B & G Scrimmage, Jackson, Miss
August 07, 2005
Diehard fans hang tough
By Rick Cleveland
Lifelong New Orleans Saints fan Jimmy Hanly will never forget the first time he saw his favorite team play in person back in 1973.
"It was at old Tulane Stadium, a hot, hot day in September," Hanly, a 50-year-old Ridgeland electrician, said. "We were playing the Falcons, and I'll never forget that afternoon as long as I live.
"My daddy and I always had watched the Saints on TV, and he was a true fan. He always made me sit there until the final horn sounded, no matter what," Hanly said
Understand, dear reader, "no matter what" covers a lot of low ground where the New Orleans Saints are concerned.
"So, we go to the game, and it's so hot everybody's sweating up a storm, and I'm so excited to be there in person. And then the Falcons scored, and then they scored again, and then they just kept scoring.
"My daddy had to stay, of course, until the end. The Falcons beat us 63 to 3."
Well, actually, it was 62-7, but Hanly can be excused the slight discrepancy. For Saints fans, things often seem worse than they are.
'You gotta have faith'
Hanly was one of about 10,000 Saints diehards who came out to Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium to watch the Saints practice and then go through a short scrimmage. Like so many who paid a minimum of $10 to watch a glorified practice in August heat, Hanly embodies the Saints 2005 slogan, perhaps the most appropriate in pro sports history.
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