There are many things we see in life that garner all of our attention and others that we see all of the time but don’t pay much attention to. For example, the Saints absolutely decimating the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles 48-7 has all of our, and the rest of the NFL’s, attention. Something that doesn’t but we see every Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome are the good folks selling GameDay magazines (published by Renaissance Publishing, the same company that publishes this blog), of which yours truly took a part. Your humble narrator took to the streets, or plaza, and was slinging magazines to all of the beautiful fans and even their counterparts, the Eagles fans.
Selling magazines is like most things in life, you’ve got to hustle. While Saints fans are at their tailgates enjoying some pre-game revelry the magazine crew is at the Dome hours before the game getting prepared for the onslaught.
Following the lead of John Holzer, distribution manager at Renaissance Publishing, the crew arrives early and starts divvying up the goods as John places the team in their respective positions surrounding the Dome. Being the newbie to the crew, I took the A gate side of the Dome and stayed mobile throughout the day and it was an absolute blast. There’s nothing like being out in the crowd, meeting folks you would never meet and getting the fans hyped for the game.
And what a crowd is was!
The Eagles fans turned out in droves, clad in green and vocal. I’m not going to lie, at 1 p.m. it almost felt like we were in Philadelphia. The Eagles fans came in fired up and on the ready. Thankfully by 1:45 p.m. their cheers were being drowned out by the Black and Gold Who Dats. It was setting up to be a great game.
Making my way through the hordes was a trip. Speaking of tripping, shout out to the two young ladies who might have been playing corn hole but were definitely way into their day, so to speak, as both in unison fell into me. Fortunately, much like Michael Thomas, I held onto my magazines like an All-Pro.
Other shout outs go to the elderly gentlemen telling me in response to some Eagles fans drunken behavior, “I guess they don’t know it’s bird season in Louisiana.” Another good time was a gentleman who said he just yelled “program” because he didn’t know my name. Upon telling him my name was Mark, he told me his best friend was named Mark but they called him Spike. So, he would just call me Spike next time. Right on.
Then there were the Philadelphia fans that told me they would buy a magazine if an Eagles player were on the cover. I told them to feel free to slap a sticker on it and pretend. The oddest of all fans were the type that would look at the magazine, pondering deeply about this $5 purchase, as if they were about to buy a new home. My absolute favorite interactions were the three different moments I had with Saints fans who told me this was their first game in the Dome. Those smiles made my day.
If you read my blog regularly you know I emphasize, much to some readers’ lament that football is just a game and there is nothing more important than having a good time in a respectful manner. So, for every Saints fan I sold to I gave a Who Dat and every Eagles fan got a good luck.
About 45 minutes before kickoff the human wave began. It felt like half “Day of the Dead” and half “National Geographic” episode, the one where a herd of gazelles are freaked out by a crocodile. The rush was on!
Once the throng made their way into the Superdome, the magazine crew headed into the depths to sort out what was sold. The game was already into the first quarter.
Have you ever felt “fomo” (fear of missing out)? You don’t know fomo until you’re standing in the Dome, hearing the crowd roar and having no idea what happened. By the time our post-selling duties were cleaned up the Saints were up 10-0. I was done for the day when another roar filled the Dome. I sprinted out into the corridor looking for the nearest television. Stadium personnel were gazing up at a television also wondering what happened. “Was it an interception? I think it was an interception!”
It was. Marshon Lattimore picked off a deep pass by Carson Wentz, killing a Philadelphia drive and along with it, in retrospect, the last chance the Eagles had. The Saints, as they always do, would make them pay by going on a 10-play 89-yard drive to put the Saints up 17-0. The rest was just a bunch of cheesesteak tears as the Saints would go on to give Philadelphia the biggest beat down a defending Super Bowl champion has ever taken.
It was a day I’ll never forget. Thank you to John for letting me tag along. Also, thank you to all of the crew including my fellow magazine slingers, Jim, a retired school teacher who has been selling for 19 seasons, and Ronnie, my fellow newbie who got his first taste as well.
It was a great day.
Speaking of eating bird, the Saints host the Falcons on Thanksgiving night at 7:25 p.m. I’ll be there in the stands this time but will definitely be paying attention to those folks out front slinging those magazines. Who Dat!
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Parleaux Beer Lab’s “Hop Forward” Hazy APA
Playlist Recommendation: Kamara and Ingram dancing!
Around the Way
Don’t forget that Thanksgiving day is the day to be at the Fair Grounds. First race pops off at 11 a.m. Look for yours truly, dressed to the nines, down by the rail.
The Nicholls State Colonels (8-3), Southland Conference champions, are in the FCS Playoffs for the second straight year. The Colonels will host the San Diego Toreros (9-2) at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24, in Thibodaux. Get out and show your support. If you can’t make it the game will be televised on ESPN3.