Hardcore fan shows off prized collection of Saints memorabilia

By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) – To call Tommy Gara a big Saints fan is an understatement.  He got pretty emotional after watching the Saints defeat the Vikings for the NFC Championship title.

"He was just at a loss for words," his wife Rene Gara remembered. "It was just 'whoo, whoo, whoo.' I've never seen him like that. He said, 'I could just cry.' And I said, 'Well cry.'"

"After 43 years of losing, and we finally win," Tommy Gara said. "It's a good thing. I'm starting to tear up just thinking about it."

Gara fell in love with the team after watching his first Saints game with his dad back in 1967.

"Every time the Saints get the first down, it's 'first down Saints!'" said Gara as he demonstrated the hand signal.

About ten years ago, he turned a room in his Ocean Springs home into what looks like a museum.

"This is my man cave. I call it my Saints Room," he said.

The walls are filled from floor to ceiling with every Saints souvenir imaginable.  There are autographed posters, jerseys and gloves.  And there are novelties like the 'Who Dat' bar, bobble head dolls, and even beer.

"I never opened them, never will," Gara said as he picked up a can of beer. "I might have to if the Saints win the Super Bowl."

When his home phone rings, you can hear the tune "When the Saints Go Marching In."  His prized possession is a football signed by the entire team.  And his most personal souvenir is a fleur de lis tattoo on his right arm.

"I got that about three years ago," he said.

Gara will be decked out in black and gold for the game of his life. That's right.  He and his wife are going to the Super Bowl in Miami.

"I'm going to wear my Saints shoes. I got my Saints socks. I can't show you my drawers," he said with a laugh.

With such a huge collection of Saints history, there's one item missing in the room.

"Super Bowl ring. That's what I want to bring back, a Super Bowl ring," he said.

Gara is confident his favorite team will break a 43 year drought.

"I can't sleep at night.  It's unbelievable," said Gara. "Forty three years of a lot of disappointment.  It's time we have a good year.  It's time to win it all."

Here's another example of why Gara is such a true Saints fan.  Every time the Saints play, he takes a day off from work so he can watch the game. By the way, he and his wife have been season ticket holders for 12 years.

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