BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - For the fourth year in a row, the New Orleans Saints made it to the playoffs. With limited seats available in the Superdome, South Mississippi fans stayed coastal and rooted for the black and gold right here on the Gulf Coast.
The Marina Cantina in Gulfport was the place to be to watch Sunday afternoon’s showdown in the Big Easy. Saints fans were easy to find. Bears fans, on the other hand, not so much.
Chicago transplant Andrew Yasin didn’t let the fact that he was outnumbered keep him from rooting on his favorite team.
“I don’t expect to win but I do expect a good game, a really close, competitive game like they played during the regular season against the Saints. It was like 28 to 23. But if they win, it means a lot because then I’m going to be exited and have hopes for the Super Bowl again. That would be nice. They haven’t won since 1985, so it would be a nice time,” Yasin said. “My fandom runs pretty deep. I’ve got a tattoo on my shoulder of all the Chicago teams. It’s the Bears, the Bulls, the Chicago Cubs, and the Blackhawks. So, I would say it’s pretty deep,” he said.
Across the aisle was Saints fan Austin Derouen. Spirits are high for Derouen as he hopes that the boys in Black and Gold can seal this deal this year.
“The last couple of years have been pretty rough for us, being a Saints fan with everything going on. We had the tough loss against the Rams, the tough loss against the Vikings and then last year, losing in the first round. I’m hopeful for this year. It might be Drew Brees’ last year. So, let’s just hope he can go out with a good win and hopefully we make it all the way,” said Derouen.
Derouen said that a win this season means a little more than in seasons past.
“We don’t have Dome Field Advantage anymore. It’s tough. It’s one of those things where you’re grinding out every play because you can’t really rely on the noise in the stadium anymore. I think we have a good team this year. Like I said, the past couple of years have been rough. We know what it takes to win so, I’m pretty hopeful about it,” he said.
But not all of Sunday afternoon’s gatherings were at local watering holes, and not all were for the adults. At one home in Biloxi, the older generation made sure that the younger kids were rooting on the Saints the right way. That included all the proper game day snacks and a dance after every Saints touchdown.
Regardless of winners and loses, these super fans were just happy to be watching football and cheering the only way they know how - with a Bear Down and a... “Who Dat? Who Dat? Who Dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?!”
For the Saints, Sunday’s 21-9 win over the Bears means they are one down and three to go in this year’s playoffs. The Saints will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next. They play in New Orleans on Sunday, Jan 17 at 5:40 p.m.