Leave it up to New Orleans to throw a party during a time of mourning.
Still stinging from having a berth in Super Bowl LIII ripped away from them, thousands belonging to Who Dat Nation joined together Sunday in a sign of solidarity and boycotted the game, turning off televisions and partying like it was Fat Tuesday.
A parade began in Jackson Square as revelers swelled into the French Quarter.
“This is what happens when Saints fans come together, because we realize that the game is not about the score,” Kim Bergeron, an organizer of Sunday’s “Blackout and Gold” protest parade, told the Times-Picayune. “It’s about a winning attitude, spirit and showing the world that we are not defeated.”
Monday morning’s front page of the Times-Picayune was bereft of news with just the flag and two teases at the bottom of the page. In between, surrounded by white space, was a headline reading: Super Bowl? What Super Bowl?
The Times-Picayune reported the game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams earned a paltry 26.2 TV rating in New Orleans. That means just more than a quarter of TV-equipped households in the metro region were tuned in to the game, the newspaper said, adding that last year’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England earned a 53 rating in New Orleans.
Two weeks ago in the NFC Championship Game, the officials missed a blatant pass interference call preventing the Saints from most likely clinching a spot in Sunday’s game against Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Angry about the injustice — the NFL apologized for the missed call — thousands converged for funeral parades and outdoor parties. Many bars wouldn’t show the Super Bowl.
“We’re happy people. You don’t see anyone burning cars in the streets here, but we just want people to know that we got screwed,” Keith Williams, a Saints season ticket holder since 1978, told the (Baton Rouge) Advocate.