By Gregory Moore
This may be Dallas Cowboys country but the Cajun phrase of “let the good times roll” (Laissez les bons temps rouler) is quickly being translated to “”Dejad que los buenos tiempos” with the New Orleans Saints now in their first ever Super Bowl.
In a city where the phrase “Go Spurs Go” is everywhere, there is a segment of the populace who still remember that just five years ago, they were living in the Gulf Coast region; especially in the Louisiana provinces. Now, while their homes may be no more and they have replanted roots deeps in South Texas, these former Gulf coast residents are as proud of their Saints as the natives are of their Spurs.
What’s even more apparent is the fact that the city of San Antonio itself has transformed itself into a secondary market for the Saints and it all started with them spending their 2005 season in San Antonio.
It may be hard to believe that just a little over four years ago, Tom Benson and the Saints came to the realization that they need to relocate the franchise in a city where they can still function and not lose their identity. With open arms, the citizens of this city embraced a franchise that had been more of a laughing stock than a professional team capable of winning playoff games. Head coach Jim Hasslett, general manager Mickey Loomis and the team realized just how hard it was going to be for their players and other personnel but from the moment they landed in San Antonio, things would be hectic.
And yet as what has become known of the citizens in this town, not only did the displaced residents from New Orleans and Lousisiana feel welcome, but guys like Duece McAllister and Aaron Brooks felt right at home as well.
So when the Saints played their first game in the Alamodome on October 2, 2005, not only did 65,000 plus football fans come out to support the team but a whole Saints nation was formed in a matter of months.
Once the season ended, rumor talk about the Saints coming here began to surface and to this day they continue to swoon.
Whether Mr. Benson ever decides to move the team here isn’t really relavent in this story.
What is relavant is the fact that the 2009 season was something magical for this city; just like it was in New Orleans.
There were Cowboys fans secretly pulling for the Saints except on one occasion; against their beloved Cowboys team.
But once that game was over, the fandom continued and is now at a fever pitch with the Saints marching into Miami in two weeks.
It was just four years ago when this team made San Antonio it’s temporary home.
It was just four years ago that this city got a taste of NFL life.
And while all the pomp and circumstance has long faded, the drive to root for the under dog continues in this city and it lies with the current Saints roster.
From the rooting of a quarterback who showed magic in the Alamodome as the signal caller of the Purdue Boilermakers to the head coach who unleashed the Cowboys starting quarterback to everything in between.
On February 7th, an adopted team will be rooted for and it just won’t be from the Louisiana transplants.
There will be some local San Antonians rooting as well.
So as they say down in the Bayou; GEAUX SAINTS