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Going Native: An open letter to Saints’ 2018 Rookie class

Dear Saints’ 2018 Rookie Class,

Welcome to New Orleans! It’s an exciting time to be a Saint. It’s not at all unreasonable to start talking Super Bowl. However, one of the little heralded keys to being a successful Saint is being a successful New Orleans resident. As such, I just wanted to share with you nine secrets to living like a local in your new home away from home.

  1. Eat locally: in dish and restaurant. Try the local foods in the locally owned establishments. But pack some tums; it’s much spicier than you’re used to.

  2. Be a man about town: Let the fans see you outside the Superdome. No need to fear being mobbed every time you step outside. Although we may not be LA or New York, we’re not Charlotte or Salt Lake City either. Between music, movies, and sports, we have a pretty significant celebrity population. So we don’t get star-struck easily.

  3. Order beignets like a local: First of all, it’s pronounced “been-yays.” Please, for the love of God, do not say “ben-yets.” Ask for the number of “orders” you’d like, not the number of beignets. Orders consist of three. If you want three beignets, ask for one order. If you want six, ask for two orders. You may not have exactly five. If you ask for one order, you may end up with two. Graciously accept and do not offer to pay for the extra (this is called “lagniappe,” pronounced “lan-yap”). Beignets are eaten with coffee or white milk. You will be offered a glass of water; accept it but do not drink it (this will make sense after).

  4. Party hard on Mardi Gras, New Year’s Eve and when we win the Super Bowl: Do not party any other night. It is way too easy to get in trouble in New Orleans. Partying too often down here inevitably leads to waking up in a stranger’s bed or in jail.

  5. Donate to local charities and volunteer your time: Believe it or not, we are still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Your biggest fans could really use your help. But not just with money, get personally involved. We won’t insist you overdo it. We know you’re here to play ball. We just want to see you swing a hammer once a year and make a surprise visit to an elementary school classroom or two.

  6. Do not get involved in local politics: Just don’t do it. Of course, you should still vote. Support national political causes, if the spirit moves you. But do not publicly support a candidate for mayor or city council. All of our politicians are corrupt. They’ll just drag you down with them.

  7. Do not openly root against the other local teams: If your NBA or college loyalties lie outside of the Pelicans, LSU, Tulane, and UNO, of course you may still pull for your team, just not when they’re playing against us. You don’t have to love them, but we would like to see you attend at least one Pelicans or LSU game. If you stop by a Baby Cakes game, you’ll really be a hero!

  8. Seek out a retired Saint for a mentor: We’re big on family and big on history. If we see you on Twitter working out with Colston, McAllister, or Bush, or on Instagram at dinner with Toi Cook, Mark Fields, or Jim Everett, you will instantly be our favorite rookie.

  9. Last but not least Hate Atlanta: Unless you are from Atlanta, then just hate the Falcons. Otherwise, hate the whole city.

And once again, welcome to New Orleans!

G. la Belles-Lettre

Image from JazzArtsGroup.org