Little did I know that the “Who Dat?” rallying cry I have been hearing for the past four weeks in the New Orleans’ streets had a much deeper meaning that I could ever imagined.
The story goes that since 1967 the Saints football team had been known as the Aint’s for their numerous losses and poor game-play skills. The football players were so bad that their fans would go to the games wearing a brown bag (like the one in the picture form 1980) over their heads to cover up their shames in case the team would lose again.
Other football team fans would point at them asking in their poor southern English “Who Dat?”
The shameful act continued for years to come. But, this tradition was finally brought to and end when the Saints, against all odds, won the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, 2010.
People still screamed “Who Dat?” all over town, but the meaning was certainly much different.
And yesterday Feb. 20, Gland David Andrews and his musicians cousins Baby Boyz Brass Band led a Funeral Parade across town (from the Candel Light Lounge in the Treme all the way up the street to Charters in the Marines) to bury the Aints bags for once and for all since the Vince Lombardi Trophy now resides in the Crescent City’s hands and the Saints are no loner losers.
Only in New Orleans would a Funeral Parade for some brown paper bags shake the entire city to march across town, with live music and all, to celebrate the victory of the Saints at the Super Bowl after their repetitive losses.
Not sure if you recognized the man wearing the orange hat, holding the coffin on the left side…
his name is Lenny Kravitz, the rock/funk musician whose music career granted him five Grammy Awards. He was a guest of honor who flew in from Miami for the event.
You may have a better look at him in the next photo.
In any case, Kravitz aside, the Funeral Parade to put the Aints bags to rest was a big hit and, once again, the prideful spirit of a city that was bent over backwards five years ago from natural calamities, came alive and shook my visitor-photographer soul.