Two weeks ago, the New Orleans Saints had their Super Bowl 53 hopes dashed thanks to, in no small part, a horrible botched call from the officials. On Sunday, with the big game looming, fans in Louisiana banded together to let the world know two weeks wasn’t enough time to get over the uncalled pass interference penalty that allowed the Rams to escape the state with the conference championship in tow.
Thousands of Louisianans decked in black and gold took to the streets to express their displeasure with a league that rewarded the Rams’ “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying” approach with a spot in Super Bowl 53. Parades and second line jazz funerals rang through the streets of New Orleans in a display intended to give disgruntled football fans “something better to do” than watch the team that broke their hearts play for an NFL title.
The Storyville Jazz Band is playing for Saints fans along the river. Soon they’ll lead a jazz funeral and second-line! pic.twitter.com/evdgZ5J7Dz— NOLA.com (@NOLAnews) February 3, 2019
Festivities began in the morning and are scheduled to last into the night, starting when the Nola No Call Second Line & Jazz Funeral gave the city one more chance to mourn the Saints’ since-departed 2018 season, a budding giant cut down before its time. Fans had the chance to make (and throw) their own penalty flags and write notes to Roger Goodell, which were almost certainly polite and will definitely be read by the commissioner himself. There was also a spot where fans had the chance to drop a few unfortunate souls dressed as referees into some icy water via dunk tank.
Photos from Magazine Street Who Dat protest party: Referees bitten & dunked, Goodell dissed by toddler pic.twitter.com/TZrdnrykKZ— Michael DeMocker (@MichaelDeMocker) February 3, 2019
The event earned an impressive turnout, though it’s not like there was much on TV Sunday to keep fans inside.
Video: Thousands of Saints fans second-line through downtown in a massive display of festive anger. pic.twitter.com/CK5Nedxnr7— Michael DeMocker (@MichaelDeMocker) February 3, 2019
The second lines didn’t stop coming, as bands trumpeted the Saints’ departure from this earthly realm and into the pages of Pro Football Reference’s archives as though they were celebrating a family member.
Jazz funeral with the Sophie B. Wright High School brass band walks down Magazine street carrying a casket with the hopes and dreams of the Who Dat Nation. #WhoDat @theadvocateno pic.twitter.com/pPhfad507i— Sophia Germer (@SophiaGermer) February 3, 2019
Those parades led fans to the sold-out Boycott Bowl concert, which provided fans with 10 hours of live music to fight back any temptation to tune into to Sunday’s game. Of course, Choppa was a featured act.
The Super Bowl 53 ratings in Louisiana aren’t going to be great, if Sunday’s festivities are any indication.