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JOESAM2002 06-20-2003 02:56 PM

2003 Annual Black and Gold Scrimmage...
Here's a story I found about the Black and Gold Scrimmage.

Saints visit to get primed for scrimmage
Kevin Foote

June 20, 2003

LAFAYETTE — With 31 years in the business, Dan Simmons has overseen many a trip made by the New Orleans Saints.

Still, steps to ensure a successful journey — regardless of how long —must be taken and that’s precisely why the Saints’ longtime equipment manager headed a small group of team officials to tour the UL Lafayette athletic complex on Thursday.

The purpose of the visit was to begin making specific plans and detail needs for the Saints’ Aug. 2 Black-and-Gold scrimmage to be played at Cajun Field.

“No, this isn’t going to be a very complicated thing for us at all,’’ Simmons said. “You’re just talking about a one-day trip. It’s not like we have to pick up everything. We’re not moving the whole operation like you would for training camp. The facilities here are great, and the university here is going to let us utilize a lot of what’s already here.

“The staff here has been very cooperative. We’re not going to have to bring a whole lot other than the players’ personal bags.’’

Some of the issues discussed on Thursday’s visit included lockerroom designations, parking, etc.

It’s the side of professional football that very few fans ever consider, but the one that Simmons has spent much of his life performing.

Beginning his 31st year with the Saints, Simmons has had to coordinate training camp moves to LaCrosse, Wisc., to Hattiesburg, Miss., to Vero Beach, Fla. to Ruston to Hammond and most recently to Thibodaux. For the first time this season, however, the Saints have elected to hold their training camp at their home facility in Metairie.

“It’s going to be a new experience,’’ said Simmons, who was the first recipient the Whitey Zimmerman Memorial Award to honor the NFL’s Equipment Manager of the Year in 1994. “Three other teams are doing it now, but I’ve never done it. I’m anxious to see how it’s going to work out. It’s going to be a lot less complicated in that we don’t have to haul everything to another location.’’

Another result of the new approach is the concept of traveling around the state to hold the Black-and-Gold scrimmage, which is the annual end of the first week of camp.

The scrimmage will include some controlled full-contact drives, as well as numerous seven-on-seven and special teams drills. The scrimmage, slated for 7 p.m., is just the beginning.

Numerous interactive games and activities for the fans will be available at the adjacent Tigue Moore Field beginning at 2 p.m. Tickets for the entire day, including the scrimmage, range from $10 to $20. Discounts are available for season-ticket holders, students, military and groups over 20.

Proceeds for the event will be shared by the Saints and the UL Lafayette athletic department.

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