NEW ORLEANS -- Few teams in the NFL have fans like the New Orleans Saints. In fact, the most dedicated of fans can often be found along the front row of games. They're also the ones in the outrageous and entertaining outfits, and they're called super fans.
The loyalty of super fans can make them as familiar to the public as the players they cheer for on Sundays. And just like the players, the super fans often participate in charity events and fundraisers or even visit sick kids in hospitals or at their homes.
One of those super fans is Donald Silcio. He goes by the super fan name Gametime Saint and wears a uniform and face paint.
But Silcio says, as he attends some of the off-the-field events that aim to cheer up sick children, he often notices another child, perhaps a sibling, off to the side who is getting no attention.
"These kids are going through a tough time too. They might have a brother or sister that's sick, in and out of the hospital, maybe passes away or something like that," Silcio told WGNO. "Those kids are sometimes overlooked."
So Silcio started a foundation that he hopes will help kids who need a little emotional boost.
"What we want to do is give a young Saints fan the experience of a lifetime."
Silcio and some other super fans are teaming up to turn the young Saints fans into little super fans. He's also enlisted help from costume designers, makeup artists, and others to let the little fans become big hits at a Saints game.
"They create their own super fan persona. Say they like Superman or the like the Flash, or if it's a girl, Wonder Woman. We're going to make them a black and gold Wonder Woman, Superman, or the Flash."
He wants to bring a young super fan, custom costume and all, to a Saints home game where the child will be treated to a limo ride, tailgate party, and premium seats.
Silcio is asking people who know a deserving child to apply on his foundation's Facebook page. Again, he's hoping to help the sibling of a sick child.
For now, Silcio plans to treat one child to the super fan experience. But he hopes that one day, his foundation could provide a super fan experience for every home game. Perhaps, he says, other teams might wish to do the same thing.