New Orleans Saints fans welcome players to 2010 training camp
Hilary Scheinuk/The Times PicayuneRyan “Goldilocks” Zito of Metairie was among New Orleans Saints fans who came with outfits Friday at training camp. Zito wore a Drew Brees jersey, draped a flag like Superman on his back and wore a hat with black and gold dreadlocks, hence the nickname.
Fans arrived early and often Friday morning for the first practice of the Saints’ training camp, eager to get a look at the Black and Gold as it prepares to defend the Super Bowl title.
“Since I knew that training camp was going to be back here, I said I wanted to be the first person in line,” Williamson said. “I thought that maybe since the Saints won the Super Bowl, they’d have more people coming early. wholesale jerseys from china They tossed footballs, and most came with chairs and beer to make the experience more enjoyable.
Plenty of fans were wearing Saints jerseys, with numbers ranging from 9 (Drew Brees) to 25 (Reggie Bush) to 42 (Darren Sharper).
Williamson sported a Sharper jersey and a white Saints hat. He didn’t get to see Sharper practice Friday the veteran safety is on the active physically unable to perform list as he recovers from microfracture knee surgery but Williamson was happy to see the All Pro back with the Black and Gold.
“I’ll be happy to see that Sharper shake in the Superdome again,” Williamson said.
A couple of other fans decided to get a little more crazy with their outfits.
Huilary Scheinuk/The Times PicayuneMany players, such as tight end Jeremy Shockey, signed autographs for fans after Friday TMs first day of training camp.
“I was at work,” he said. “I had a couple of extra cardboard boxes in my hand. I was like, ‘You know, I could really fold these and put a little football on them. It means the same to me, actually, than what it means to them, just due to the fact that I can finally make one and it means something.”
The real Lombardi Trophy was also in attendance, on display under a tent in front of the Saints’ facility.
“We were the first ones out here (in 2009),” Zito said. “We were over there in Winn Dixie’s parking lot, and then we saw people piling up, so we came. We were like, ‘You know, maybe an hour earlier would be fine.’ Obviously not. This team means too much for this city.”
“Goldilocks” wasn’t the only fan in costume. Randy Bonneval of New Orleans came dressed as Elvis Presley.
Bonneval went all out, sporting a black jumpsuit, wig, gold sunglasses and black and gold Mardi Gras beads. Bonneval does a mean Presley impression, too.
Bonneval said he has been dressing like Elvis for Saints games since 2002.
“I actually was going to go to one game, and then it just kind of took off,” Bonneval said. “You’d be surprised how many people like it. practice. They cheered at anything, from mundane passes over the middle to a catch that wide receiver Lance Moore made even after safety Malcolm Jenkins hit him in mid air and flipped him over. The two loudest cheers were at the beginning of practice when players lined up to stretch, and the end of practice before players signed autographs.
The stands weren’t full, but that’s because most fans decided to lean on the rails during practice.
The fans even had fans as in paper fans to keep themselves cool.
Plenty of beer was sold at the practice, along with water and Gatorade. Fans were going to be allowed to watch the second practice Friday, but Saints Coach Sean Payton moved it indoors, closing it to the public. 2013newjerseyssupply Today’s morning practice will be open to the public, and the afternoon work will be inside and closed.
“When you’re able to hold your camp at your home city where you practice, it’s certainly more accessible for the local fans,” Payton said. “It’s great to see them out here, and we appreciate them. As hot as it is for us, it’s pretty hot sitting up in the bleachers for two hours. But it’s good to see them.”