden is one of the biggest video game launches every year. At GameStop upon the launch of Madden 2010, they allowed us to wear jerseys on weekends up to and upon launch of the game. Me, not being a football guy, asked Jason for a spare.
He slaps Reggie Bush on me. So I ask.
"Who are the Saints?"
"The team that will win the Super Bowl this year."
"Really? Awesome! Have they every won?"
He looked at me, silent. That was answer enough.
"Are they a good team?"
"Your team is always the best team. So, the Saints are the best team." He smiled. I had no better argument, so I agreed.
I was truly swept away by the incredible run that had transpired. I would ask what any football junkie would say are dumb questions, like "Who is the running back? What is he there for? Why use him when Drew Brees is so good at passing?" (A funny question to ask, in retrospect.) Jason, however, was always there, to explain every single facet of the game, through how the Saints performed to their 13-3 record that year. For the rest of the season, not only did I learn the game of football through the Saints, but then came the fateful game on Feb. 7, 2010. They actually made it to the Super Bowl. I was cheering as hard as Jason by then.
I worked the night of the big game, closing the store so Jason could set up a party at his house. I let him borrow my TV. He got HD cable for one night just to play the game in high definition! He had no entertainment center, so he set up the big game on this flimsy fold-out table. It worried me, but not as much as the Colts were. His parents cooked the most amazing southern foods, like still, to this day, the best gumbo I have ever known.
When the clock ran to zero, Jason leaps from his chair, shouting, and ran laps around his house for probably about 10 minutes in the light snow, barefoot. It was amazing to watch.
Since being exposed to such a passionate fan, I have fallen in love with the Saints myself. We've since gone our separate ways, but we've happened upon one another by chance a couple times, and it's nice to get some big WHO DATS out when we completely lose ourselves in Saints talk.
Connecticut is not Saints country. In fact, there is a lot of Patriots or Giants pride here, enough to make anyone adverse to showing their true colors. But us Saints fan, we really don't know the meaning of staying quiet, as the Superdome would tell you.
I wear black and gold all year. I am loud and proud. Thanks, Jason. And thank you, Saints. It's been quite a journey since that season. Now, I have two children of my own, wearing the same pride their daddy knows.