When I was in the third grade, my daddy took me to The Hub, a department store on Washington Street in Vicksburg, Miss. We went with an important mission: to get my Ole Miss plaque signed by the young legend, the god of quarterback gods in those days, Archie Manning, who was in town on a publicity appearance for Ole Miss. I stood in line with Daddy; I was pretty much the only girl, just me and a bunch of boys who were looking at me like I was on the wrong side of the goal post.
The day I met Archie is probably the first time that I understood the word obsession. I was obsessed with Archie Manning and the Ole Miss Rebels. In retrospect, it probably had more to do with wanting to please my father than anything else, but it started a life-long bonding that I share with other Ole Miss Rebel fans. Ironically, though, when it was time for me to go to college, I chose Millsaps, a small liberal arts school with a football team in the D league. Daddy was distraught, and wondered why I would chose a school with such a lousy team over going to Ole Miss. I mean, it didn’t matter that I was a girl and didn’t actually play football. It was all about the team. Though I was at a different college, I still rooted for Ole Miss. In fact, most of my classmates rooted for Ole Miss. We sure weren’t going to root for the hapless Millsaps Majors (who actually were not that bad, but still, they were no SEC team).
By the time I was in college, Archie had long graduated Ole Miss and was entrenched in a career with the Saints. He fought valiantly on the field, like any football god/legend/iconic hero. He lost a lot, which surprised us fans, as we had thought the Saints losing streak would change under Archie’s command. Most southerners prefer SEC college football, for reasons I still don’t understand fully, but in Mississippi where I grew up, not matter what our college team, we loved dem Saints. And as any Saints fan will tell you and probably has told you, today is an important day. Finally, our team is going to the Super Bowl. I lived in San Francisco in the 80s and 90s and came to love the 49ers. I saw in Joe Montana a good bit of the same football glory I saw in Archie, but the Saints were always deep in my heart—and in my sympathy, unfortunately.
So forgive me for not blogging about some aspect of marketing. The Saints have worked their butts off since their inception: they were so used to defeat that it became as ordinary a feeling as hunger or thirst, and now after years of trying, season after season of brief victories followed by more common streaks of defeat, the Saints have marched on to glory. I’m no psychic, but I’ll be shocked if they don’t win. They deserve this win; it’s their time, and yes, yes, I know: Archie’s son is the Colts’ quarterback. It’s just more proof that life is all about irony.
As a nod to this blog’s social media marketing roots, here’s some Facebook fan page links for you to peruse, all with a Saints theme. Want to hang out online with Saints fans? Here’s the Saints fan page. Wonder what the fuss is about regarding the NFL’s copyright hoopla on “Who dat?” Read this story. Are you sufficiently outraged like all the other Saints fan and feel the NFL does not have a right to the name? Well say “Who dat?” and join the Who Dat Nation fan page.