The Mercedes-Benz Superdome bumps to a different beat than most when the Saints are putting on a good show and making the locals happy. The Dome is still an electric atmosphere to catch a game and Sunday was another prime example of just how much fun you can have at an NFL game. The Saints 52-38 victory over the Lions had a bit of everything for WhoDat Nation as the Saints moved to 3-2 on the year.
Here are some of your buddy Mark’s observations inside and outside of the game.
It’s hard to wrap your noodle around a day that the Saints put up 52 points and Drew Brees would throw for only 186 yards and two interceptions (along with two touchdowns). That’s just not the way it happens in New Orleans but that was the kind of wackiness that was floating throughout the Superdome on Sunday.
That’s because Sunday was all about the defense as the Saints D would put up three touchdowns and block nine passes against a top-tier quarterback in Matt Stafford. The awesome performance began quickly as Thomas Morstead’s punt pinned the Lions inside their five-yard line. One solid rush later saw Alex Okafor strip the ball from Stafford in the end zone, Kenny Vaccaro jumped on it and the party began early on Poydras Street.
3. The Slaughter
It didn’t stop there. Every time the Lions scored, the Saints answered right back and then some. After Mark Ingram (114 yards, two touchdowns) plunged in from two yards out, the blowout was on with the Saints heading into the locker rooms up 31-10. After rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore, with another great performance, picked off Stafford’s pass and took it to the house the floodgates were officially opened with the Saints up 45-10. Game Over.
4. The Comeback
Nope. This is the Saints after all and this team just loves some drama. Instead of taking the easy way home the Saints would give up four consecutive touchdowns. Two off the arm of Stafford and then one ugly punt coverage allowed a 74-yard punt return. After that, Brees threw a pass directly into Lions lineman A’shawn Robinson’s hands for a two-yard interception return touchdown. Unbelievably, with six minutes left the Saints were desperately holding onto a 45-38 lead.
5. Cam Jordan
This is usually the part of the Saints story where we write about how Brees gutted out a victory for the club but that wasn’t to be as the Lions most definitely got the ball right back. Yet, overtime wasn’t in the cards (thankfully), as all of his drama was just a ploy for Cam Jordan to win the game with his own interception in the end zone. Jordan then proceeded to slam dunk the ball and any hopes the Lions had as well. What. A. Day.
6. Prices for Everything
I’ve probably harped on this before but I am always astounded at the prices of everything at the game. Charging over nine dollars for a beer, a bad beer at that (Budweiser), is ridiculous and places a great game day experience out of the reach of a lot of people. It’s not just beer, either. You name it. It’s overpriced at the Superdome.
7. Dixie Beer
It’s hard not to notice the Dixie Beer advertisements plastered all over the Dome this year. From the concourses to the video boards, Tom Benson is selling his new beer label with a passion. If you’re a craft beer lover you’re going to have to work for it at the Dome. There are supposedly a few taps devoted to Louisiana craft beer, but I’ll be damned if I could find them. And remember, lover of all things New Orleans, Dixie Beer is not yet made in Louisiana. An early talking point of Dixie Brewing Company’s was to relocate the brewing operation from Memphis, Tennessee to New Orleans and become a part of the state’s brewing community, but you won’t be able to tell that at the Superdome.
8. How cool would it be if Orleans Darkwa played for the Saints? Yes, I know we are well covered in the running back department but it would be fun to see a Tulane graduate play a significant role for the local sports team. Darkwa, with the New York Giants, rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos this weekend.
9. I’m not going to lie you, friends. Melanie and I got hungry, and there was no way I was playing $40 for two hotdogs (just kidding, folks), so we bolted when the Saints went up 45-10. We ended up at Avenue Pub, which had a good crowd but still space to move around and had some great burgers and a few craft beers. I love this place. If you ever want some real value for your buck, on Monday nights, Avenue Pub has a selection of craft beers priced at $3 upstairs. You’re welcome.
10. Game days are good days, no matter the outcome on the field. As the Saints scored, and scored again, we were joking and laughing (and all that high-fiving) with what were once strangers but now football buddies. That’s what sport is, and always should be, about. Wins can come and go but a great experience lasts forever.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Not Dixie Beer
Playlist Recommendation: Elastica – “Connection” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilKcXIFi-Rc)
Around the Way
For something a little out of the ordinary, you can check out the U.S. Women’s Soccer team take on Korea this week at the Superdome (http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2017/08/14/18/28/20170814-news-wnt-v-korea-republic-in-new-orleans-and-cary-north-carolina). Unlike the U.S. Men’s team, who are absolute chokers, the Women’s team actually wins games and strikes fear in opposing teams’ hearts. So, roll with the big horse this Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. if you’re one of those soccer fans that actually likes winning.