Biloxi bank employee wants boss to honor 31 year old bet

By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - "Oh when the Saints go marching in. Oh when the Saints go marching in," Peggy Byrd kept singing that popular tune Tuesday morning.

The faithful fan plans to be in that number, when the Saints march into Miami next month.

"Mardi Gras doesn't have anything on us now," Byrd said as she paraded around the office with her new Saints umbrella.

Byrd is still celebrating the Saints' victory over the Vikings Sunday.

"Go Saints! NFC champs, yeah!" she shouted as she held up the new championship t-shirt she bought in the French Quarter.

Byrd got to watch the very tense game live in the Superdome.

"My husband, he was so nervous. He turned around. He couldn't watch the kick," Byrd said. "My other friend with me, she was saying her blood pressure was so high, she had to stop and take a pill."

On Tuesday, Byrd returned to work at the People's Bank in Biloxi, and she made sure her boss remembers the agreement they made 31 years ago.

"Go Saints go! Go Saints go!" she chanted.

"You're killing me!" Chevis Swetman responded with a laugh.

In 1979, Swetman agreed to pay all the expenses for Byrd and her husband to go to the Super Bowl, if the Saints make it to the big game.

"I've been researching. I've got to get the tickets, and I think it's been a conspiracy. She went public with this to force me to buy tickets," Swetman said.

"And good tickets at that," Byrd reminded him.

Byrd wants low-level seats, a hotel by the beach, and she wants to travel in style.

"Two people, three nights, two tickets, and transportation," Swetman said.

And how much will that cost?

"Probably about $50,000," Byrd said.

It sounds like the bank president may have to take out a loan. When asked if he is regretting the wager, Swetman smiled and said, "Oh, yes. Definitely, I'm regretting it!"

Swetman is more than willing to settle this debt.

"There's no way he's backing off," said Byrd. "Even his customers will close their accounts if he doesn't support the Saints."

After all, Byrd has made a believer out of him now.

"Who Dat say dey going to beat dem Saints? Who dat? Say it Chevis!" she told him.

"Who Dat," Swetman chanted along with her.

"See you in Miami!" Byrd shouted.

The reason Byrd was at Sunday's NFC Championship game was because of the original story WLOX did about her Super Bowl bet.

A bank in New Orleans saw the story and offered her four tickets to that game. Just like the Saints, she's a big winner this post season.

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