The Touchdown Club of New Orleans hosted FB Jed Collins and C Brian de la Puente along with almost 100 club members on Tuesday night at Impastato's in Metairie, La for an evening of fine food and football talk. The group was also joined by media guest, Garland Gillen of WVUE-FOX8 New Orleans.
The Touchdown Club hosts a player for dinner each Tuesday prior to a Saints home contest and has done so since 1968, the year following the founding of the team. The group is one of the most dedicated fan clubs in the NFL.
"The reception was very welcoming," said Collins. "You just really get the feeling that the Touchdown Club is the backbone of the Who Dat Nation almost. Those are the people we play for."
The Touchdown Club, a non-profit organization, aims "to be the best fan club and social organization that promotes and creates spirit and enthusiasm among friends, family, and the community connected to the New Orleans Saints."
"To immerse yourself in the Who-Dat world is awesome," said de la Puente. "It's always fun to come out and see some of the real loyal fans."
The players addressed the packed dining room and spoke about their experiences and path to the NFL before answering questions from members. After they spoke, the players posed for photographs, signed autographs and mingled with members of the club.
John Kohl, President of the Touchdown Club, was glad to have Collins and de la Puente in attendance.
"We're happy to be able to continue our partnership with the team," said Kohl. "It was great to have Jed and Brian here, I think they did a great job."
The Touchdown Club's next dinner will be held at Café Hope in Marrero, La. At Café Hope, at-risk young adults get training in the restaurant and hospitality industries.
For more information on the Touchdown Club of New Orleans, visit www.tdcno.com.