While chatting at the receptionist at the New Orleans Saints headquarters yesterday a fellow walked by and the receptionist said, “Welcome back!”
Not wanting to be inhospitable I turned and said, “Welcome back!” and when he paused, I reached over and shook his hand.
He looked familiar and as he turned and walked out the door with a huge grin on his face I had to ask the receptionist, “Who was that?”
She smiled with a bit of a laugh in her voice and a glow in her eyes and said, “That’s the head coach!”
The slow realization came to this Michigan Mardi Gras photographer as to whose hand he had just shaken…
“Who dat?” Sean Payton himself was obviously happy to be home with the New Orleans Saints!
As I was making my way to the parade route just a bit ago I saw a fellow get out of his vehicle with a mask and a hat on. He paid for his parking and then tossed his hat in his vehicle and went on. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was a possible sighting of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?
When I made it to the parade route and went to use the porta-potties that are always there I noted that there were none. I was rather surprised as this is the first time in the few years I have been shooting Mardi Gras that there were no porta-potties. Checking in with one of the city workers I was informed that the NFL said they couldn’t have any porta-potties until after the Superbowl.
It was quite a shock that the NFL doesn’t want the Mardi Gras parade goers to, well, go.
I am told that folks around New Orleans believe that Sean Payton was allowed to rejoin the team before the Superbowl to placate the people of New Orleans.
To be honest, I am not a sports photographer but rather an event photographer and I think both worlds can co-exist peacefully or at least join together in one huge celebration.
Unfortunately I find it quite disturbing that the the many families that come to the parades this weekend will be denied to have the necessities provided in the porta-potties. The City of New Orleans has bent over backwards to accommodate the NFL for the Superbowl but Commissioner Goodell hasn’t left them a pot to piss in for this weekend’s Mardi Gras parades.
Don’t get me wrong. It was a pleasure to meet Sean Payton yesterday, but if I were to have one request for Commissioner Goodell it would be, “Let My People Go!”
In the meantime the company that runs the parade stands by Gallier Hall told me that they do have porta potties for their customers so check them out MardiGrasParadeTickets.com