Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Saints came marching in…to meet us!

Sarah came home and offered us four tickets to “the Saints Luncheon”.We had no idea what this event was, but we accepted almost on the spot. Evidently, every year the Touchdown Club has an official luncheon where the entire Saints team comes, eats, gets awards and signs a few autographs.

As the weekend approached, we started asking Sarah what to expect. As she had never been before, she asked around and we learned a few details, but were still sketchy on the details.

We did get some details from the ticket itself. Clearly we were at table 59, but we had no idea how many tables there would be. We knew it was at the Hyatt and to dress fancy. Not everyone got that memo.  We arrived at 10:15 ish and hung out in the foyer of the room that would hold the luncheon. We learned when we arrived there was also a silent auction going on…


People were crowding a few of the doors so we walked down to a place where there was no one in front of the doors. We took a chance and stood by those doors. I had no idea if they would be opened, but I hoped they would. Soon after we got in line, there were many people behind us. Sheep. :) I guess they knew I knew what I was doing as around 11 am the doors finally opened. They were actually opened by an old coworker of mine from Arnaud’s – DJ. We went in the room to find out table.

We made our way to table 59, which happened to be on the right hand side of the room. We sat down and checked out our surroundings. The room was set up like a 1980’s wedding. The head table was set up across the front, but instead of a bride and a groom with a wedding party, it was the New Orleans Saints Football team from left to right according to their jersey numbers.


If you are a quick thinker (and I think you are) you have already figured out that as we are sitting on the left side of the room and the numbers go from left to right, then we are next to the lower numbers…and who gets the lower numbers on a team?

You guessed it…kickers, quarterbacks and wide receivers…

We had a great view of where the lowest numbers would be sitting. As I looked around, I noticed some fine gentleman I happened to know! I had to go say hello to Steve, Bobby and Mike. New Orleans is such a small city. :) 

When we walked in the salads were already plated, so we ate some salad and waited for our tablemates to arrive.

Right after noon, the Saints players were paraded through the room and went to their seats.

Jim Henderson did the “Call to Order” and we were presented the colors by the US Marine Corps. Then Amanda Shaw sang the National Anthem:

Then Father Peter Finney III led a prayer. It was (possibly) the best prayer I have ever heard. I wish I had taped it. We laughed and prayed as he did his prayer/comedy act.

Then Lunch was served and this was our view:

We had an official welcome and then Jim Henderson introduced each coach and football player (in number order). He burned many of them. Here is a quick video of the first players including Brees and Colston.

Sean Payton then gave some awards for 2011 and 2012 as they missed the luncheon last year. As Sean was talking, a line started forming by Drew of people ready to attack him for his autograph. We got in line. When Sean was done talking, the place went crazy. The line was not respected and people just went to any player they wanted to see. It was mayhem. I started to get close to Drew, but the crowd was so intense, I backed away immediately. We all got separated.

So I just started walking around and talking to any players I could.   I would walk up to them and tell them we were going to take a selfie. They all agreed:

More meyham:

Then I walked up to Sean Peyton who I was shocked to see only a little line, so I waited and squeezed my way on stage. It was crazy. I had the girl take a picture of us, but she sucked as you can see:

So I just took a selfie on the stage with him. I told him what I was doing and he said ok. ha. 

Then as I approached Jimmy Graham the crowd got much thicker again:  

So I just took this selfie with the crowd behind me. It was crazy.

As I was walking away I saw more buddies from my Arnaud’s days. Yay Anthony and Auggie! :)

At the end, I finally found Doug, Sarah and Andrew. Sarah and Andrew had braved the crowds and gotten quite a few autographs. Doug noticed Thomas Morstead had bailed from his seat because of all of the Drew mob and was  standing off the stage. Doug and Morstead had a fun little conversation, but I did not get to take a picture of it as I had been taking selfies with random players.

All in all, it was awesome. We had a blast. The food was pretty good (for them having to feed 1,300 people at one time) and it was a really neat experience.

Thank you Sarah for inviting us!

Love and Hugs, Lizzie

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