Saints fans on the North Shore got a chance to see some of their favorite players up close and personal. The team held a first ever practice appearance Wednesday night at Mandeville High School.
Saints fans on the North Shore had reason to go wild. It was the first time the team held a practice appearance in their backyard.
“We heard the Saints were coming to practice and I said I’ve gotta come! I wanna see them,” Billie Sibley said.
“Want to come watch then practice without having to drive across the lake, it’s pretty convenient,” Zachary Davis said.
“We say the game last weekend at the dome and we’re just excited about the season,” Sibley added.
Fans started lining up early at Mandeville High School, soon after school let out at 3:30 Wednesday.
Pam Fairbanks explained, “Well, because I wanted to get a good seat. Trotter said, “And you did.” I did, Pearson agreed.
They held umbrellas to shield the sun and memorabilia; hoping to get autographs from some of their favorite players.
“It’s my 27th birthday and my biggest hope is to get Jimmy Graham’s autograph,” Joshua Laird said. “I’m his biggest fan and I don’t care what anybody else says, that’s me.”
3 1/2 year old Collston wants more than an autograph.
“We came out today in hopes of getting a picture of him with Collston, Marcus Collston; because he’s a Super Bowl baby,” Jenine Klien said.
People were patient as Saints security checked in thousands of fans two hours before practice.
“The other day we heard two to three and now we’re hearing five to six,” Sibley said. “We love our Saints, so what can we say.”
To pass time, there was music, food, and fun for the kids.
Then came the team practice they were all waiting for.
“I think it’s good. It gives a lot of people who don’t have the opportunity to buy tickets, can come out and see them for free, and local, and up close and personal. I think it’s awesome,” Sibley said.
Practice ended promptly at 9 o’clock.
Saints fans filed out with autographs, pictures, and video of the practice appearance.