Scoot: Protesting Super Bowl New Orleans-style!

Scoot
February 04, 2019 - 11:25 am
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The way New Orleans protested the Super Bowl between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots was nothing short of miraculous, and it was a fitting tribute to the collective resolve of America’s most unique city.

As a New Orleans native, I have seen it all.  I have seen the city’s annual coming together for Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest and the Saints, but what I witnessed yesterday throughout the city was extraordinary and I have never been more proud to call New Orleans home.

The New Orleans market is one of the NFL’s most supportive cities.  Disproportionately, New Orleans is consistently among the top-rated NFL-watching cities, even when the Saints are not playing.  On Super Bowl Sunday, the New Orleans area applies its traditional party mentality to Super Bowl parties.  But Super Bowl Sunday 2019 was different.

Standing up to the NFL with “boycott the Super Bowl” protests and rallies, the New Orleans area and the Who Dat Nation put on a display of unity behind carrying a simple message: “You can beat us, but you can’t defeat us!”

The protests and the rallies were inspired by the belief that the Saints, not the Rams, should have been in the Super Bowl.  In the NFC Championship game, a missed pass interference call was so blatant that it immediately raised questions about the legitimacy of NFL games. 

With a long list of why the NFL would prefer the Rams in the big game against the Patriots, the obvious “no-call” brought into question the possibility of league bias toward some teams.  But that has been discussed and will be discussed further when the NFL rules committee convenes to consider possible rule changes.

Sunday morning on the riverfront, a New Orleans Jazz Funeral was held.  The celebration at Dat Dog on Magazine Street included a dunking booth with a guy dressed like an NFL official and that target inspired many to take dead aim on the spot that sent the “official” into the tank of water often.

From Dat Dog, I covered the Second Line parade that started at Jackson Square, where thousands came together to march and chant support for the Saints and condemnation of the NFL.  As the parade turned down Bourbon Street, I reported from the balcony of Felix’s restaurant and oyster bar and the view of Bourbon Street resembled the sea of people on Mardi Gras Day.

From there, I went to the “Boycott Bowl” concert at Fulton Street in downtown New Orleans, where thousands more gathered to show that our spirit is greater than what many believe was a league bias that favored the Rams.  The concert sold out, but hundreds more showed up to stand behind and on the side of the stage just to be part of the mission to say F*** You to Roger Goodell and the NFL.

And finally on to Rock N Bowl with another boycott the Super Bowl rally.  The New Orleans band Bag of Donuts performed, and the fire marshal created a line to get in after clicking 1,200 participants.  Some waited an hour to be part of the event.

At five different “boycott the Super Bowl” locations, yesterday, I witnessed an example of the greatness and the resolve of the human spirit.  Yesterday was not a depressing gathering lamenting the fact that the Saints appear to have been cheated out of going to the Super Bowl - it was an uplifting experience that proved the things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us.

The one thing I heard said throughout my journey to the different events was something that rang so true yesterday - “Only in New Orleans!”

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