An Odd Beginning to Saints Fandom

Erik McCallContributor IMay 28, 2009

METAIRIE, LA - MAY 08:  Punter Thomas Morstead #6 of the New Orleans Saints works out during the Rookie Minicamp at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility on May 8, 2009 in Metairie, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

In comics, a hero has an origin story, a story about his beginning, where he comes from, what makes him special.

While I in no way compare myself to a comic-book hero, the truth about origin stories remains the same. We are all a sum of our minds, bodies, and relative experiences. 

A fan is born usually in the same way, for some are born into fanhood,  some come to it gradually, and for a few it is forced on to them at a moment's notice.

I found myself thinking recently, how did I get to this point? When did I contract this malady known as Saints fanhood?

I wasn't born into fanhood, and I started out hating the Saints. Of course, this was before I understood how important football was. 

In the beginning, I was not a fan, mostly because my dad was a diehard fan and he never had time to play with me as a kid.

It's not like he was a bad father or that he never paid attention; it's just that on game days, I never got to see or play with him because he was always watching either the Saints or LSU.

As with all origin stories, though, there always comes an event that changes everything and reshapes the life of the hero or main character in the story. 

I remember it vividly. It was after a Saints loss against Green Bay, after we had been going 7-0 as I remember it, though I'm not sure if it was 6-1 or 5-2. I pried my dad away from the TV to go throw the baseball around in the back yard.

As were tossing the ol' bean bag around, my dad throws the ball up high so that I can practice catching fly balls for my elementary school baseball team.

I lose track of the ball in the sun and WHAMMMMM! The baseball hits me right in the eye and knocks me out cold for about a minute.

I wake up and there is my dad, mom, and grandparents all standing over me with a rib-eye over my left eye.

After that, I didn't like baseball at all, figured I'd go for a sport with a lower chance of breaking my eye socket.

So I started watching football on Sundays, and I was hooked. The beauty of play calling, the brutality of the hits, watching the dome patrol destroy opposing offenses. It was mine.

So you can basically say I got the sense knocked into me by a baseball and the correct neural pathways in my brain aligned to bring me to being a fan of the right team at the right time.

So as an origin story, we have the elements, a beginning and a crucible of events to create the end result.